Natural Family Planning: Who Should Practice NFP?

Who should practice ecological breastfeeding?
Both national and international health agencies urge that all babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.  Ecological breastfeeding offers the best opportunity for maintaining a good milk supply for the first six months and beyond.  That’s why we believe that every couple with a new baby should try to practice ecological breastfeeding.  It offers significant health and psychological advantages to mother and baby alike.  Eco-breastfeeding usually provides a lengthy time of infertility, and many couples are ready to seek pregnancy when fertility returns.

Ecological breastfeeding requires close mother-baby contact, and this is good for both mother and baby.  It is the kind of care that best helps babies to thrive.  We like to think of it as God’s own plan for baby-care and baby-spacing, but it generally precludes working outside the home or being excessively busy with a home-based business.  The proper care of babies takes time.  The combination of mothering and homemaking is a full-time job. You need certain conditions to justify additional spacing of babies with systematic NFP, but you do not need any sort of “spacing” reasons to breastfeed.  With ecological breastfeeding, you are doing what is best for your baby, and it is your baby’s frequent and unrestricted suckling that postpones the return of fertility.

Is it okay to hope for extended infertility with eco-breastfeeding?
Certainly. The extended infertility of ecological breastfeeding is a normal, God-given side effect of following God’s plan for baby care, and it is good and proper to hope for this along with all the other normal good effects of breastfeeding.

Who should practice systematic NFP?
We need to be clear.  Systematic natural family planning is not “Catholic Birth Control.”  Christian marriage is a sacrament in which the spouses are called to be generous to each other and to be generous with God in having children and raising them in the ways of the Lord.  Marriage is for family.

Children are gifts from God.  Most Christian married couples can assume that much of the time, perhaps even most of the time, God is calling them to be generous and to invite another child to share family life on this earth and to share eternity with Him.  The knowledge of systematic NFP is also a gift from God, and couples should use it generously, not selfishly. (above from page 6, NFPI manual)

John and Sheila Kippley
Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach

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