Natural Family Planning

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I have now written a book with Michelle McCullagh called Our Book Green Mother - families fit for the future. This book is the Full Monty regarding all things conception, birth, and thereafter! Many of the ideas in our book, Green Mother, stem from The Foresight Approach.

Recognising when you are fertile

Natural family planning is a method of contraception teaching women how to recognise on which days of the month they are fertile and on which days of the month they are not fertile in order to avoid pregnancy. There are clear physical signs which one can learn to recognise which tell you when you are ovulating. When the woman is not fertile, there is a firm plug of mucus in the neck of the cervix, which means that no sperm can enter the womb. This is the main way in which the progesterone only "mini pill" works.

It is obvious when menstruation takes place - the first day of menstruation is called Day 1 of the cycle. The most usual pattern is for women to ovulate on day 14 of their cycle. They are generally fertile for about 5 days before ovulation and two days afterwards. During this period of time the cervical mucus changes from a thick, slightly sticky clouded mucus to a thin, clear, stringy and slippery quality. During this time also the cervix descends partially down the vagina and the neck of the cervix opens slightly. Furthermore, at ovulation time the basal temperature, as taken first thing in the morning before rising, rises by ½ to one degree.

Learning to recognise these signs has to be taught by an experienced instructor. There are many books on the subject but if you wish to learn this technique of natural family planning then a list of NFP teachers is available on Fertility UK Website.

This is a very important technique because, once learned, it will stand you in good stead for life. It does not rely on any artificial barriers or hormone taking. Obviously the pill, the mini pill and many coils contain hormones with potentially serious long term effects.

See Hormonal Contraceptives

The Foresight Approach

Please see the legacy website Foresight Preconception Care Website which now has this notice:

After four decades of promoting preconceptual care and helping people to increase their chances of having a baby the charity Foresight closed its doors in September 2017. Whilst this is an end of an era for Foresight, we are delighted that times have changed and preconceptual care is now offered by many thousands of practitioners around the world thanks to the hard work of the pioneers of preconceptual care in the 1970’s, most notably our Founder Belinda (fondly known as ‘Nim’) Barnes. Nim founded Foresight in 1979 and brought the concept of preconceptual care to people wanting to give their unborn children the best start in life. We thank her for her incredible commitment and robust determination to educate the public and health care providers alike. Consequently thousands of happy, healthy babies have been born thanks to Foresight’s approach to preconceptual care.

Also found on this legacy website are a list of practitioners, trained in the Foresight Approach, including -

  • Eli Sarre – HMA Practitioner employed by Foresight. Nutritional Therapist – Wildfare
  • Kathy Payne. Natural Health and Fertility Coach – Kathy Payne
  • Kathleen Boyd. Fertility Awareness Coaching, Nutrition for Fertility, Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Homeopathy, Emotional Freedom Technique – Birds and Bees

There are also links to various academic studies and Nim's book from 2014 - How to Conceive Healthy Babies - The Natural Way

See also -

Fertility Network UK

Fertility Network UK provides free and impartial support, advice, information and understanding for anyone affected by fertility issues.

They are the nation’s leading patient-focused fertility charity and are there on a practical and emotional level whatever your experience of fertility issues to offer support services, information and access to a community of people affected by fertility problems.

All their services are FREE. Please click on Fertility Network UK for more information.

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