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NFP while breastfeeding

A Xt3 Member asked at 5:41am on August 31st 2018
First of all, sorry for my English. I'll try to do my best to make myself clear.

The thing is: we understand women's cycles and how to abstain during the fertile windows. But what about the breastfeeding time? It is very common not to have an ovulation and being infertile while breatsfeeding. But when ovulation comes for the first time after birth it's tricky to know the exact time you have to abstain. And it takes some months to be regular again. Should we ban sex of our lives until the regular cycles are back??? It's also dangerous getting pregnant very soon after birth (we already had a miscarrige, because I got pregnant on the first ovulation 6 months after giving birth and my body was not prepared). Now, after my third pregnancy (second child alive) we would like to wait some time to get pregnant again. NFP cant be applied in this case and we dont know what to do.

My second question is: Is the withdrawal from coitus accepted by the church? Which is the moral difference between the withdrawal and condoms?



Thanks!

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Hi Mag, your English is great! I'm really sorry as I'm not an expert on the details of NFP and would hate to be giving you wrong advice in this difficult matter. I think the best thing for you to do is to have a face to face meeting with a female NFP expert - I'm sure many women have had similar difficulties and she should be able to talk you through whatever is recommended in a situation like yours. She may be able to tell you about a method in tune with the Church's teaching that can help to regularize your cycles including during breastfeeding. My mother, who breastfed us all, had several miscarriages too and hope you can find a good solution.

Before going into detail on your second question, just a few Sundays ago you'll remember we had the reading from St Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. There, having said to husbands and wives, 'be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ,' he goes on to remind us that both belong to the Body of Christ, both are Jesus, and, comparing it to the self-sacrificing love of Christ for the Church, and calls the vowed relationship of marriage 'a great mystery' (Eph 5: 21&32).

It's in this Trinitarian context that St John Paul explained (in his Theology of the Body, S123 & 124) how the act of marriage expresses both the love of the spouses for each other in an act that's never separated from its potential fruitfulness. If this separation happens by withdrawal or the use of a condom (morally there's no difference between them), by their misuse of 'the language of the body' the spouses would effectively be lying to their own true nature and to each other. I'm certain that in your difficult situation Jesus will give you both his grace and support, including in carrying the cross that all true love forces us to carry from time to time. That support will come through his presence among you in the sacrament of marriage and especially in the Eucharist, the celebration of the great mystery of the love of Jesus for us through his death and resurrection. Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 5:58pm on September 5th 2018 reply
 

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