NFP important for Church’s vision for marriage and family
By Catherine Sheehan
Promoting natural family planning (NFP) was an important element in proclaiming the Church’s “true vision for marriage and family”, Archbishop Julian told NFP educators at the recent biannual conference of the Australian Council of Natural Family Planning held in Hobart.
“Helping couples learn about natural fertility is not just providing them with a method, it is opening them to consider the richer meaning of sexuality and the virtues necessary for a healthy marital relationship,” Archbishop Julian said.
“I commend you for your commitment to promote natural fertility and advance the beauty of God’s plan for human sexuality.”
Trainee educator with CatholicCare’s Natural Fertility Services Tasmania, Julianna Smith, who was also one of the event organisers, said the conference was an important way of ensuring educators were up to date in their knowledge and skills.
Through Natural Fertility Services Tasmania, educators work one-on-one with individuals and couples, assisting them to learn about their own fertility and how to space pregnancies naturally, without artificial contraception.
“They’re not just expected to learn the method and then work it out themselves… they do have the one on one support with an accredited educator,” Mrs Smith said.
She pointed out that research which demonstrated the Sympto-Thermal Method of Natural Family Planning had a 99.6 percent effectiveness rate in avoiding pregnancy (Human Reproduction Vol.22, No.5, 2007), and that NFP had a positive impact on relationships and marriages (Frontiers in Public Health, 2017).
“That’s something that, I guess, is a by-product or benefit from using this method, that couples are required to communicate a lot more with each other about their sexual relationship, and that can have lots of flow on effects for the marriage.”
NFP also provided a natural approach to avoiding pregnancy, Mrs Smith said.
“It’s just a way to live your life where you are in tune with your body. It’s natural. You’re not adding artificial hormones or chemicals to your body. It’s just a really holistic way to live as well.”
For more information: catholiccaretas.org.au/programs/nfs
Contact Natural Fertility Services Tasmania on 0447 276 154