Our family has been blessed by the Billings Ovulation Method for nearly 14 years of married life. Over the years, we have used the BOM to achieve pregnancy, postpone pregnancy and help manage my health (including PCOS, endometriosis, and hypothyroidism).
With that being said, I think the biggest blessing of using the BOM has come in the form of our fifth, and currently youngest child, Lucy.
With her pregnancy, things went smoothly and we were all excited she made it to 38 weeks (longer than her two siblings right before her)! Her birth was uneventful, and she was given a clean bill of health by her pediatrician. We were home and adjusting to being a family of seven when, on her fourth day of life, her breathing quickly deteriorated over a couple of hours and we rushed her to our local Children’s Hospital.
Her tiny body went through so many tests trying to discern what was going on—blood draws and swabs, echocardiogram, spinal tap and more. She was hooked up to antibiotics, fluids and other things. In the wee hours of the next morning, we were admitted into the PICU with things being ruled out, but the cause of her distress was still a mystery.
I distinctly recall standing at the foot of her little bed, rubbing circles on her belly, praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet as the sun began to rise and thinking, “Lord, I don’t know what is wrong with our Lucy." This is hard and I know we are simply entrusted with our children while they are on earth—however long that may be. But I KNEW God had a plan for Lucy and wanted her to exist, even if it turned out to be for a short time. You see, as a couple we charted well and had strictly followed the rules to postpone pregnancy for 4 YEARS, taking no chances by breaking or “fudging” any rules. One night, on a day of what we knew to be possibly fertile, before giving our combined “yes” to each other and God, God used that yes and that marital act to co-create Lucy with us.
Lucy is now two. Her doctors have learned that she has a rare metabolic disorder and when we took her to the children’s hospital as a newborn, Lucy was using Kussmaul breathing to compensate for very high ketone levels in her blood. Lucy’s care is often a lot: we have to keep up with measuring blood ketones at least daily, give her medication, coordinate her care among multiple specialists, limit her fasting times and, most importantly, keep her on a protein restricted diet, but she is thriving under this care. Yes, there are hard days, but because we charted with the BOM, we know the exact act of love she came into existence through. Knowing that, and knowing that our hearts were willing and open, I am always encouraged that this particular little girl, at this time in our lives, was willed by God, and that strengthens our resolve.
Dear Health Care Professional:
The Billings Ovulation Method Association (BOMA-USA) offers a diverse portfolio of educational resources for medical and allied health professionals in 2021. Please evaluate these opportunities and consider them for your training and continuing education needs this year.
BOMA-USA has developed an online platform that uses a combination of self-paced learning, recorded presentations, and live discussions. It launched on March 1, 2021 and includes:
Dear Friends of BOMA-USA,
It's that time of year again when BOMA-USA holds annual elections for Board members.
Each Board member is elected to a three-year term with a possibility of a one-time renewal for another three years. This year, we have four openings for Board members.
The Board is an integral and important part of our organization. Its work is of great value in supporting our membership and our mission. We need the Board to provide leadership and direction in the constantly changing and demanding world of fertility education. It is critical to keep our Board staffed with dedicated and energetic people to continue this progress.
There are many attributes that are essential in a Board member. Areas of particular importance include the following:
● A believer in and proponent of the mission of the Billings Ovulation Method®
● Experience with the Billings Ovulation Method®
● Experience with or knowledge of other NFP methods
● Computer and communication skills
● Willingness to financially contribute to BOMA and fund personal travel to an in-person Board meeting once a year (this meeting was virtual in 2020 and will be re-evaluated as needed)
Please prayerfully consider if you or someone else you know might be well-suited to offer themselves as a candidate.
Names and contact information of all nominees should be sent to the Nominations Committee Chair, Erica Jacobi at email@example.com, by Friday, June 11th.
We ask all of you to remember BOMA in your prayers that we may continue to be blessed with the leadership that our organization needs to provide the best, evidence-based, fertility education.
