Mary Bruno is a happy wife to a selfless Saints Football fan and adoptive mom to a precious every-single-Disney-princess fan. She loves sports, chocolate, blogging, podcasting, rap music, and more chocolate. She’s a speaker, retired Physical Therapist Assistant, and soon to be certified Creighton Practitioner. You can connect with her here: Website | Facebook | Instagram
1 What made you want to become a Creighton instructor?
I decided to become a Creighton Practitioner to sharpen my knowledge of biology and fertility. I wanted to help improve women’s health education so that fewer women experience the health issues and late diagnoses that I did (more on that in question 5). I also hope to empower women with an effective, safer, and therefore more appealing alternative to birth control. I stay informed of the facts about birth control and teach that in conjunction with fertility awareness to all who will listen!
2 What was the process like to learn to become an instructor? What were the costs (time, money, etc.)?
One word: intense! It is considered an Allied Health Profession and the entire training program lasts 13 months at minimum, after which certification is voluntary. Within this time, each Practitioner is required to complete:
- A 9-day immersion course followed by a 6 month supervised practicum serving at least 6 clients
- A 6-day immersion course learning advanced techniques followed by a 7 month supervised practicum serving at least 12 clients
- 2 day-long supervised “On-Site” visit
- Multiple assignments
- Passing of final exam (oral and written, up to 6 hours long)
The cost per student varies depending on the location of the course and individual travel expenses. All training is completed in person in classes with at least 5 students, and is offered in various parts of the country, as well as internationally. The total cost of tuition, books, etc. is over $5000. This does not include the cost of the on-site visit.
The process is long, frustrating at times, and extremely challenging. But considering the complexity of the material and the importance of the lives we are affecting, it is worth it. The value of the knowledge and experience I have gained is priceless.
3 Can you briefly describe the way this method works in light of the particular biomarkers it tracks?
The Creighton Model allows the individual woman to monitor and maintain her own procreative and gynecological health. Each day, a woman charts her observations of mucus or dryness, bleeding, and any other relevant symptoms. Fertility is determined day-to-day based on the presence or absence of cervical mucus. Sperm need mucus to survive, so pregnancy cannot occur in its absence.
Other basic biomarkers include: Length of the menstrual cycle, length of the pre-peak (pre-ovulatory) phase, length of the post-peak (post-ovulatory) phase, and occurrence of the peak day.
Because this particular method is standardized and its biomarkers have specific physiologic correlates, the Practitioner is able to gather important information about the health of the woman, including high risk factors for: cervical inflammation, low progesterone, miscarriage, subfertility, PCOS, hypothalamic amenorrhea, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and more.
The Practitioner does NOT diagnose or treat, but can recommend some nutritional supplements and refer the client to a NaProTechnology Medical Consultant and/or Surgeon, who is trained to use the Creighton chart to provide authentic and restorative healthcare for the woman.
4 What are the main reasons you’ve encountered for why women choose this method? Is there any area you think this method particularly excels? Can improve?
I mainly encounter women (single, engaged, and married) who have some type of symptom or concern related to their fertile health that they want to understand and ultimately address. They also want to foster an appreciation for their fertility and gain the ability to recognize abnormalities that may arise as they age, especially when it comes to achieving optimal health prior to pregnancy.
I find that generally both women and men are alarmed at how much they didn’t understand about the woman’s body and their combined fertility and are consequently very pleased with the depth of understanding they receive through learning the Creighton Model.
I believe this method excels because of its standardization, follow up schedule (quickly increasing confidence in observing and charting), extensive health and surgical benefits contributed by NaProTechnology, and its ability to be used by any woman/couple regardless of cycle quality, reproductive category (breastfeeding, post-pill, pre-menopause, etc.), or reproductive age.
I appreciate how the system recognizes the uniqueness of every woman/couple by being tailor-made to the individual. The method can be vastly improved by more modern/updated materials and marketing
5 How has being an instructor enhanced your understanding of your own fertility and/or faith?
By the time I started training to become an instructor, I was nearly 6 years infertile due to a very late diagnosis of severe endometriosis that had already caused extensive damage to my fertile organs.
I didn’t hear of the Creighton Model and NaPro until after I was finally diagnosed and had 1 surgery. I charted for about 7 years before starting the training program. The charting alone (prior to training) gave me a great understanding of each cycle and how they changed over the years.
Most importantly, it has helped me understand that my infertility does not define me. The dysfunction in my chart is not a reflection of who I am. I recognize my value as a woman and spiritual mother, and see that all women are gifts regardless of their ability to bear children. My ultimate goal is to become healthy. No method or doctor can promise me a baby, but I have grown in tremendous knowledge and hope, and gained symptom relief through this system.
The program has given me an even greater appreciation for God and his amazing creation, seeing how he inscribed this information in our very bodies showing how much he loves us.
6 What resources can you share for women interested in learning more about this method? Communities, books, websites, etc.
CreightonModel.com and NaProTechnology.com are websites with clear and concise information that will be enlightening. There are easy to use tabs if you are looking for info on a particular topic like miscarriage, infertility, surgery, or research. FertilityCare.org will show the location of Practitioners and NaPro Medical Consultants in the United States.
For videos, check out “NaPro: A Quiet Revolution” and the TED Talk: “Roots, Bandaids, and Infertility”.
You can also find me on YouTube here.