Nature’s way: Planning for parenthood with faith by your side

By Beckie Lee, 12 June 2024
Simone and Philip with their daughter. Image: Supplied


The fertility journey is one that can bring overwhelming joy when couples discover they are expecting. But for some, the ability to conceive can be a process that can take effort and time. For these couples, there is an approach that is natural, effective, healthy and scientific.

In 2024, 25 couples and several women across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains have sought guidance and assistance from the Natural Family Planning (NFP) programs offered through the Diocese of Parramatta’s Mission Enhancement Team. By providing an understanding of the woman’s body using a number of different methods, NFP can help couples achieve pregnancy.

Simone and Philip were married for about 18 months and had a strong desire to grow their family. They found out Simone had underlying health issues which would make conceiving challenging.

“When my husband and I finally decided to learn about the Creighton Model FertilityCare System™, we were at a very low point in our fertility journey after struggling for almost two years to grow our family,” Simone said.

“At the time I knew very little about NFP, only that it was popular among many Catholic couples. It was something I first heard about when I attended a talk on Theology of the Body many years ago.

“Through learning about the Creighton Model System in particular, I was able to understand and learn about my bio markers. Creighton allows a woman to monitor her cycle and natural hormones and use tools such as charting to be more aware of the vital signs of fertility.”

During the process of falling pregnant, which they didn’t expect to be so challenging, Simone and Philip leant on each other and on the strength of God. Through strengthening their prayer life, their awareness and knowledge grew about saints such as St Gianna (patron of mothers) whom they prayed to asking for a gift of a baby.

“Because of our journey in the season of waiting, my husband and I have come to realise the importance of leaning more on God particularly during difficult times,” Simone said. “Praying to our Blessed Mother Mary and the saints and asking them to intercede in our prayers also gave us hope for the future.”

Happily, Simone and Philip are now parents to a beautiful baby girl who is 11 months old. As with many first-time parents, it can be overwhelming but beautiful at the same time. “It has been a precious gift and a treasured journey,” Simone said.

Fertility is a topic that can be a hidden battle for couples and one that is challenging for all that have been through the journey. Simone understands what it’s like having been through the journey and says that having faith is important during this difficult time.

“Knowing that the cross of infertility is often carried in silence and loneliness, we continue to open our hearts through prayer and offering Mass to those who might be going through what we did. The season of waiting is difficult for many couples, but don’t underestimate the power of praying to God, who has a perfect plan and to saints who also fought hard battles.”

Natural Family Planning in the Diocese of Parramatta

NFP provides a natural and hormone-free approach to planning a family that focuses on the body’s naturally occurring fertile and infertile times of the month. It is also an effective way for couples to avoid or space out pregnancies, for breastfeeding mothers and for peri-menopausal women.

Three different Natural Family Planning methods are offered in the Diocese of Parramatta: The Billings Ovulation Method®, the Sympto-Thermal Method and the Creighton Model FertilityCare™ System. The Diocese is also introducing a new program called the Wonder of Eve, aimed at educating young women to care for the gift of fertility in preparation for the future.

The Diocese is hosting a seminar for couples hoping to conceive, where they may have infertility issues and are seeking medical intervention to help them, on Saturday 15 June at the Bishop Bede Heather Centre, Blacktown. To register, please visit

For information on Natural Family Planning support in the Diocese of Parramatta, please contact Catherine on 0400 427 605, or email Information can also be found at

The Diocese of Parramatta is a member of the Australian Council of Natural Family Planning.

Beckie Lee is a freelance journalist and contributor to Catholic Outlook.

This article was originally published in the 2024 Ordinary Time | Winter edition of the Catholic Outlook Magazine. You can read the digital version here or pick up a copy in your local parish.


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