When I was preparing for marriage at the age of 19, one of the things to check off the to-do list was birth control. Like many women, I simply scheduled an OB/GYN appointment, was given a prescription for birth control pills and went on my merry way. There was no talk about how the pills actually work or of the fact that I was taking artificial hormones that altered my cycle.
Fast forward 4 years. We had started making small lifestyle changes, including less processed food and moving towards being more health conscious regarding medicines and toiletries. The biggest change was the birth of our first child. After his birth, I wanted to live a healthy life and wanted my child to be healthy.
One of those healthy choices was deciding to breastfeed my son. Keeping up my milk supply was the reason I decided to forego any type of hormonal contraceptives after his birth. Around this time, I also decided that I never wanted to take hormonal contraceptives again.
I exclusively breastfed for 6 months which delayed ovulation and when my cycle did not return once we introduced solids, we were open to the thought of another baby so we continued to just rely on breastfeeding. At this point, I had read the book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and started trying to observe signs of fertility. My attempt at observing fertility signs and lack of thorough knowledge of the contents of the book and the casual attitude we had towards relying simply on breastfeeding resulted in the conception of our second child when our first was 11 months old. (We say our Weston was neither planned or unplanned, his creation was simply God’s plan!)
Since our boys are only 20 months apart, once our second baby was born, I thoroughly researched different methods of birth control. There were no mainstream methods that I was comfortable with for my body, based on ethics and artificial hormones. The methods I kept coming back to were the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) and Natural Family Planning (NFP).
I ordered a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility (which educates about FAM) and started studying because this form of ‘birth control’ is what I was most comfortable with.
We’re just a few months in to fully practicing FAM but our confidence is growing and I feel empowered knowing where my body is in my cycle and knowing exactly when I ovulate and when my period will begin.
Interested in learning more about FAM/NFP? I’ll be posting more details on FAM and Suzette from Jambalaya will be sharing about NFP.
Note: This post is not shared as medical advice, it’s just a bit of my story and thoughts. If you have an interest in following these methods, you need to educate yourself on the matter.