LINCOLN - The Marquette Model (MM) brings up-to-date technology into the practice of Natural Family Planning (NFP).
Developed at Marquette University’s Institute for Natural Family Planning in 1999, the Marquette Model is taught only by licensed medical professionals such as registered nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The training for instructors is based on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ standards for NFP as well as Marquette University’s goals of research and innovation in NFP services.
The Marquette Model system has the option for couples to monitor bio-markers similar to other NFP methods such as temperature and cervical mucus. Additionally, the ClearBlue fertility monitor can be used to assess urine metabolites to determine the fertile window of a woman’s cycle.
“For busy moms, the ease of use from the additional technology is often a breath of fresh air,” said Rebekah Knobleoch, RN, BSN, Marquette Model instructor. “One quick test in the morning, before they even have their first cup of coffee, and then they’re done for the day. You can chart on the app on your phone whenever you have a free moment that day. It works well for this hectic season of life.”
Knobeloch began Marquette Model instructor training in August 2017 when she discovered there were no instructors for this particular NFP model in Nebraska. After completing courses focused on reproductive anatomy and physiology, reproductive health issues, Church teaching including Humanae Vitae and other relevant papal encyclicals, and special circumstances within a couple’s fertility, Knobeloch began instructing couples in Nebraska.
The response within Lincoln has been overwhelming. Knobeloch has instructed more than 60 couples in less than six months. Nearly 75% are postpartum, breastfeeding mothers. Marquette Model has a specific breastfeeding protocol to help women understand and monitor their fertility as their bodies transition from pregnancy to delivery, through the period of breastfeeding and back to regular cycles.
“Like most breastfeeding mothers, my hormone levels and cervical mucus were unpredictable during the year following the birth of my son,” said Jenny Samson, the mother of four young sons and a member of St. Joseph Parish in Lincoln. “The Marquette Model helped to take the guesswork out of knowing whether or not I was in a fertile window.”
Another stage in life that can be challenging for couples practicing NFP is perimenopause.
“Marquette’s NFP Institute also has developed a protocol for women who are moving out of the childbearing season and approaching menopause,” Knobeloch explained.
She continued, “My passion is women understanding how their bodies work and meeting them where they are at. What works best for an engaged couple versus a postpartum mom of four kids versus a woman approaching menopause can look totally different. Some women love the app, others prefer paper charting. Women should have confidence in whatever natural family planning method they are using.”
Lynn Burda, a member of St. Teresa Parish in Lincoln, expressed the confidence Knobeloch mentioned.
“Marquette has changed everything about our fertility to a positive,” she said. “We’ve never had more confidence in a natural family planning method. With that educated confidence, we have given God more room to work in our life,” she explained.
With flexible, evidence-based options for monitoring and charting fertility, Marquette Model allows for couple-centered fertility healthcare under the guidance of medically trained professionals.