The BOMA-USA Nominations Committee
Q. Let’s start off by hearing about your family and where you grew up.
I grew up in a small town in central Illinois. I attended college in Davenport, IA, where I met my husband. We now live with our 2 kids in the Western suburbs of Chicago.
Q. When did you first realize you were interested in becoming a chiropractor?
I was exploring different professions in high school, trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college and met a chiropractor who loved what he did. His passion for helping people and zeal for chiropractic intrigued me and made me want to learn more. I started learning about what chiropractic is and fell in love with the philosophy that the body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism that can express great health. I decided I wanted to do this for a living and met a female chiropractor near my hometown who asked if I had ever been under the care of a chiropractor before. I admitted that I hadn’t and she suggested I try it, so that I could experience the benefits myself. I agreed and became her patient. After a short while, I noticed that my immune system was functioning better (I was chronically sick before then), I was performing better in sports (I was told I had ‘weak ankles’ that I sprained several times a season before chiropractic) & best of all my periods which were once painful and irregular were “normal” for the first time in my life. I had not started under her care for any of those ailments, as I didn’t know she could help me with them, but quickly realized that my health was better under chiropractic. It was then that I knew for certain that I wanted to help others in the same way she helped me. I specifically wanted to help women and children and went on to study for an additional 3 years after receiving my doctorate to become a board certified Perinatal and Pediatric Chiropractor & board certified Wellness Practitioner.
Q. Is there any link between chiropractic care and the treatment of infertility?
Yes. First and foremost, the role of the chiropractor is not to treat any condition or symptom, but rather to optimize the integrity of the spine and nervous system so the body is better equipped to maintain homeostasis and function as it should. There are several ways chiropractic links to and can help infertility.
Every organ, tissue, and cell in the body is impacted by the nervous system and the flow of information goes both ways; outgoing messages from the brain (efferent signals) and incoming feedback from the body to the brain (afferent signals). If there is a misalignment or vertebra not moving properly in a particular area of the spine, it can create inflammation/irritation along the path of those signals. This in turn disrupts the quality and quantity of those signals between the brain and body and the end organ is not able to function optimally. So if a woman has a misaligned sacrum (the bottom bone of the spine), that can impact the organs in that region which are the ovaries and uterus. Similarly, upper neck dysfunction can affect endocrine glands like the thyroid and pituitary glands while the middle back can affect the adrenals.
Another consideration is to look at the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system. Neurologists have held that the body (down to the cellular level) cannot be in growth and defense at the same time. Anything that pushes the body toward a sympathetic (fight or flight) state will simultaneously down regulate the hormonal and physiological processes for reproduction. Short term stress is fine and a part of life, but it is when stress becomes chronic month after month and year after year that it takes a toll. We now know through research that the stress hormones (cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline) that come from mental stress (how we think) and chemical stress (how we eat) can also come from persistent spinal dysfunction and misalignment, even without the presence of spinal pain. So when I help improve a patient’s spinal health, this allows their nervous and hormonal system to maintain that parasympathetic state of ‘rest, digest, and reproduce.’
Last to consider is something called ‘allostatic load.’ Basically allostatic load is the sum total of stressors in a person’s life that pushes them towards adaptive physiology (fight or flight) and away from that parasympathetic ‘rest, digest, and reproduce’ state. If you imagine swimming in a lake with a backpack on, your allostatic load would be like rocks in your back pack. The more rocks in your backpack, the harder it would be for you to keep your head above water and talk, think abstractly, breathe easy, and yes, reproduce. As a wellness practitioner I am dedicated to teaching patients how to eat well, think well, and move well (taking the rocks out of their backpack) so their fertility (and overall health) can unfold and express itself as designed. Many would call this the chiropractic lifestyle.
Q. Do you have any examples of a patient being treated for something else but had positive results related to cycle problems?
All the time. I just had a woman this week, who originally came to me for lower back tightness, tell me that since starting chiropractic care, her last 2 cycles were painless and a ‘normal’ flow for the first time in her life. I have patients who come to me once a month just to keep their cycles painless and regular.
