NFP (ATSL): Find a Good Teacher

NFP (ATSL) = Natural Family Planning (And the Single Lady). It makes the title really long, so I acronym-ed it!

You guys.  I had my first intro session for NFP yesterday! :)  It was SO fun!  It made it so real and exciting.  Going over all of the things that happen with our bodies during menstruation and how it is always preparing for a baby.  Always.  Simply amazing.

It seriously boggles my mind.

Because I had gone through Martha's books on Creighton, I really had a good basis of what it was all about (I mean, I was still geeking out in my nurse-like ways from the pics and stats, of course.  Hello!  99% effective to avoid pregnancy and something like 76% of women get pregnant who have had infertility issues who, then, use the Creighton method!!!  Why WOULDN'T people want to use this? All-natural, just as effective, if not MORE, than birth control, decreases the rate of divorce, as it fosters communication.  This method is amazing!).  What else I did learn, though?  Finding a good NFP teacher is really important.

I am not sure if Mary* will end up being my teacher or not, due to the fact that I am moving, etc.  But, after meeting her and witnessing her love for teaching this, her spirit, her faith (which is not needed of course, but it's helpful for someone like me!) and her overall spunkiness, I knew that any other teacher I consider would have quite a bit to live up to. :)

Some reasons why having a good teacher is important (from my single lady mindset, of course!):
  1. She is an expert.  I would hope that all NFP teachers, in whatever method, have gone through training, and have the experience to be considered an expert.  (Creighton has an 18-month practitioner program)  They know so much more about the process than anyone else.  But...
  2. she should also know when to refer to the doc, because she isn't one.  She is an expert, yes.  Therefore, she knows what signs to look for from your cycles (and all that charting) if there is a medical thing going on, which may need interventions.  This is so important, you guys.  You do not want a teacher who thinks they know everything and how to fix everything on their own.  Knowing when to refer to the doc will only continue to lead you to having a baby one day (whether that is now, or in the future when you are finally married!).
  3. She is all about women.  She loves women, basically.  I mean, why wouldn't you want your teacher to be all about you, and non-judgey?  She wants you to make the choices that are best for you, your life, marriage, family, etc.  She will support your choice for NFP no matter what you are doing in life, in school, in work, or staying at home.
  4. She provides support.  Because I am not married, I will not have the support of my husband (which I hope everyone's husbands support NFP, b/c it really is a team effort).  Yes, I have my friends (and all of you bloggy friends), but you all have lives, too.  It's great to have a teacher who is there for you when you are confused, overwhelmed, worried you are doing something, wrong, etc.  We all need support, especially with something that affects our whole lives.
  5. She is encouraging.  In those times that you are confused, overwhelmed, worried you are doing something wrong, she will push you to keep going.  She will remind you of why you are doing this.  She will remind you of the beauty of God's design in all of this. 
  6. She wants you to succeed.  Whether you want to avoid or achieve pregnancy, know your body better, or have a better understanding on how your body works, she is rooting for you!  She wants to help you succeed, no matter what.
These are some things that popped into my head after meeting Mary.  If you are just starting out your NFP journey, please don't settle on a teacher just because she is the first one you found. (I just really lucked out!)  There are a TON of teachers that do distance learning through Skype, FaceTime, etc.  Your options aren't really that limited.  iuseNFP.com has a list of teachers organized by method.  You can also Google search, ask your church for resources, or ask friends that are doing the NFP thing, as well.  Don't be afraid to ask the teachers how long they have been teaching, about their program, etc.  If you don't mesh with them or there is some red flag, move on to another.  This is important for both of you, and especially in your success with the process.  You want to be open with your teacher, especially at the beginning when you are still learning.

Does anyone else have suggestions on finding a good teacher?  Or other reasons why it's important to find a good one?  Or, something obvious I missed?  Let me know!

Ohhhh... I just can't wait to get started, y'all! :)

*I changed the name of the NFP teacher, b/c I didn't ask her if I could use her name.  Just being respectful.

5 comments :

  1. I want to learn Creighton so bad but there are no instructors in my area! You're the first person I've seen that's charting for just the knowledge (other than myself) and I think it's awesome. I'm currently using sympto-thermal, but maybe one day I'll get around to a Creighton class. I think a small part of me is saving the actual class for a future fiance? I don't know...time will tell.
    Keep charting! I think it's important to have a good instructor, but it's also equally important to have a strong NFP community that's supportive and encouraging.
    Cheers!

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    1. Thanks! :) And, good for you, too!

      I know there are quite a bit of Creighton practitioners that will do teaching through Skype and what not. It might be worth checking out. :) And, I would def do it before you are married, whenever that may be. Because as I learned in m first session, if you are already married and just start learning this method, you have to abstain for 1 month (or a full cycle)... so, I feel as though it would be easier to start before you are married, when abstaining is a non-issue. I am assuming anyway, that you would abstain. :) ha, sorry if I was wrong!

      But, it's nice to "meet" you! :)

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    2. Yep, no offense taken - you nailed it :) I have found it definitely easier to chart without the worry of figuring out when to abstain. If I miss a sign or 2, I don't end up pregnant, I just learn something. This is kind of why I think it's a shame NFP is prevalent to only married/engaged couples, it's valuable information regardless. Anyways, I could talk for hours about this!
      Nice to "meet" you too. I think it's neat how you can meet people through blogs.

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  2. Good teachers are imperative. Also I'd recommend people consider learning through the Couple to Couple League which uses the sympto-thermal method of nfp which actually includes Creighton and other forms. It's considered to be the most comprehensive.

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    Replies
    1. Cool! I will have to check it out. Thanks! :)

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