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  • Writer's pictureDaria Bailey, CFCP

Charting While Traveling, It Can Be Madness

The Holiday Season is in full force which means things can be crazy. All the school programs. The cooking and baking. Parties and family time. And possibly some traveling. All these things can certainly throw our bodies out of wack, but one stands alone in making charting tricky.

When we travel we are naturally out of our daily routine and rhythm. From driving long hours in a car or being on a plane for an extended period of time, being in a different place, and not sleeping in your own bed, it can make it hard to do what you would normally do everyday. Observing and charting can be one of those difficult activites.

I do not know about you, but I really hate public restrooms. So when it comes to observing I have a really hard time getting it done in there. I certainly try my best, but it's hard when I am hovering (If you know you know. Also yes tmi, but I am just being honest). This can making observing before and after a little tricky. If you can try to get the best observation you can, that is what is most important. Some tips I've offered clients is to whipe while standing up. Do what you have to, to make the area comfortable for you i.e. the paper guard for the toilet or lots of hand sanitizer or sanitizing whipes. If possible wait until you get to a place where you can be more confortable doing your business. Either way do what you can to get the best possible observation.

Another obstacle you can face while traveling, as I said, is being out of your daily rhythm. Think about it, if you are your sisters for Christmas and sharing one bathroom with her whole family (her, her five kids, and her husband, + you and your family), you do not have a lot of time to waste in the bathroom. This is not to say making your observations takes a long time, but not being in your familiar space can cause you to be forgetful. Just as it may be hard to remember to take your daily vitamins on vacation, this can be just as difficult. If you have never had to make a reminder for yourself on your phone, this may be the time. It might be helpful to set 1 or 2 reminders to say "make sure you observe" or "or don't forget to check while you're in the bathroom". Whatever can get you to do your observations, set that reminder.

Finally, when you are traveling your body is not "the same" as it is day in and day out at home. Maybe you're eating differently or not drinking as much water. Myabe you're getting less sleep because you stay up later catching up with friends and family. Whatever it may be there is a chance your body is going to be putting out unusal signs or ones you are not used to. Do not be alarmed and remember traveling goes under the catigory of stress. And when our bodies are stressed it can display different fertile or infertile cues then what you would normally see or are used to. No matter the case make sure you chart it as so, as well as make sure you are following your instructions based on your desired use of the system. For example, if you are trying to avoid and see you will be in a time of infertility while traveling, this may not be the case. Some women produce more mucus when under unusual stress and vice versa for couples trying to achive. The main point here is to really pay attention to what you are seeing.

What it comes down to is trying to be just as vigilant in your observations while traveling, as you would be at home and remember to bring your chart and stamps. There is nothing worse then forgetting your chart and trying to remember your observations from the last 5 days once you get home. Or even remembering to put your observations in your notes app on your phone. Most women do not chart on their phone, so that concept can be foreign and easily forgotten.

I am not going to lie, there have been a many surprise pregnancies this way (which is not always a bad thing). And as always whenever you are in doubt, make sure you chart it as so a.k.a fertile. If you do not get accurate observations some days or no observations at all, count that day as fertile. Some of us may do better then others when exeriening the stress while traveling, but for those who do not these tips are for you. Enjoy your holidays! And try to make your time away as normal as possible. This way you can still be using the Creighton Model System to its fullest.

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