Following the birth of a child, a woman will experience lochia, or a time of bleeding in which the lining that has built up in the uterus during pregnancy sheds. This can take as long as 4 to 6 weeks. There are many factors which determine the return of the normal menstrual cycle, for example, whether a woman is breastfeeding or not. Breastfeeding has the physiological effect of suppressing ovulation, and may delay the return of menses for a prolonged period of time. Fertility can return prior to the return of the period.
Many women find their OB/GYN pushing chemical contraceptives or devices at her 6 week post partum visit that can be harmful to her, rather than helpful. However, The Creighton Model allows a couple to navigate the Post Partum period with relative ease, especially with the knowledge and support of a couple's Creighton Model™ Practitioner.
At the initial Follow Up appointment when lochia begins to decrease, the Creighton Model™ Practitioner will take into consideration whether a woman is totally, partially or not breastfeeding. She will review detailed instructions for avoiding or achieving pregnancy, depending on the couple's desire for family planning. A woman will chart as usual and be able to identify days of fertility or infertility on her chart as she would when in normal cycles.
Ideally, the best time for a couple who has not previously used the Creighton Model to come for an Introductory Session would be some time during the last three months of pregnancy. But it is never too late, even if your baby is already born! A veteran Creighton user should schedule a Follow Up Appointment as soon as lochia decreases.
A note on Post Partum Depression
While it is expected that having a baby is a most joyful experience, some women find that they feel unlike their normal self following the birth of their child. Some have the thoughts, "What did I do?" or "Who am I?" They can experience insomnia, anxiety, sadness, feeling overtired, crying, irritability, hopelessness, fear or depression, loss of appetite, restlessness, among others. These thoughts and feelings do not seem to go away. Your Practitioner can direct you to a NaProTECHNOLOGY Medical Consultant who is specially trained in understanding, validating and helping women overcome Post Partum Depression and/or Anxiety. Your practitioner can also offer you a listening ear, support and encouragement if you experience this very difficult and challenging condition.