Q. Can chiropractic treatment help male infertility?
Yes - men who struggle with infertility have been helped through chiropractic. Like I mentioned earlier, by improving spinal function you are turning down the sympathetic nervous system (fight or fight) & activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest, digest & reproduce system).
Combining Billings with Chiropractic Care.
Q. What inspired you to learn and then teach The Billings Method™?
When my husband and I were engaged, we took a Billings class in the Quad Cities. We moved away shortly after our class, but I felt I needed additional instruction. There were no Billings teachers in my area and when I called the Diocese to look for one, the woman told me they were looking for instructors and asked if I would consider teaching. I told her I would think about it but was not very interested. However, the thought kept coming to mind and I felt a calling to teach. I quickly realized how fluidly it went with my chiropractic training and that it was the missing link to helping women with fertility issues.
Q. Does the Billings chart come into play when treating patients?
Sometimes people come to me first as a Billings teacher, while others come to me first seeking chiropractic care. In either scenario, I have used the Billings chart to get a better picture of their cycle and with that information I can be more accurate in my diagnosis and recommendations. For example, I had a chiropractic patient that I was seeing for a few months who eventually told me that she had been struggling with fertility issues for 7 years. She had thyroid problems but was hesitant to take medication for it because of her religion and as a result was told she would probably never conceive. In addition to treating her through chiropractic care and lifestyle modifications, I taught her the Billings method and had chart reviews with her for several months. She conceived by the end of the year and now has a healthy baby boy.
Q. Do you have any recommendations for supplements that can help fertility?
My thought on supplementation is that it is important to give the body what it is deficient in and take away what is toxic. That said, they are not meant to replace a healthy diet. As a Wellness Practitioner, I look at my patients holistically and first help them understand what foods will assist them in sustaining proper function. From a dietary standpoint, my patients are commonly toxic in sugar, gluten, & dairy and are deficient in healthy fat (omega 3 fatty acids), fiber & nutrients coming from plants, and good quality protein (grass-fed, hormone free animals). As far as supplements, I will commonly recommend Vitamin D, fish oil & probiotics on top of eating a healthy diet.
Q. Finally, what do tell the skeptics about chiropractic?
I would first ask them why they are skeptical and then go from there. It may be because of a faulty perception that was handed on to them. There are many misconceptions out there. Or maybe they, or someone they know, had a bad experience. Ultimately I would tell them that chiropractic takes all the best current science and information on anatomy and physiology and applies it in a way to empower the patient to express their innate potential to express real health from the inside out.
At the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, there was discussion that it may cause infertility. This was based on the fact that a small protein segment of the virus’s outer envelope is similar to the protein called Syncytin-1, which is involved in normal placental function, primarily implantation.
The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are RNA vaccines which, when injected, cause your own cells, reportedly muscle cells, to produce a small piece of the viral envelop called a “spike protein”. The body then produces antibodies to that protein so if you become infected, the antibodies attack the virus at the place this “spike protein” sequence exists.
Questions still exist about how much of the sequence is actually shared between Syncytin-1 and the “spike protein” produced by your body after vaccination. As a further complication, there are likely differences between the various vaccines. One reference I found indicates that the sequence that is shared by both the “spike protein” and Syncytin-1 for the Pfizer vaccine is only 4 amino acids in length. https://www.thejournal.ie/pfizer-covid-19-vaccine-fertility-5294308-Dec2020/
The scenario that the body produces antibodies from the vaccine that subsequently attack the placenta can only be considered a remote possibility. The role of the immune system in pregnancy, however, is still an enigma. We know that it is a delicately balanced process and that disturbing this process can have implications for pregnancy and future fertility. I believe this indicates the need for caution. This reference suggests that multiple miscarriages have already been reported.
