Natural Family Planning
CycleBeads are a color-coded string of beads that represent a woman's menstrual cycle. They employ the use of a rubber ring to note where you are in your cycle. This method was developed by Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health. More than 30,000 CycleBeads have been sold via the Internet in the United States, and according to an article in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, this method will soon be available for purchase in stores.
To use CycleBeads, the day a woman starts her period she puts the rubber ring on the red bead. Each day she moves the ring one bead. When the ring is on a red bead or dark bead, there is very low likelihood of pregnancy. When the ring is on a white bead—days eight through 19—there is a high likelihood of getting pregnant if a woman has unprotected intercourse. The first year pregnancy rate is about five percent.
The lactation amenorrhea method (or breastfeeding method) can only be used if a woman is nursing on demand (the baby's not on a schedule), she hasn't resumed her period, and the baby is less than six-months-old. The pregnancy rate is one to two percent.
Because there are so many birth control options available, it's best to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you have. If you feel comfortable, ask close girlfriends and family members about the pros and cons of the methods they use, too. In the end though, it's important to choose the best form of contraception for you, because after all, busy moms don't want to be worried about their birth control—they have enough to think about!