Certain standards characterize the promotion and teaching of the Kippley-Prem Method (KPM) of Natural Family Planning. These standards apply to the teaching presentation, teaching aids, printed material, internet use, visual aids, and any other media used to promote and teach NFP.
The KPM promotes ecological breastfeeding as best for mother as well as for baby. It bases this advocacy on strong scientific grounds and relevant Catholic teachings. Teachers of the KPM will, of course, practice what they teach. Teachers and materials will:
- Promote ecological breastfeeding (EBF) in their promotion of NFP.
- Explain EBF as the only form of breastfeeding that normally produces extended postpartum infertility.
- Explain the Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding.
The KPM includes a flexible form of the Sympto-Thermal Method. Various rules or options for determining pre- and post-ovulation infertility will be taught. The KPM seeks to give the couple the least restrictive rule consistent with their needs and the evidence at hand. The KPM seeks to enhance the couples' legitimate freedom to choose among the rules and systems.
The KPM will teach more than one rule for the end of pre-ovulation infertility (Phase I) and more than one sympto-thermal rule for the start of post-ovulation infertility (Phase III). It will also provide a temperature-only system for both Phase I and Phase III. Regarding mucus-only systems, KPM programs will either provide conservative rules for a mucus-only system or will refer clients to teachers of such systems. The KPM will include in its teaching the most fertile time in the cycle to achieve pregnancy, how to determine pregnancy, and the KPM estimated due date.
The teaching of the Catholic Church regarding love, sexuality, marriage and marital chastity is not only accepted and practiced by KPM teachers but is also integrated into instructional materials and classes.
Positively, KPM programs will incorporate the following teaching of John Paul II: "In the conjugal act, husband and wife are called to confirm the mutual gift of self which they have made in the marriage covenant" (Letter to Families, 1994).
KPM programs will teach that sexual intercourse is, in God's plan, exclusively a marriage act. Outside of marriage, sexual intercourse is intrinsically dishonest because it is not a marriage act.
Within marriage, the marriage act ought to be a true marriage act, one that reflects the commitment, love, and trust-the gift of self-that the spouses pledged to each other on their wedding day. This is summarized in the covenant statement: "Sexual intercourse is intended by God to be at least implicitly a renewal of the marriage covenant."
KPM programs teach that systematic NFP is not just Catholic birth control. They teach with the Catholic Church that marriage is for family and that children are gifts from God. Married couples are called to generosity in having children according to their circumstances. They need sufficiently serious reasons to postpone children or to keep their family at its present size.
Negatively, KPM programs will teach with Humanae Vitae that marital contraception is "intrinsically dishonest" (HV #14) and with Casti Connubii that contraceptive behaviors are a matter of grave sin (CC, para. 56).
Contraceptive behaviors include sterilization and subsequent sterilized intercourse, barrier methods such as condoms and diaphragms, chemical and mechanical methods of birth control such as the Pill, the Shot, implants, and the IUD. Contraceptive behaviors also include masturbation, whether mutual or solitary, withdrawal, and heterosexual oral or anal sodomy.
KPM programs mention these specific behaviors because of the weakness of human nature and the tendency to rationalize behaviors that have not been specifically taught to be sinful.
KPM programs recognize the importance of adequate nutrition for normal fertility cycles. KPM teachers do not, however, pretend to be nutritionists or experts. They refer to Fertility, Cycles and Nutrition and/or other knowledgeable sources and texts. They avoid referrals to texts, stores and/or persons who are considered to be so far from the mainstream as to incur skepticism or ridicule.
Health-related or medical problems
KPM teachers recognize that they are not doctors. They do not give medical advice or diagnoses, and they do not prescribe treatments. This does not preclude them from handing down traditional generalities about the need for a balanced diet and sufficient exercise or reduced exercise to achieve pregnancy.