More recently, reports of menstrual cycle disruption and abnormal uterine bleeding have become evident https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/menstrual-changes-to-be-expected-after-covid-19-vaccine-during-pandemic-experts-1.5391236. Since BOMA-USA is a leader in fertility education, we feel it is important that our teachers have information that allows them to answer questions from their clients. It is not our intent to tell you what you should personally do or say to your clients. Everyone must make an individual decision about the risks of COVID-19 and determine if they should put more trust in a vaccination or their own immune system.
How could the vaccine cause cycle aberrations and abnormal bleeding? As trained teachers of the Billings Ovulation Method®, we know that any illness or fever can influence the cycle. This is based on Dr Brown’s description of the continuum, causing cycle variants and bleeding that is not menstruation. On the other hand, there is a possibility that something more than an indirect response to illness or fever is happening.
We know that the spike protein produced by the body after vaccination, is similar to the spike protein on the virus. The function of the spike protein on the virus is to bind to the host cell in our body. It binds to our cells by attaching to a cell membrane protein called ACE-2 on the surface of cells in several types of tissue. Depending on the health status of the person infected, this binding can cause a chain reaction resulting in damage to the tissue (lung, heart, pancreas, etc.). Therefore, it should be suspected that a portion of the same spike protein could function in the same way as the virus itself if it also binds to ACE-2. This paper very elegantly discusses how the virus binds to the host cell, how the vaccines work, and the concern that the spike protein produced after vaccination can activate the same cellular mechanisms as the virus itself https://res.mdpi.com/d_attachment/vaccines/vaccines-09-00036/article_deploy/vaccines-09-00036.pdf
How can this effect uterine bleeding? Well, if the spike protein can bind to cells on the endometrium, like how viral binding affects lung, heart and intestinal tissue, it is reasonable to suspect that it would cause some kind of bleeding disruption. It turns out that the ACE-2 protein, is in fact present on the endometrium https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.23.168252v1. Furthermore, they state that viral binding could impair decidualization, implantation and placentation.
For a very thorough explanation of the importance of proper decidualization of the endometrium to reproductive health, read this fascinating reference https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/35/6/851/2354669.
Even if the virus or the spike protein produced after vaccination does bind to the endometrium and causes abnormal bleeding, it does not mean that the effect is long-term. There is no proof that either the virus or the vaccine can cause prolonged disruption to the functioning of the endometrium, especially since the uterus grows new cells every cycle. However, this vaccine was produced and implemented very quickly.
There has been limited testing in infants, women desiring pregnancy or pregnant women. Therefore, it has also not been disproven that there could be long-term effects on fertility.
The following statement was just released by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine on 4-20-21:
“Everyone, including pregnant women and those seeking to become pregnant, should get a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are safe and effective.”
This statement and a similar one put out by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists seem to lack the rigorous scientific evidence that has always been required for children and pregnant women. At the very least, there is reason to be skeptical of their motivation for this. Just because a health professional or health authority says it is safe, does not make it so.
Support for the vaccine is based on the belief that the risk of infection and spread of the virus is greater than the risk associated with the vaccine. However, it is important to point out that one does not have to look far into our history to see examples of medicines that were aggressively used only to find out later that they caused harm (i.e. Thalidomide).
Researching the evidence and prayerfully making your own personal decision is the best approach. You can find plenty written to support or not support the current reaction to COVID-19 and it may be difficult to decide. Nevertheless, before making your decision get information from multiple sources and consider the bias that exists in any source.
Below are some additional scientific references related to this topic.:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32145327/ Demonstrates that Syncytin-1 has a role in placental function and abnormalities that are linked to spontaneous abortion.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7678462/ Syncytin-1 is involved in normal placental function and is associated with implantation of the embryo
Syncytin-1 protein sequences are similar to viral envelops including SARS-CoV https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7092852/
”COVID-19 mRNA vaccines give instructions for our cells to make a harmless piece of what is called the “spike protein”. The spike protein is found on the surface of the virus that causes COVID-19.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mrna.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137383/ Syncytin-1 is a protein that is produced by a retroviral gene that was incorporated into the human genome some time in past human development. It is a gene which is involved in normal placental development but is also linked to pathologies such as neuropsychiatric disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
I hope you find this useful and feel free to share your own comments.
