Natural Family Planning
Natural family planning, or NFP for short, is a "way of following God's plan for achieving and/or avoiding pregnancy. It consists of ways to achieve or to avoid pregnancy using the physical means that God has built into human nature." (Natural Family Planning International website) It also offers many spiritual, emotional, and health benefits to married couples, including better communication and increased romance. Studies have indicated that couples who use NFP have a remarkably low divorce rate (<1%).
There are different forms or techniques of NFP, such as the sympto-thermal method, the Creighton model, and ecological breastfeeding. All of these provide an alternative to the use of artificial contraceptives to avoid pregnancy, which the Church teaches is intrinsically evil, even when good and valid reasons and intentions are behind their use. This is because contraceptives represent an attempt to stymie God's creative action and render barren an action that he intends to be at least potentially fruitful.
Catholic Answers, the Catholic Education Resource Center, and Catholic Culture all offer orthodox and easy-to-understand explanations of the Church's teaching on the subject of marriage, procreation, and contraception. This article by moral theologian Dr. Janet Smith is particularly worth a look. (Do take the time to read it through to the end!)
If you have questions about NFP or are interested in taking a course, please contact certified NFP instructors Jeff and Kathleen Davila at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration fee: $100/per couple (includes 2 class sessions, all course materials, and follow-ups with instructor). Courses are open to all married and engaged couples.
UPCOMING NFP CLASSES: