Link to  Springfield, Illinois  Diocese on Natural Family Planning:


P.O. Box 2392, Orange Grove, TX  78372, (361) 384-0067,



April 2024 Newsletter

Ecological Breastfeeding and the Catholic Faith

Some couples have told us that the practice of ecological breastfeeding has led them to enter or return to the Catholic Church.

One mother wrote:
“Natural Mothering brought us to NFP which brought us back to the Church.”

Another mother wrote:
“We used the information in your book on ecological breastfeeding to space our babies at 2 years apart (and continue to do so), but all of your references to the Church and Faith got this life-long Protestant thinking!  To make this long story shorter, we will be received into the Catholic Church on Pentecost Sunday, along with our six children.  I just wanted to thank you for the part you share in this.  This journey has been one where God has shined little lights along the path we were traveling on.  You have been one of those lights!”

A father wrote:
“When my wife first read this article [The Crucial First Three Years] when we were Protestants, my wife was attending college and I was working.  Our plan was for her to finish college, and I would stay home with our son.  At the most, we would only be away for 17 hours a week, and during this time he would be watched by grandma.  We never really considered the effect it might have on him because 17 hours a week was the most that he would be left, and once she obtained her degree, I would stay home.
     Thank you for causing me to look at my beliefs and values.  Thank you for having the guts to tell us what no other minister or friend would.  Since we read this article, my wife is now working at home.  We are expecting our second child, and further research has led us to the doors of the Catholic Church.  God works in mysterious ways.  Thanks for being His vessel.”

“Among these associations (in the apostolate of the laity), those which promote and encourage a closer harmony between the everyday life of the members and their faith must be given primary consideration.”—Vatican II, Apostolate of the Laity, n. 19.

Priests and lay ministers should be promoting ecological breastfeeding and the importance of mothers to be present and available to their little ones.  Couples who practice eco-breastfeeding frequently begin to appreciate God’s plan for their family and may look more seriously to the Church for answers to other questions of life, love and truth.

Sheila Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

February 2024 Newsletter

Packed in the 70s; low today. What happened?

My husband and I taught natural family planning to over 100 couples a month when we first moved to Cincinnati in the early 70s.  All the couples we taught were married and were not required to be there.  They were catechized.  Today we teach an average of 8 – 10 couples a month via the Home Study Course. Almost all the current student couples are engaged and are required to learn NFP and prefer to take a home study course as part of their marriage preparation.  A simple church bulletin announcement today typically produces no tangible results.  
Some or many of these couples do not follow Church teaching regarding chastity. Thus, we are very happy when couples comment on how much they learned taking our course, especially when they indicate an improvement in their spiritual lives.

What we taught in the 70s is what we teach today:  the theology of the marriage covenant, the various options of the sympto-thermal method, and ecological breastfeeding.  Our teaching has not changed…just the Church and social environments.

Sheila Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

January 2024 Newsletter

NFPI's Home Study Course

Here are some recent comments we’ve received from our Home Study Course student couples:

This was a great course. We have learned so much! We would give the course a 10/10. We enjoyed working through the tests and learning together. We appreciate the detail the course goes through and will keep the manual as a reference in the future.

We found [the course] informative and beneficial in gaining new knowledge about fertility awareness and reproductive choices.

We really appreciate your instruction and are grateful for your involvement. We will be spreading the word of NFP among our friends and family that's for sure! Thanks again and
God bless!

The test chart was quite fun to interpret as there were interesting stats recorded in comparison to the practice charts but really engaged our critical thinking! Thanks!

We would rate [the course] a 10 because it is very in depth, technical, and showed us an immense amount of knowledge for strategy and plan of action for the future. A lot of the material is new, especially in today’s culture where value of life and sanctity of marriage has been greatly de-valued in the eyes of society.

We found the class very informative and the self pacing is very helpful for our busy schedule. We have definitely learned a lot from this class. There has been a lot of good information that we had never heard about and likely would not have ever heard about without this class.

We have gained so much new knowledge from this course that we will definitely use starting now and continue on in the future that we are so grateful for.

We have really enjoyed reading and studying the natural family planning complete approach and have been so grateful for this opportunity prior to our marriage.