Craig Turczynski, Ph.D.
Certified Teacher of the Billings Ovulation Method®
Director of Strategy and Scientific Affairs for BOMA-USA
Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease. It is also not intended to replace a relationship with your nurse or physician. We highly recommend learning about your own health and disease prevention so you can take an active role in your healthcare along with a qualified health professional.
Monday, February 15 at 6:30 pm Central
The Relevance of the History of the Billings Ovulation Method® to Certified Teachers
Join Martha Winn, RN, who will give a short PowerPoint running through the history of NFP followed by a panel discussion on how the Billings Method™ arrived on American soil as told by Dr. Hanna Klaus, Dr. Maria Girault, Kay Ek, Sue Ek, and Mary Pat Van Epps.
Thursday, April 29 at 6:30 pm Central
The theme will be marketing and promotion of the Billings Ovulation Method®
Tuesday, July 20 at 6:30 pm Central
We will look at the science of the Billings Ovulation Method®
Thursday, October 28 at 6:30 pm Central
The session will focus on charting.
How to overwhelm yourself with new clients in 2021!
Wisconsin Billings teacher, Heather Turner, has found herself with a full client load thanks to several marketing ideas that she started implementing before the pandemic.
Tap into your diocese/parish:
Use the BOMA brochure:
Get on lists:
Have a web presence:
Consider social media:
Now with current clients.
Stretch beyond your borders:
As you can see, promotion can be, “a little bit here and a little bit there, mostly passive and all free” (except for time, supplies, and gas).
If you do all of the above, you'll be overrun in pretty short order. If you are new to teaching, don't be afraid of a slow buildup by choosing a couple of the suggestions.
Be patient with yourself. Learning how to work with actual people and their charts, getting a routine for documenting contacts, and really letting all this information seep down deep in your bones – it all takes time!
To contact Heather, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Tell us about your family and where you grew up.
My dad grew up as a cradle Catholic on a small farm outside Yarmouth, Novia Scotia, Canada. My mum grew up as a Baptist in Yarmouth. She converted to Catholicism before they married. Faith was important in our family. My parents started their married life on the farm. On September 6, 1936, I became their firstborn child with a brother and two sisters who followed.
We lived in Digby, Nova Scotia, which was a town of some 2,000 people. We lived a simple but happy family life and kept in contact with our grandparents. Digby was considered a good port of the Bay of Funday for the scallop fishing boats. It is located about 12 miles from a basic-training naval base. As a result, in my early years, I had an awareness of the Second World War. It intensified when one of my dad's brothers was killed in Italy.
Q. What is the story of your journey to the priesthood? How did you serve the Church?
Looking back, I would say that it started just after my baptism when my parents took me to the statue of Our Lady in that church, in Yarmouth, and entrusted me to her care. She guided me in my human development and following Christ by the example of my parents, who had a strong devotion to her and the Rosary.
The Blessed Mother also helped bring members of the Missionary Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to look after our parish. And with them brought the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception to establish a Catholic school in Digby. The Oblates and the Sisters contributed to my journey to a priestly vocation with the Missionary Congregation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
After high school, I pursued a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ottawa, Ontario, at an Oblate University. Shortly before graduation, I heard the call, and in answering, entered the Oblate novitiate in Arnprior, Ontario, in September 1958. It was a year of formation in the Oblate way of life, deepening of spiritual life, and involvement with the manual labor task of running a small farm and community living. It was a good year. The novitiate ended a year later, and on September 8, 1959, I took my first vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Then, I returned to the Ottawa area to begin studies in Philosophy and Theology, etc. I took my final religious vows on September 8, 1963, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1964, in the family parish church, St Patrick's, in Digby. The whole day is still vivid in my mind and heart.
