Natural Family Planning
What is Natural Family Planning (NFP)?
“Specifically, NFP is the title for the moral, natural and healthy, modern and scientifically reliable methods of family planning. These methods teach married couples how to identify and understand their combined signs of fertility. This information then helps married couples plan to achieve or postpone a pregnancy. NFP is morally good because it helps married couples respect God’s design for married love.” (Theresa Notare, PhD, Assistant Director, NFP Program, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
Who can use NFP?
Any married couple can use NFP. NFP requires couples to be constantly discerning and open to life. It is through prayer, constant communication, and cooperation as a couple that this discernment will flourish.
What are the benefits of NFP?
While artificial contraception was created to suppress the reproductive abilities of a woman’s fertility, NFP supports it. The married couple takes time to learn about the fertile and infertile periods of a woman’s reproductive cycle. The couple then prayerfully discerns when to abstain from or participate in the conjugal act depending on what God is calling them to in a particular month.
NFP supports natural reproductive health, has no harmful side-effects, is inexpensive, and is environmentally friendly.
Along with that, NFP is good for marriage! It encourages married couples to enter into prayer together in order to effectively discern whether God is calling them to the vocation of parenthood. This shared responsibility of the couple in this decision promotes balanced cooperation and communication within the marriage and provides opportunities for martial chastity. NFP upholds the dignity of the human person by allowing the couple to see each other as children of God unified through marriage in order to sanctify each other and not as a means to an end.
Lastly, NFP creates an openness to life that rests in total reliance and trust in God. This allows for a deeper relationship with Christ and openness to his plan for the couple’s and their family’s lives together.
Where can I learn more?
For more information on Natural Family Planning, please see the resources available below
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Resources