I would rate it a ten. We have learned so much from this course.

There is a huge breadth of information that’s both valuable from a practical and religious standpoint contained within this course, and it provides both practical and religious guidance on how to use the material. The material is also presented (thankfully) in an easy-to-understand manner.

Very informative and good explanations! We have gained new knowledge. We are a very natural-based living couple, so spending our marriage with an extension of that lifestyle into planning our family just makes sense. We also liked the resources given to us to track my fertile and non-fertile times, and real time applications we can apply to our marital practice.

P.S. I feel it is a privilege to work with these couples.  If you are interested in helping couples use this course, go to the top of the NFPI home page at, and contact us. Steve Craig, Executive Director

December 2023 Newsletter

a possible bulletin insert for Why is Contraception Wrong

1.  Contraceptive behaviors are morally wrong because they contradict God’s plan for love, marriage and sexuality.
     God has a plan for love, marriage and sexuality.  In that plan, the marriage act is meant to be exclusively a marriage act.  That means that such an action outside of marriage is intrinsically dishonest, pretending to be what it cannot be.  The Bible calls such actions fornication and adultery or sodomy.
     In God’s plan, the marriage act within marriage is intended to be a renewal of the marriage covenant the couple freely entered.  It ought to affirm and renew the self-giving love and the for-better-and-for-worse commitment of the marriage vows.  But the body language of contraceptive behaviors says, “I take you for better but positively not for the imagined ‘worse’ of possible pregnancy.”  They contradict the marriage covenant and are thus dishonest and immoral.

2.  Some forms of birth control contradict God’s plan for taking care of our health.  
     Good health is a great gift from God, and we are obliged to take reasonable efforts to take care of it.  Some women use the birth control pill which significantly increases a woman’s risks of suffering breast cancer.  Compared to women who never use the Pill, a woman who uses the Pill increases her risk of breast cancer by 44% if she ever uses it, and she increases her risks by 52% if she uses it for four or more years before her first full-term pregnancy. (C. Kahlenborn, FM Modugno, and others, “Oral contraceptive use as a risk factor for premenopausal breast cancer: a meta-analysis,” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2006:81(10):1290-1302.)  The WHO has labeled the birth control chemicals as a Group 1 carcinogen—the most dangerous classification.  Who is anti-woman—the people who want to foist this carcinogen on unsuspecting teenagers or the Church which teaches its people not to contracept?

3.  Contraception contradicts what Jesus teaches us about marriage.
     Jesus clearly teaches us in Scripture and in his Church that God has created the state of marriage.  When questioned about divorce, Jesus put it very simply: “What God has put together, let no one take apart.”  That also applies to the marriage act.
     Who put together the procreative and the unitive aspects of the marriage act?  Every believer has to say, “God Himself put together these two aspects in the marriage act.”
What is contraception except the effort to take apart what God Himself has joined in the marriage act?  There’s no getting around it—that’s what contraception is all about.

What is the moral and healthy and effective alternative?
Natural family planning, of which there are two forms.     
     1.  Systematic NFP refers to the regular observation of the physical signs of fertility and infertility, frequently called fertility awareness.  It can be used at the 99% level of effectiveness for postponing pregnancy.  Among less-fertile couples it can be very helpful for achieving pregnancy.
     2.  Ecological Breastfeeding is based on mother-baby togetherness and frequent suckling.  Research has shown that Ecological Breastfeeding delays the return of postpartum fertility for 15 months, on average.  

John Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer


November 2023 Newsletter

Natural Family Planning: The Importance of the Mother to the Baby


One of the benefits of God’s plan for spacing babies with the right kind of breastfeeding is that the breastfeeding relationship keeps the mother with her baby.  I’d like to share some thoughts on this from Saint John Paul II.

On Human Work: 1981
“To take up paid work outside the home is wrong from the point of view of the good of society and of the family when it contradicts or hinders these primary goals of the mission of a mother.”
“Mothers have an irreplaceable role.”

Address to “Women, Wives, and Mothers,” Familia et Vita, January 1995.
“Women can never be replaced in begetting and rearing children…  Women as mothers have an irreplaceable role.”
“The children also have a right to the care and concern of those who have begotten them, their mothers in particular.”

