When most people think of Creighton Model FertilityCare they think "NFP" and "family planning" and "marriage preparation". Those are all valid but one of the beautiful things about FertilityCare is that it goes far beyond these applications and is about true women's health for a reproductive lifetime. This begins with puberty and ends with menopause. There are so many varied seasons to a woman's reproductive healthcare. Each season comes with its own unique needs.
One consequence of the way our society compartmentalizes fertility as something to be "used" when you need it to have babies and shut down and turned off during all other seasons is that menarche (the onset of periods for a young woman) is seen as burdensome, messy, annoying and embarrassing. Something to be dreaded. Hopefully you won't even have to talk about it with your daughter, right? They can just learn the mechanics in health class at school. And after a few years, if her period isn't quite right, is too painful, too heavy or even if her acne is bad, the birth control pill will solve all of those problems. She can just take the pill and revisit the whole thing in a decade or two when she's ready to have children.
Friends. There is a better way. A much better way.
God's design for us is to be whole people - body, mind and spirit. Your fertility was designed to be an integrated part of that whole, healed person. We can teach our daughters as they approach menarche the truth about how they were designed as women. The Theology of the Body teaches us that our bodies speak the truth about our Creator's design for us. Learning about her body can help your daughter tune into all the ways she is growing into a woman. Having an understanding of her physical needs and changes goes far beyond tracking a cycle and will serve her for a lifetime. One way to accomplish this is through FertilityCare education. If you think your daughter could benefit from FertilityCare, our practitioners are more than happy to tailor sessions to benefit younger women. There is a time and season for everything. Not every aspect of fertility needs to or should be learned at 11 years old. But slowly, over time, more information can be added and included to expand your daughter's understanding of herself, her fertility and her womanhood.
What are the specific ways FertilityCare education could benefit your daughter between the ages of 11-15?
Having a solid understanding of her period, being able to know when her period is coming and prepare well. No uncomfortable surprises. This is so empowering for a young woman!
Charting in this age range could just be seasonal. Maybe she could chart for a while to gain an understanding of her body but doesn't necessarily have the desire to chart for years and years. This time in a young women's life can be really flexible and tailored to her needs.
Ability to address health issues in a safe, effective, natural way. Sometimes menarche can bring on health issues - painful, heavy periods, pelvic pain, severe acne, PMS. With charting and the help of a Napro phsyician, these problems can be addressed in a way that helps your daughter heal. Any form of hormonal contraception (the pill included) does not heal or fix anything and it comes with it's own very serious side effects that your daughter will likely be contending with for years to come. Additionally, if your daughter has chronic health conditions that are already being managed (Type 1 diabetes, thyroid issues, etc), menarche can really throw the management of these conditions for a loop. Charting her cycles can be hugely important in these particular circumstances and assist with medical management.
Assisting and empowering you as the mother to have these important conversations with your daughter if this is something you'd appreciate guidance on.