At my last midwife appointment I was asked the question every woman gets asked at the end of her pregnancy: "What kind of birth control are you going to use after this baby is born?" I despise this question. It grates on my every nerve. Doctors today present it as if there is no other option besides going on birth control after having a baby. And to top it all off, they ask it at every appointment from 36 weeks on and then 15 different times while you are in the hospital (this is no exageration). My answer is always they same, "We don't use birth control, we use Natural Family Planning." Doctors and midwives usually seem satisfied with this answer, but I am not.
I hate the fact that Natural Family Planning (which is not the "rhythm" method BTW) is grouped into the contraception category. True, some people use NFP as a contraception, but this is not the way it is supposed to be used. It is meant to be used to avoid pregnancy if, and only if, the couple has a moral, valid reason set by the church to avoid pregnancy, such as financially not being able to take care of another child or endangerment to the mother's health etc. Why is it automatically assumed in today's society that a woman has to get on birth control the second she gives birth? I understand women need time to heal and get used to this new life, but nature knows that and usually gives many months before a woman is even able to get pregnant again. Why can't doctors present the question as an option rather than a fact? I have never been asked, "are you going to use birth control", or "would you like to hear about birth control options", it's always "what kind of birth control are you going to use?" When I was about to have an emergency c-section with my son, I was asked 3 different times if I wanted my tubes tied during the procedure. Umm...excuse me?!? Not only was I only in my early 20's with my FIRST child, but I had just been told that my baby might die if we didn't do this quickly and that I was going to be cut open. Do you think I really could have made a good judgement at that time about having my tubes tied?!
I guess all these questions are just another testimony to the anti-life society we live in today. Which is why I need a better answer to these questions that are asked of me. I don't want to answer with, "I'm Catholic, I don't use birth control", because I don't want it to seem that the only reason I don't use birth control is because I'm Catholic. I do agree with the Church's teaching on the subject, but I believe Catholics and non-Catholics shouldn't use birth control for many many reasons I will post on another day. But for now, I need prayers and guidance as to how to respond to this common questions in an effective and charitable way. Any suggestions?
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