After a few years into the priesthood, I coordinated a marriage preparation course at St Patrick's College in Ottawa. During that time, I was introduced to the sympto-thermal method of NFP and heard some things about the Billings Ovulation Method®. In 1968, Pope Paul VI (now Saint Paul VI) introduced the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae into the mix for marriage and family preparation.
In July of 1974, I was given a new obedience to the Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, as the Newman Center Chaplain. That gave me the opportunity to prepare Catholic graduating students for marriage. Divine Providence provided some people who were aware of the BOM, along with some who wanted to teach it and others who could train them.
Thus, I was able to teach Humanae Vitae and have it backed up through the help of local Billings teachers.
We eventually developed an organization for the province known as WOOMB-Canada, for which I am the spiritual director.
In February of 1978, I attended a conference in Melbourne, Australia, that commemorated the tenth anniversary of Humanae Vitae. That is where I first met Drs. John and Lyn Billings.
The following year, with some of the Catholic medical students' help, we invited the Drs. Billings to speak to the medical school faculty and students.
Q. The Drs. Billings were deeply committed to practicing their Catholic faith. Do you remember when they asked you to be the Spiritual Director for WOOMB-International?
It was a gradual thing. During the early years, Dr. John asked me to be a board member. As the organization grew, he quietly asked for my input when we would meet in different parts of the world.
Dr. John was very aware of the support of Divine Providence and the need to discern its movement. The spiritual advice I gave the two of them was part of my friendship with them. Sometimes we met in Canada, sometimes in the USA, in Rome or Melbourne, as the Lord provided the opportunities. Following one of the conferences in Melbourne, the Board of Directors of WOOMB-International made the position official.
It has been a privilege to have a friendship with the Billings and to have been able to serve them. They were doing the important work that the Lord asked of them for the good of the Church and the world through the Billings Method™.
Q. Tell us about the document you wrote called "Spiritual Direction for Billings Ovulation Method Teachers." In it, you have a fascinating concept of how the devil can attract us away from Billings through the enticement of other good things (volunteering at church, for example). How did that come about?
What inspired that document was an awareness of God's tremendous gift in the Billings Method™ and the importance of each teachers’ work. I knew from my training as a priest that the devil would prevent that good from being accomplished. So, I paid attention. It became clear that his strategy was to exploit the teachers' generosity by encouraging them to become more involved in other good things so that they did not have time to teach the BOM. I realized it would be essential to explain it to our teachers. So, I wrote that document.
Q. Do you see the Billings Method™ playing any role in healing our broken culture in the future?
Yes, keep in mind that grace builds on nature. The Billings Ovulation Method® shows couples how to live their conjugal love more in harmony with Natural Law. The more God's grace can work in marriages, families, and other relationships, there is greater potential for healing our culture.
To that end, we need bishops and priests to be more aware of the positive impact that the Billings Method™ can have on our culture. Once they understand that, they can hardly not promote it.
To read Father Hattie’s “Spiritual Direction for Billings Ovulation Method® Teachers,” click here.
When PayPal notified me that Billings teacher, Barbara Villalobos of San Bruno, CA, had sent us a donation on December 2, I emailed her right away to thank her. She responded with, “Knowing that there are people like you and all the other members of BOMA out there gives me hope and strength to keep going forward through these messy times.”
It was a great reminder that we are all in this messy time together.
Can you help us with a special donation before the end of the year? Perhaps you would like to consider becoming a monthly donor? Either way, your donation would be appreciated, and it would help BOMA further our mission which is to provide the simplest and most personalized care in fertility education with a legacy of evidence-based effectiveness. Click here to donate now! If you prefer to send a check or use Square instead of PayPal, email me at Sue@boma-usa.org. Thank you for considering this!
~ Sue Ek
BOMA-USA provides education and training for The Billings Ovulation Method® which is a natural method of fertility management that teaches you to recognize the body's natural signs of fertility.
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