Natural Family Planning is a scientific method based on observation of the couple’s fertility and the interpretation of natural signs transmitted by the human body to help establish the fertile and infertile phase of a woman’s cycle.
It is approved and supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the aim to develop a method that is free from undesired side-effects, and other health hazards. It is a method which helps couples to learn about their fertility (fertility awareness), to help them to conceive as well as to avoid a pregnancy, and therefore to be in control of their own fertility in a responsible manner
Natural Family Planning is not a contraceptive method, but is a means of fertility awareness that helps couples to plan their family and:
- Achieve a pregnancy;
- Space one pregnancy from another;
- Limit the number of children in the couples’ family.
Various indicators and/or combinations of methods, are used to make the method safe and reliable, mainly the Basal Body Temperature, the Mucus or Billings Ovulation Method, Cervical Palpation Method, and other minor signs. As the method follows the female fertility cycle in a natural manner, there are no known side-effects on the woman’s health or that of her unborn child.
The high success rate of the method depends on sound knowledge of method and its rules, as well as correct use by the couple. When a pregnancy is not desired, a period of abstinence during the fertile phase of the woman’s cycle is required.
NFP is used throughout the woman’s fertile years including post-partum and breastfeeding, post-pill periods as well as further on in life during the peri-menopause years.
How does this method help couples to achieve a desired pregnancy?
As there are a number of days in the cycle when the woman is fertile, Natural Family Planning helps couples seeking to achieve a pregnancy identify the best fertile days for conception. Couples learn about their separate and joint fertility and the optimum time to achieve the desired pregnancy. It can also identify any issues that may delay or obstruct conception and which need be addressed.
What does Cana Movement’s NFP Course involve?
Cana Movement organises 5-lecture courses in NFP with in-depth information about the male and female physiology and thorough knowledge of the Sympto-Thermal Method. Minor signs and other information related to the woman/mother’s well being are also covered. This course is spread over a period of a number of weeks to make it possible for the couple to obtain confidence in the interpretation of their signs and charts. Individual follow-ups are held with the NFP teacher after the course ends, until the couple is autonomous.
Couples are encouraged to take up the course around 12 to 18 months before getting married. However, couples can learn the method at any stage of their married life. One-to-one sessions can also be arranged as well as on-line sessions and courses.
When and where are Cana Movement’s NFP Courses held?
The NFP courses are held three times a year, namely in January, April and October. They are held at Cana Movement’s premises in Floriana as well as in many parishes around Malta and Gozo. On-line courses and individual sessions are also organised. A fee of €30 is charged for the course, which also includes a pack with an informative booklet, a digital thermometer and record sheets.
Couples attending the Marriage Preparation Courses are introduced to Natural Family Planning during the talk on Responsible Parenthood.
How can I apply for Cana Movement’s NFP Course?
Engaged couples may apply for courses online or during the Marriage Preparation Courses. For further information one may also contact Cana Movement’s NFP Unit on Tel: 2223 8000 during office hours or email: [email protected]
Professional Training and Supervision
Cana Movement currently has a team of 13 NFP educators and speakers. All members of the team offer their services on a voluntary basis. All team members undergo an IEEF-approved training course and sit for a final exam. NFP team members attend ongoing professional training and updating.
Cana Movement’s NFP team is affiliated with the IEEF/EIFLE (Institute for Family Life Education), a European organisation embracing various organisations and institutions which have the welfare of the family at heart and which teach NFP. Cana Movement NFP team members join their European colleagues in scientific conferences and annual general meetings.
Cana Movement has been teaching Natural Family Planning (NFP) to engaged and married couples since the first years of its foundation in 1956, as it opened its first NFP clinic in 1961. In 1975 it set up the NFP Unit, bringing together a team of trained NFP teachers, with the aim of providing in-service training to its teachers, training new teachers, and teaching NFP methods both in small groups, and on an individual basis.
Along the years, many volunteers, including doctors, nurses, midwives and NFP teachers, have given their services to thousands of couples wanting to plan their family in a natural way. The training of personnel is given great importance in order to ensure that the couples receive the best professional and updated information and support possible