The Gospel of Life: 1995
Sincere gift of self by the mother: “daily heroism”  “brave mothers”  “heroic mothers” (86)
Baby: “Every human being” is “an icon of Jesus Christ.” (84)
“The family is the sanctuary of life.” (6, 11, 59, 88, 91, 92, 94)

May 12, 1995 address to scientists at Vatican breastfeeding conference.
“No one can substitute for the mother in this natural activity.”
“This natural activity benefits the child and helps to create the closeness and maternal bonding so necessary for healthy child development….So vital is this interaction between mother and child that my predecessor Pope Pius XII urged Catholic mothers, if at all possible, to nourish their children themselves (Oct. 26, 1941).”

Sheila:  God’s plan for spacing babies has many benefits.  Not only the spacing but also health and emotional benefits for both mother and child. 

Let’s pray that our government and our Church with the Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, and teachers will promote ecological breastfeeding because of these many benefits.

Sheila Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

October 2023 Newsletter

Natural Family Planning and Unchaste Behavior

Chapter 1 of our NFP manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, is a New Evangelization effort.  Section 6 of that chapter is titled, “The Bible and Church teaching on contraception.”  There we present biblical teachings, a short statement on the Theology of the Body, and an even shorter statement of the covenant theology of the marriage act.

After quoting Humanae Vitae n. 14, we provide a list of behaviors that seek to render procreation impossible.  Included in that list are masturbation, whether mutual or solitary, and “marital sodomy, (anal sex or oral sex).”

Then we ask: “Why do we mention masturbation and marital sodomy?”  Our answer: “It’s because we listen and read.  People have told us that at one time they were practicing their own form of NFP with masturbation during the fertile time…..  We have read in the daily papers that in some parts of the United States about half of high school teenagers have experienced oral sex.

It takes no genius to realize that if couples with immoral experiences attend an NFP course and learn about abstinence during the fertile time, they may continue in their immoral behaviors unless the NFP course teaches such behavior is immoral.  Chaste abstinence is the pregnancy-avoiding “method” of true systematic NFP.”

What we teach is more than what is in most of the other NFP programs.  Unfortunately, most say nothing about morality and religion.  It is just non-contraceptive birth control. Some do not include Church teaching because they believe the method they teach stands on its own merits as a method of birth control.   Maybe in the early 1960s that was true.  But in today’s culture, chaste abstinence must be taught.

John Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

September 2023 Newsletter

Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing

Background: Breastfeeding mothers experience widely different durations of breastfeeding infertility. Some have a first ovulation by three months; others one or two years later. Research studies, both prospective and retrospective, were reviewed to determine if breastfeeding patterns affect the duration of breastfeeding infertility. Studies from the 1940s up to the 21stth century show that only frequent suckling provides a significant delay of fertility. The type called ecological breastfeeding provides, on average, 14 to 15 months of breastfeeding infertility.

Conclusion: Breastfeeding types need to be defined. The Church should promote and teach ecological breastfeeding as a desirable option for natural family planning. Eco-breastfeeding involves no abstinence, offers many benefits to mother and baby, is ecologically sound, and provides extended natural infertility. God does have a natural plan for spacing babies.

Let’s start with a simple question. Does God Himself have a plan for the natural spacing of babies through breastfeeding? In other words, has God Himself created woman in such a way that the suckling of her infant at her breasts will delay the return of her fertility to produce a natural spacing of births? The answer is YES, but only IF the breastfeeding involves frequent and unrestricted nursing. This natural spacing of babies is provided without sexual abstinence.

Every woman and every man have a God-given right to learn the wonderful health benefits that God has built into the breastfeeding relationship and how these are maximized through ecological breastfeeding.  Ecological breastfeeding offers many benefits to both mother and baby, even years later after the breastfeeding has ceased. In the NFP International user’s manual, Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach, you will find a list of 21 very specific health advantages for babies plus another six general advantages such as fewer sick days and higher scores on cognitive and IQ tests at school age. You will also find two lists of advantages for breastfeeding mothers.

