Natural Family Planning and the Seasons of a Woman’s Life

Just as a tree goes through seasons, so does a woman. A woman, especially as a mother, is meant to be a tree to her family and her baby. In the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the ancient prophet Nephi asked to know what the tree of life in his father Lehi’s vision represented. He was then given a vision of Mary holding baby Jesus. He then knew that the tree symbolizes the love of God.

 

This is amazing! Because Nephi saw an image of a mother with a baby, he instantly knew that he was being told that the tree represented the love of God. As a prophet of God, Joseph F. Smith, once stated,  the love of a mother comes nearer to the love of God than anything else on earth. Perhaps this imagery of a tree juxtaposed with Mary, a symbol of mothering, is God’s way of telling us that Mary, and mothers and women in general, are meant to be trees of life to their babies. Could this also mean that women and mothers are to go through seasons?

 

Perhaps so! The way to honor the seasons of your life as woman and mother is to practice natural family planning and ecological breastfeeding.

Natural family planning, or NFP, is the way God has provided for birth control. It is a gospel-based family planning method. It involves checking the fertility signals of a woman’s body  to know whether or not she is fertile. These signals involve basal body temperature change, cervical fluid change, and change in the position of the cervix and the size of the cervical opening. Some methods of NFP involve checking all of these signals and some involve only one, the cervical fluid. It’s amazing that God has given us these signals so we can be in tune with our bodies. A woman can then have intercourse or abstain according to whether or not she desires to become pregnant. Natural family planning strengthens marriages, honors a woman’s dignity, has much less environmental impact than pills and devices, does not damage a woman’s health, and does not have the abortifacient effects that the Pill does. It is the only method that empowers women to learn how their body works and be in tune with their body.

 

 

 

 

Women and mothers, like trees, are beautiful no matter what season they are in

Being a tree of life involves going through seasons. The seasons of a woman’s monthly fertility cycle are:

 

  • spring: ovulation
  • summer: post ovulation
  • fall: menstruation
  • winter: period between menstruation and ovulation

As the Bible says, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4. Could “embracing” allude to marital relations?

 

Another layer of seasons involved in a woman’s body is the following longer cycle of fertility:

  • spring: conception
  • summer: pregnancy
  • fall: harvest time/ childbirth
  • winter: lactational amenorrhea, or absence of menstruation, aka infertility due to ecological breastfeeding

 

 

NFP is the only birth control method that honors the natural seasons of a woman’s body.

 

If you would like more info on NFP, please go to

http://nfpandmore.org

I like the way the people at nfpandmore.org, the Kippleys, explain NFP, why it’s so important to marriage, and how it fits in with breastfeeding. Theirs is the only NFP method out there that teaches ecological breastfeeding and LAM. It is, however, much easier for a breastfeeding and especially a cosleeping mom to ditch the temperature-taking that the Kippleys recommend and simply check the cervical fluid signal. That way you don’t have to stress about taking your temperature before yous start nursing your cosleeping baby.

 

The Creighton Model of Fertility is the only method that uses strictly the cervical fluid. I like the simplicity of that! Check http://creightonmodel.com to learn more.

 

For LDS teachings on birth control, go here.

Joseph Stanford, M.D., an LDS doctor, wrote a great article about birth control with his LDS perspective here.

 

 

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