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  • looking for answer, conception during breastfeeding

    I am breastfeeding my 13mnth. old. She feeds a lot, and I have not had a period yet. It will be 2yrs. w/out this May. I was wondering about the age old use of breastfeeding as contraception(since no bleeding yet), plus only have one working ovary, and other one suffers from cysts. That is not it, I am also wondering if there is a way to conceive while breastfeeding, like cutting back or something. Finally I am interested in any women who have gotten pregnant while breastfeeding and their stories.

  • #2
    I think that using lactation as birth control only really works until the baby starts solids. You are within the normal range of when menses would be expected to return for a breastfeeding mom, so you really don't have any idea when your first fertile period would be.

    "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" has some information on this:

    http://www.ovusoft.com/library/faqfertility.asp#14

    There is some information on the LLL site about boosting fertility while breastfeeding:

    http://www.llli.org/NB/NBMayJune04p114.html

    Sorry I can't offer any personal experience, since conception for me involves medical intervention. But I'm sure you'll find some others here who have stories to share!

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    • #3
      It IS true that bf'ing can delay ovualtion/menstruation (not with me, however ) but I wouldn't use it as a form of birth control. You just don't know when that one ovary will release an egg for the first time. But...if you're wanting to conceive, increasing the intervals between feedings may help. I've known people who night wean to regain ovulation/fertility and have also heard of women nursing less during the day (when your little one can eat solids more) but continue to nurse on demand overnight.

      I got pregnant twice while breastfeeding but I'd had my period for months!?

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      • #4
        It is possible to conceive while breastfeeding. While breastfeeding Arianna, I had two pregnancies (Mackenzie and one miscarriage). Your menses will likely return soon even without any changes to your nursing schedule.

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        • #5
          For me I felt that stopping nursing helped me conceive. My first son nursed until he was a little over 2yrs old. I got pregnant 2 mo later. We had already been trying since he was 1 1/2. My menses returned when he was 11mo around the same time we night weaned. So I think some women have very sensitive ovaries to the breastfeeding hormones and some do not. I have asked a lot of people I know how it worked for them also as I contemplated weaning. I certainly would of NOT weaned him if it seemed to be a major source of conflict or stress for him, but he reacted very little luckily. I think your age and health might be factors also and for me I was worried about secondary infertility due to my first baby's c-section. My second was a homebirth I think you should certainly try a while--- still nursing----Who knows until you try! I have heard the you ovulate better if you sleep in a pitch black room!

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          • #6
            DS1 was 3 months old when DD was conceived w/o period first. Knew I could be fertile b/c cervical mucus during that time. I was exclusively BFing him but not ECOLOGICALLY BFing him.

            DD was 15 months old when period returned & she was 20 months when DS2 was conceived. We practiced ecological BFing w/ her & I was also still BFing DS1.

            Here is a site w/ info on ecological BFing that naturally spaces babies. At the bottom it tells the chances of pregnancy at different stages. Hope it helps.

            http://ccli.org/nfp/ebf/summary.php

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            • #7
              Thanks so much for all your insight. I know I don't have the cervical mucous for fertilization, of course I would still like to try, but thats a whole other post.
              Jen+Alice and partner Matt

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              • #8
                I agree with others. Take charge of your fertility is very helpful. I wish there was more research and literature on conceiving while pregnant.

                For me, my son was a very frequent night nurser until we night weaned him for the sake of my health at 14 mo. Prior to that, I had an acupuncture treatment when he was 12.5 mo to try to get my fertility back (we wanted children close together). I had two cycles with no ovulation. Then on my third cycle, once we night weaned, I ovulated and got pregnant. I've heard of many women who conceived after nightweaning or after fully weaning as their bodies were so sensitive to all those hormones.

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                • #9
                  I got pregnant with #2 when #1 was still breastfeeding and only 9 months old. I had not gotten my af back yet either. And it took YEARS to conceive ds1 so we were shocked, shocked, shocked to get pregnant before the first af. But we did.

                  And ds3 was conceived while I was still nursing ds2 as well. But I had gotten af back by then...it was still very irregular but it was back.

                  It happens! Good luck!

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                  • #10
                    We spent years trying to concieve DS. (Parts of the reason was due to cysts on both of my ovaries) After he was born he nursed self regulated - at least once per hour - also through the night. When he was about five months I got so sick, For forteen days I really thouth I had gotten something serious - because I felt so bad. Then it came to me like a pleasent but huge shock: "Oh my! Of course! I´m pregnant!!!" - and a test proved me right So regardless of nursing around the clock, cysts, no bleading - there she was!

                    Before you know it, a soul decides to make its way to you! Hang in there - it will happen!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gemijeni View Post
                      I am also wondering if there is a way to conceive while breastfeeding, like cutting back or something.
                      Sometimes you have to have a couple days where you go 6 - 8 hours between a nursing session. Sometimes if you have a really busy day where the baby is distracted and doesn't nurse, then you'll find that the return of fertility is kick started and you'll ovulate. When you're breastfeeding you have a higher level of prolactin which suppresses ovulation. If you're interested, you can try taking Vitex (an herbal supplement also known as chaste tree berry) to naturally help regulate your hormones, but time will also help that regulation.

                      If you're healthy, near your child all day and night, and breastfeeding on cue, then your body will get pregnant when it's ready. It's kind of nature's way of monitoring things and letting you know when your current child is ready to share a sibling and when your body is ready to make a sibling.

                      I got pregnant twice while breastfeeding. My son was 17 months when I got pregnant with his sister. My daughter was 14 months when I got pregnant this time. I nursed through pregnancy and tandem nursed and I'm currently nursing through this pregnancy. It's all very possible.
                      Last edited by Angela; 05-28-2008, 03:59 PM. Reason: I meant to say, "higher levels of PROLACTIN," not progesterone.

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                      • #12
                        I was worrying about the same thing when my menses returned today. It was 2 years to the day of my last menses that I had before my daughter was born. About a month ago I noticed a return of my fertile CM. I would say keep an eye on that, because I think it is a great way to get an idea of when you fertility is returning. Like everyone else I strongly recommend TCOYF.

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                        • #13
                          looking for answer conception during breastfeeding

                          HI, Im still breastfeeding my 6 month old and dont want to quit but we are ready for another baby any suggestions.

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