When couples realize the benefits of mother-baby togetherness, this can influence some of the decisions they make. To afford living on one income after the first baby comes, they may decide to live in a lower priced house and to buy less expensive furniture.  No one can force such decisions, but if they want to do what is best for their children, many well informed couples might order their priorities accordingly. 

John and Sheila Kippley, co-founders and current volunteers

August 2023 Newsletter

Ways to Learn Natural Family Planning


NFPI Manual: Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach
Most couples can learn natural family planning simply by reading this book and doing the practice work as they read along. Couples learn all the signs of fertility and ecological breastfeeding, all in the context of Catholic teaching. This manual can be purchased or easily downloaded at a suggested $10 donation. See the home page of

NFPI Online Course: The NFP Home Study Course is available for a suggested donation that is about half of what most other NFP organizations charge. You learn more but pay less. You also receive individual attention via regular email correspondence during the course. Click at the top of the home page of for Home Study Course to learn more about this online educational service.

Your Right to Know: This is one of the most important services at the NFPI website. NFP International is an organization that teaches all the common fertility signs and rules, provides Catholic Church teaching related to the practice of natural family planning, and teaches ecological breastfeeding for the natural spacing of babies. We believe that married couples have a right to decide what options they want to use, not the NFP teacher. The only way you can choose is by knowing the legitimate moral choices. At “Your Right to Know” at the top of the home page of you will find eleven subjects that should be taught at a good natural family planning class. Click each one!

NFPI website: Many research papers and articles related to natural family planning or historical events are available at the NFPI website. Explore and enjoy.

Sheila Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

July 2023 Newsletter

What students are saying about the NFPI Home Study Course

Here are some comments from people who have recently taken the NFPI Home Study Course:

We had never heard of ecological breastfeeding before this. We didn’t know you could space children/extend infertility this way. We also learned a lot about the church teachings.

This course has been extremely informative and thorough in the information it provides as well as helpful in providing steps on how to incorporate what we have learned into our lives.

We have gained a completely new outlook on childbearing and child rearing. It is much more beautiful than expected.

While we completed the course, we were able to learn more about the natural signs and timings that we need to practice when our marriage begins. Also interesting to see how much our faith plays in the process of trying to conceive. [T]he charting helped as the temperature and texture test show so much about where my body is in the ovulation process.

This course has been extremely informative and thorough in the information it provides as well as helpful in providing steps on how to incorporate what we have learned into our lives.

This course was extremely thorough and informative. I appreciated how in depth the authors went in on the various Phases and Rules to ensure complete and total understanding. The mid-chapter examples of charting were helpful to grasp the concept of charting. My fiancé and I also resonated with the Catholic explanations and excerpts from different Popes on the importance of NFP and the dangers of immoral practices and different contraceptives.  

I prefer working at my own pace and on my own time, and this course allowed me to do so. [Also, we benefited from taking this course by] learning how to chart cycles properly [and] new perspectives on the role of the marriage act and children, especially thanks to the testimonials.

[The course] has taught me a lot about what the Catholic Church believes about childbirth and beginning a family. It has also taught me a lot about my own body.

It was nice to learn how the church handles family planning and [we] look forward to implementing this in our marriage.

We really enjoyed the honesty and transparency in this manual and the clear, thorough explanations, all while retaining the Catholic foundation. I have learned so much more about my cycles, added new terminology to my arsenal, and feel more confident in interpretations. Thank you so much for this amazing program! We learned so much.

*** To learn more about the NFPI Home Study Couse, go to

Steve Craig
Executive Director

June 2023 Newsletter

Morality and the Right to Know

I think we do a disservice to anyone interested in NFP if we avoid Catholic teaching on this topic.  You do not have to present a “theology of the body.”  It may be helpful to remember that when the Pope wrote his Letter to Families in 1994, ten years after he completed his Theology of the Body lectures, he did NOT suggest to his intended audience of ordinary laity that they study his 129 lectures. Instead he urged them to remember that the marriage act ought to be a renewal of their marriage covenant (section 12).  He also reminded them that marriage is for family.

Basic Catholic teaching is simple and makes good sense.  Every human person, not just Catholics, has a God-given right to learn it.  The right kind of NFP course provides an excellent way to share this part of the truth.

