It doesn't role off the tongue. It kind of sticks there until you spit it out. Or at least that's how it felt until I learned more.
Postpartum is the time after having a baby. It's usually a prolonged time of infertility, your body's natural way of spacing children. However, the length of this "time of infertility" is entirely unknown. How fun is that?! (That was sarcasm.) The length of infertility depends on a few factors:
1) Baby feeding - If you formula feed, your cycles will probably return very quickly, but if you exclusively breastfeed (no bottles, pumping, pacifiers, or schedule) it could be over a year before you see a cycle. And there are many more options that fall in-between. Also, adding solid food to the mix speeds up the return of fertility.
2) Baby sleep patterns - When a baby wakes up frequently at night, it sends a signal to the mom's body that it's not a good time to have another baby because this one still requires a lot of attention. However, when babies start sleeping through the night a woman's body begins to normalize and cycles may return even if they are frequently nursing during the day.
My postpartum blessing, almost 14 months old now!
I was really excited about our use of NFP when I started reading about how birth control chemicals can be passed from mother to baby through breast milk. I was not a fan of that idea at all! But I still felt like I was kind of alone in the whole process of figuring out what the heck my body was doing postpartum. It was a lot to process--new baby, changed body. So we decided to contact an instructor to help us out. I highly encourage this! And not just postpartum, but anytime you are confused about what your body is doing when it comes to charting. Find someone to ask questions of and to confide in. (I can be that person if any of you reading need that :)
Having a husband who constantly builds you up helps postpartum, too!
Cousins just two months apart.
Finally, I learned to trust myself and God a bit more. I think our society has gotten it into our heads that we can't rely on our own observations and interpretations to accurately deduce our fertility without the help of chemicals or physical barriers. We've let fertility become this mystery when in fact it's very specific and a true science. It's my body. I've lived in it for a while now, so I think I can listen to it well enough to learn what it's doing. Postpartum isn't the easiest time for any woman, practicing NFP or not, but it doesn't have to be scary, surprising, or highly sacrificial. Learn about your body, work with an instructor if you need to, and finally trust yourself and be honest.