Have you ever had one of those recurring dreams where it’s the end of the semester, you realize you have a history class that you never attended, all of the assignments are due that day, you haven’t read a single textbook, you don’t even know the teacher’s name, the clock keeps ticking down, you’re running late, and you can’t find your shoes?
Taking a class can be overwhelming no matter how long it’s been since high school, and learning a new method of natural family planning can certainly feel stressful as well. By working with a medical professional trained in the Marquette Method protocols, you can let out a great sigh of relief that all of the facts and data don’t have to stay in your brain for the final exam. You’re not alone in this, and the introductory class is exactly that: an introduction!
If you’re like me, you like to know what to expect as you go into a new situation. Here are a few things you can have prepared, both mentally and practically, before your intro class in the Marquette Method of NFP:
Successfully learning and using any method of natural family planning requires at least some level of motivation. A couple that is more highly motivated to avoid pregnancy has a better chance of meeting that goal (Fehring, Schenider, Barron and Pruszynski, 2013). So go get yourselves pumped up for the intro class by talking about why you want to avoid or achieve pregnancy, and learn a little more about the philosophy behind natural family planning! Knowing the "why" might make you feel more resolve in your intentions, and may make it easier to follow the method.
2: Class supplies
Like any class, you’ll want to have a paper and pen handy to take notes. We provide you with access to a copy of the presentation, printable and spreadsheet charts, and other handouts with quick tips. You don’t need to print these before the class, but you can certainly review them before if you want to know what to expect.
3: Testing supplies
The Marquette Method is pretty unique in that we can include hormonal monitoring through the use of current at-home tests. The primary tool we use to help assess female hormones is the Clearblue Fertility Monitor. There are two models available, though most couples prefer the newer model for user-friendliness and technical support through Clearblue.
You don’t HAVE to have a monitor before you take the class, but if you know you’re going to be using it, it’s really great to have it on hand to ask your instructor any questions you might have about set-up.
For links to purchase the test supplies, check out our shop page: mmnfp.com/shop
A really important tip: flip through the instruction manual for the monitor. This will make the method instructions simpler to understand when you have a basic understanding of how the technology works!
4: Tech support
If you’re taking a class through Whole Mission, you’ll need an internet connection so that you can meet with your instructor. You should have a microphone and webcam so you can talk and meet with your instructor. Usually a laptop, smartphone or tablet will have these features. Each instructor shares the video meeting link with their clients (check your email!), and the link prompts you to check for system requirements when you ask to join the meeting. If you really want to be prepared, test the link a day or so before the class to make sure everything is working!
5: Mutual love and support
This one is more important than any supplies you will purchase or tools you will gather. A supportive and loving spouse is going to be what gets you through all of the highs and lows (pun intended) of natural family planning. Pope St. John Paul II often emphasized the necessary love between spouses, and pointed out how the love of a family has a higher calling as he stated: “the family has the mission to guard, reveal and communicate love” (Familiaris Consortio, §17:2). Take a moment and reflect on how you can work to love your spouse more fully, in listening, acts of service, interest in their lives, physical affection, and spiritual support through prayer.
Now that you have a better idea of how to prepare for the intro class, you can sit back and sip some tea while your instructor guides you through the use of the method to reach maximum effectiveness for your personal goals!
Not yet registered? No problem! Find and meet with an instructor at mmnfp.com/learn
Fehring, R.J., Schneider, M., Barron, M.L., & Pruszynski, J. (2013). Influence of motivation on the efficacy of natural family planning, MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing 38(6), 352-358. https://doi.org/10.1097/NMC.0b013e3182a1ecc0
Catholic Church., John, P., & Catholic Church. (1982). Apostolic exhortation Familiaris consortio of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the episcopate, to the clergy and to the faithful of the whole Catholic Church regarding the role of the Christian family in the modern world. http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_19811122_familiaris-consortio.html