Further, couples have a God-given right to know all the common signs of fertility. They should not have to take another course – at more time and more expense – to find out about the value of the temperature or the mucus or the cervix.

With regard to use-effectiveness, it is my understanding that comparative studies show that mucus plus temps has a higher effectiveness than mucus-only. The temperature sign is extremely helpful to the couple using natural family planning.

John Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

May 2023 Newsletter

Natural Family Planning Manual

What others have said about the NFPI manual.

Great book. Super helpful. Thank you so much for offering a downloadable version, was what I needed right at that moment! …although, next time I think I’ll get the hardbound, easier to read and share. ????

My fiancee would like to use NFP once we are married, and your downloadable manual has already been a huge help to us. We found the manual thorough yet easy to understand, and appreciate the inclusion of the subjects of morality and theology.

The NFP manual I downloaded off your website is so easy to follow.  My husband and I have been using an IUD for the last six years after the birth of our second child.  We had tried NFP at the beginning of our marriage, but were disappointed with the little support we received when trying to learn NFP.  We were introduced to the Billings Ovulation Method through our Diocese and were not even aware that the Sympto-Thermal Method existed.  We got pregnant 4 months into our marriage and didn’t even finish the 3rd class. While our little bundle of joy came to us sooner than we had planned we accepted her with great joy!!! However, because of a lack of understanding of the basic tenants of our Catholic faith, we had fallen away. My husband and I, by the grace of God, have recently come back into the Catholic faith and are excited to fully participate!

I appreciate this manual so much! I have obviously been living in my body my whole life and somehow this manual has made my body seem like a whole new world of wonderful functions that God planned as only God can. The biology and theology included is immensely helpful! I see how God really did think of everything and that His plan is perfect. It makes me feel like I really am part of a bigger plan and that’s a really good feeling!

Excellent manual! Thank you so much for providing this manual online and at such a reasonable cost.

I used the NFP method once before and it worked well. I am looking forward to using it again as a form of natural birth control. Thank you so much for offering the manual free to [those] who need it!!!

When I read your manual and the covenant theology, it was like it just logically laid out exactly how I felt about the issue of birth control and what I had felt God speaking to me, but couldn’t explain. My husband read about one page of your manual, and that was it. We are never using birth control again. He understands that it is unbiblical and ethically wrong, and, just like that, my 3-year prayer is answered. I can’t thank you enough for what you do, and I will continue to help you get the word out about NFP and God’s plan for sexuality in marriages.

Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach ought to be mandatory training for every couple who wants to get married in the Catholic Church. There is a wealth of information here that Catholics simply do not know about. I try to get information about Natural Family Planning International out to as many people as possible. This site is invaluable. Over and over I see people talking about NFP without eco-breastfeeding or proper sexual morality. Everyone (Catholic or not) needs to hear about this. Thank you once again for all of your wonderful work.

Thank you for putting the manual out there.   I’m tired of trying to remember to dig for the book when the charting is not perfectly “normal”. Now with [an e-copy] there will be no excuses! My husband and I wrestled with the issue of NFP for 20 years of marriage.  I am happy to say that now that we have both decided on an unswerving course of obedience to the Church’s teachings, the blessings have become so apparent within our marriage.

Sheila Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

                                                                                    APRIL  2023 Newsletter

                                           A Reply to Criticism of Natural Family Planning

A few years ago, we learned about a magazine article that was quite critical of several aspects of the NFP movement. Because some of that criticism is still going on, I think it might be helpful to review it.

First, any criticism of the NFP movement in general needs to distinguish between the different NFP providers and what method or systems they teach and what they do not teach. Research clearly shows that mothers who practice Ecological Breastfeeding will experience 14 to 15 months of breastfeeding amenorrhea, the absence of periods due to breastfeeding. This truly is God’s own plan for spacing babies. Is it not a serious omission not to teach God’s own plan for spacing babies? Unfortunately, NFP International is the only NFP Provider that teaches Ecological Breastfeeding.

