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More and more women are looking to understand their bodies, cycles and fertility these days. In turn, they are using this information to become empowered and take control over getting pregnant (or not) and possibly avoiding medical intervention along the way. I feel so lucky to live in a time when we don’t have to rely on one method to prevent or enable conception and instead women are able to actually become more aware of their bodies and how they work. Tracking monitors like the Himama device and app are making it easier than ever to do this, especially for moms who have other factors coming into play, like co-sleeping, nursing, etc.
Natural Family Planning vs Fertility Awareness Method
A few years ago, after reading an amazing book to more fully understand the female cycle (they left A LOT out in that middle school sex ed class FYI!) I decided to ditch the birth control to regulate my cycles and use the Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness Method instead.
These two terms are both used to describe practicing methods that don’t involve using birth control, however Natural Family Planning (NFP) is more closely related to religious reasons for not using contraception and the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)is really more about understanding your cycle to prevent or achieve pregnancy, with no religious reasoning and using other forms of contraception besides birth control pills/IUDs, etc. as needed.
Personally, I practice FAM and it is primarily for health reasons. Although I believe that birth control should be accessible easily and readily to everyone, I choose to not take birth control for possible health side effects.
It was while using FAM that I conceived my daughter and I knew earlier than a pregnancy test confirmed because of the information I was aware of thanks to my charting. Both NFP and FAM require you to learn about and keep track of your Basal Body Temperature upon waking up everyday. You do this in order to know when you ovulate and are actually fertile and when you are more likely to conceive or not.
Why Does Basal Body Temperature Matter?
Without going into too many specifics ( I don’t want to butcher the science of it!) tracking your Basal Body Temperature or BBT is the main method to understand your body’s menstrual/ovulation cycle to help you achieve or prevent pregnancy. Basically, your BBT is your lowest body temp and is usually recorded first thing in the morning. The day after you ovulate, your BBT will rise slightly, then continue to stay elevated until your next period before dropping again. So, tracking your BBT should allow you to know if and when you have ovulated.
Once you have tracked your BBT for a few cycles, you should be able to see about how long each phase of your cycle is and predict when ovulation is about to happen. Knowing this information will allow you to use your preferred method to not get pregnant during your fertile time or to try and achieve pregnancy during this time.
How Himama Can Help
When using FAM or NFP to track your cycles, it is recommended to get at least 3 hours of consecutive sleep before taking your temperature with a basal body thermometer. This is in order to get the most accurate reading. I was able to do this before having my daughter. Now that we co-sleep and she still nurses throughout the night, it is impossible for me to do that! I can’t guarantee that I will get 3 solid hours of sleep before waking up. Thankfully, that’s where the Himama device comes into play! I was so thrilled to learn that there was a device out there that would allow me to track my temperature and cycle without having to get 3 hours of solid sleep OR remembering to take my BBT every morning!
The Himama device is a small temperature sensor that you wear while sleeping that does all the work of tracking your temperature for you! It records all the data you need while you simply wear it and sleep. By wearing it under your arm while sleeping, it collects the accurate BBT data needed to track your cycle for you. When connected with the app on your phone, you will have all the information you need at your fingertips to practice Natural Family Planning or the Fertility Awareness Method.
How Does the Himama Device Work?
Using the Himama device is so easy! All you need to do is charge it, place it in the included “hitop”, go to sleep and let it do its thing! The hitop is like a little bra you can wear under your shirt and it places the temperature sensor in the correct place under your arm. When you sync the device to the Himama app on your phone, all the data will be uploaded and will be plugged into your cycle calendar. It also tracks your sleep for you too which was fun to see. It will predict your fertile period and after a few cycles it should be able to tell you when you are and aren’t able to conceive.
I will say that it can take a little bit of practice to understand and interpret the numbers. I would use the information provided on the app knowing that our bodies don’t always follow the same schedules and can be thrown off due to things like stress, etc. so using NFP or FAM is NOT ALWAYS 100 percent effective at preventing pregnancy! However, birth control pills are not 100 percent effective either. The ONLY 100 percent effective method for preventing pregnancy is to abstain.
Who Can Use the Himama Device?
Anyone who wants to learn more about their bodies and their cycles! Himama is ideal for people who would like to achieve pregnancy or try and prevent it without birth control pills or devices. It is perfect for mamas like me who can’t rely on taking their temperature every morning, either because of a nursing toddler or just life and the fact that having to remember anything with “mom brain” is impossible.
I love the freedom that the Himama device gives me to understand and predict my cycles. It allows me to be free from having to take birth control pills. Not only is the device such a great little tool but Himama provides its customers with an awesome support system and community as well! Want to understand your cycle? Want to stop taking birth control? Want to get pregnant? Want to make sure you don’t get pregnant? Then Himama is perfect for you!
Want other tips for achieving pregnancy naturally? Check out these posts!