Peoria NFP-only physician focuses on health of the whole person

Photo Caption: Dr. Jillian Stalling will be the featured speaker at evenings in Bloomington (July 23) and Peoria (July 30) on “Unlock the Mystery: Natural Option for Family Planning and Gynecological Health.”

By: By Tom Dermody

Dr. Jillian Stalling tries to keep in mind how the Divine Physician would approach a person as she treats patients as a Peoria-based obstetrician and gynecologist.

Dr. Stalling is an NFP-only physician, meaning that she does not prescribe, perform, or refer for contraception, sterilization, abortion or in vitro fertilization, and promotes natural family planning for achieving or avoiding conception.

Specifically, she is trained in a new women’s health science called NaPro Technology. NaPro stands for “natural procreative,” and it provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system.

Patients learn the Creighton Model FertilityCare System to chart and monitor the occurrence of various hormonal events during the menstrual cycle. Dr. Stalling then targets treatments that work cooperatively with the patient’s cycle to address a host of health concerns including infertility, premenstrual syndrome, and postpartum depression.

She will be the featured speaker at two casual evenings planned this month in Bloomington and Peoria on the theme “Unlock the Mystery: Natural Option for Family Planning and Gynecological Health.”

The Bloomington program will take place on Thursday, July 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the OSF St. Joseph Medical Center Business and Conference Center, 2200 E. Washington St. The Peoria program is scheduled for the following Thursday, July 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the OSF Women’s Health Center, 7800 N. Sommer St., No. 508.

Seating is limited, and for registration information contact Lisa Janszen at (309) 655-2034. Desserts will be provided.

Patients who would “never have dreamed of charting a natural method” soon realize “what a beautiful thing it is” when they are introduced, said Dr. Stalling.

“It’s beautiful to see the women who chart after having used some form of contraceptive in the past,” she told The Catholic Post as the Diocese of Peoria prepared to join in the national observance of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week July 19-25.

“You can see on their faces the realization at their ability to monitor these things without having to put chemicals and various foreign objects in their bodies to try to change a system that doesn’t need that sort of thing. It functions well on its own the majority of time,” she added.

A native of eastern Nebraska, Dr. Stalling is a 2006 graduate of Creighton University Medical School in Omaha. She became interested in using solely natural methods to improve a woman’s health during her second year of residency in Kansas, and returned to Omaha for a year of fellowship training with NaPro Technology pioneer Dr. Thomas Hilgers at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction and the National Center for Women’s Health.

Now a member of St. Mary Parish in Metamora, she is completing her fourth year with the Teverbaugh, Croland and Mueller OB-GYN and Associates group in Peoria.

“In the group I am with I have been amazingly supported,” said Dr. Stalling, who is working with OSF HealthCare and collaborating with the Diocese of Peoria to further spread NaPro Technology services and educate health professionals as well as the public.

“Many OB-GYN groups around the country are not willing to allow someone who practices in this fashion to even be in the same building as them,” she admitted. But her group has been very welcoming, and Dr. Stalling has found the central Illinois region open to an NFP-only physician. She especially cited the support of OSF, including The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis and Paul Kortz, education director of the OSF Saint Francis FertilityCare Center.

“They want this work to flourish,” she said.

Dr. Stalling emphasized that natural family planning today is much advanced over the “rhythm” or calendar method developed in the 1930s. But that outdated term is still used, even in the medical profession. Dr. Stalling cringed as she recalled being presented just this month an electronic medical record with treatment options including a host of contraceptives and then “the rhythm method.”

Today’s natural family planning methods — whether the Creighton Model, the Billings ovulation method, or the sympto-thermal system taught by the Couple to Couple League — take into account the unique nature of a woman’s menstrual cycle to identify times of natural fertility or natural infertility.

Dr. Stalling appreciates NFP’s holistic approach.

“We focus on the health of the entire woman,” said Dr. Stalling, a married mother of five. Built into the natural system of charting are the benefits it has for marriage, which she said puts SPICE in the relationship — an acronym standing for the spiritual, physical, intellectual, communicative/creative and emotional components.

Like St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, natural methods promote respect between the spouses and “keep together the body and soul parts of a person.”

“I and other NaPro Technology physicians think to, as much as we can, approach things from the standpoint of how we think the Divine Physician would approach a person,” she said, adding that means “with whole care, not just one aspect.”

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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