Furthermore, the arithmetic in the article was faulty. Without ecological breastfeeding and without any systematic NFP, the fertile couple who marry in their early twenties and do not practice contraception will have 18 to 20 children, not 8 to 10 as the article stated. I can remember very well in the early Sixties the 30 year-old mother with seven children asking me, as the parish lay evangelist, what they were supposed to do for the next 15 years of her fertility. She already had bulging varicose veins. At the time I could only mumble something about calendar rhythm, and I didn’t know much about that.

Young couples have a right to learn the full story which includes Humanae Vitae and its call to generosity and the ordinary obligation to do what is best for your children (see HV 10-16). That certainly includes ecological breastfeeding and all the signs of fertility so that they can exercise their right to make an informed decision. It also includes Catholic teaching on marital chastity so that “NFP” couples do not delude themselves into thinking that oral sodomy and mutual masturbation during the fertile time are morally permissible alternatives to the marriage act.

Young readers, I suggest you go to the NFPI website ( and click on Your Right to Know and then NFP Articles. Then explore and enjoy.

John F. Kippley, co-founder and current volunteer

March 2023 Newsletter

A Natural Form of Family Planning and Child Rearing

“Attention should be given to the positive benefits of breastfeeding for nourishment and disease prevention in infants as well as for maternal bonding and birth spacing”. – St. John Paul II, Address to International Conference on Population and Development, March 18, 1994

 Does breastfeeding space babies?  You bet it does.  Here is what mothers are saying!

“This is the only method of child spacing that appeals to my husband and me in every possible way.  Myself, I look for simpler answers—ones that women in non-technological societies might discover—and in breastfeeding I found it.”

“I thank you for the positive effect you’ve had on my mothering skills.  I nursed my first baby for 4 months and quit because of the inconvenience.  I nursed my second baby for 22 months because it was so very convenient.”

“My children are spaced three years apart due to ecological breastfeeding.”

And a breastfeeding Jewish mother says: “I am so thrilled with G-d’s amazing natural form of child spacing that benefits everyone in the most wonderful of ways.”

I encourage everyone to do what they can to promote this natural way of spacing babies.

Sheila Kippley, author of “Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood”, “The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding”, and “Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing”


                                                                         January 2023 Newsletter

One NFP instructor said:  The philosophy of the mucus-only method she taught “is that every woman is entitled to the knowledge of her fertility, so religion is not a part of the instruction in this method” even though the founders of the method were Catholic.   Below is John’s response.

John:  Even more important than every woman’s right to understand her fertility is her right to know God’s plan for the proper use of her sexuality.  The Great Commission of the Lord Jesus at his Ascension called for the apostles and their successors and co-workers to tell the Good News to the entire world, and to teach everything that he had commanded them.  Chapter 10 in St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is highly applicable to the message of marital chastity.  To paraphrase, How can people be saved unless they believe and act properly, and how can they believe unless someone tells them…?

The Church is in a crisis today, and much of the problem is that too many Church leaders have treated the teaching of Humanae Vitae with benign neglect. At the same time, the leaders of the Church today are calling for a New Evangelization in which Catholics and others will become aware that it is Jesus Himself who is the Author of the teachings of the Church.

The subject matter of the NFP movement is at the heart of the sexuality crisis in the world, and a biology-only approach is no longer sufficient, if it ever was.  Participation in the NFP movement is a privilege, and it is also a call to exercise the New Evangelization.   This is not the time to hide under a bushel basket the very light that leads us.

Everyone has a God-given right to know that each and every act of sexual intercourse is intended by God to be exclusively a marriage act between heterosexual spouses married to each other.  Everyone has a right to know that the marriage act ought to reaffirm the commitment and caring love of the original marriage covenant.

Everyone has a God-given right to know about Ecological Breastfeeding, the kind of breastfeeding that really does provide a natural, abstinence-free, spacing of babies.

Everyone has a God-given right to know all the common, easily taught and detected signs of fertility and infertility.

And everyone has a right and a need to know that the Lord Jesus has given us a visible and tangible way of knowing the truth about the meaning of love and sexuality, namely, the Catholic Church led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a guidance promised repeatedly at the Last Supper. That’s part of the New Evangelization to which all Catholics are called.

John Kippley 

Co-founder and current volunteer