Breast feeding as birth control...

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Genia - posted on 07/26/2010

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Yes, actually it IS a form of birth control. It's called the lactational amenorrhea method. There is a wealth of information on it in books, online, and through doctors and fertility experts. IF your child is under 6 months of age AND not getting any supplements (water, juice, formula, solids), IF they nurse at least every 4 hours during the day and go no longer than 6 hours without nursing at night, and IF you have not had a period or any signs of ovulation (such as cervical mucus), THEN it is roughly as effective as the pill.



Yes, some people have gotten pregnant while using it correctly, just like some people get pregnant while using the pill, or condoms, or an IUD correctly. The fact is, there is NO 100% effective form of birth control. So saying that because you know someone who got pregnant while breastfeeding (without knowing for sure if they were even doing everything right...did you check their cervical fluid for them?) means that breastfeeding is without a doubt not birth control is pretty preposterous. I guess the only birth control that is really birth control is abstinence then.



To the OP - if you don't fit the rules for LAM, or are not comfortable with it, look into the Fertility Awareness Method or Natural Family Planning. It takes a lot of discipline to do, but is just as effective as the pill when done right. It is basically keeping track of all your fertility signs to know when you are ovulating so you can avoid intercourse or use extra protection during that time. The book I mentioned above is full of info about it. I personally don't have the self-discipline for it, but I know many people who do. HTH.



wanted to add - I used the lactational amenorrhea method with my last 2 children and - wonder of wonders! - I didn't get pregnant! i didn't even ovulate until 17 months with my son...my daughter is about to turn one and still no ovulation or period (or pregnancy, lol).

[deleted account]

It can be used, but it has to be used the right way. You cannot supplement at all with anything. You must feed on demand day and night. Ecological breastfeeding works best to prevent the return of fertility. Moms that practice ecological breastfeeding cosleep, feed on demand day and night, wear baby (they don't use strollers), no pacifiers or bottles and usually delay the introduction of solids. I know moms who have delayed the return of the fertility for well over a year (after the birth of the baby) using this method. Every woman is different and some get their periods back right away even though they feed on demand. Usually you get a warning period first (you have a period, but didn't ovulate), but not always.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertil...

Rebecca - posted on 07/30/2010

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my doctor said that breastfeeding is not enough, there is a mini pill which is safe while breastfeeding but drop to 30% effective once you stop breastfeeding

[deleted account]

Melissa,

Michelle Duggar weaned all her kids by 9 months and was only able to breastfeed some of them for a few weeks so she's not a good example :P.



To the OP, check out all the links posted it you're really intersted in it.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

98 Comments

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Stina - posted on 07/30/2010

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Very risky. Although for most women, exclusive breastfeeding will delay the return of ovulation and your period, there is no way to tell when that first ovulation will occur.

Example: With my first two children, my period didn't return till they were fully weaned. With my third who is still BF at 15 months, my period returned when she was 9 mo and teething (less nursing for a few days). Since then, I've had 2 other periods with no way to predict when they might happen and no way to predict when I may ovulate next.

Some women have their cycle return as early as the first few months after childbirth even though they are BFing.

Unless you are open to the possibility of a very small age gap, don't rely on BF as birth control.

Becky - posted on 07/30/2010

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NO THIS IS A MYTH NOT A FACT. ASK YOUR DOCTOR HE/SHE WILL TELL YOU THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU BREASTFEED YOUR BABY THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANT CONCEIVE. NO YOU MAY NOT HAVE YOUR PERIOD BUT YOU CAN STILL GET PREGNANT.

Callie - posted on 07/30/2010

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Breast feeding works as a method of birth control in some mothers and it doesn't in others. My daughter was about 6 months old when I saw the return of my monthlies and I was a little bit disappointed, but every person is different. I've heard of some mothers not seeing a return of their monthlies until a month after weaning their babies off the breast. If you don't like using the "pill" like me, then make the man wear the protection, cause there is nothing wrong with saying no to the "pill".

Jessica - posted on 07/30/2010

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Yeah everyone is different. I know lots of people that didnot get pregnant until a month after they stopped breast feeding and then i know a few that got pregnant 4 months after they had had a kid and was still breast feeding. If I were you, be more safe than sorry and use more than one form of birthcontrol.

Luschka - posted on 07/30/2010

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As long as you no longer breastfeed every (I THINK) 3-4 hours (including during the night) you are no longer safe and will need birth control, unless you're ready to go again!

Camesha - posted on 07/30/2010

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I was breastfeeding my son, and when he was 6 months old I ended up pregnant again .So now I will be having another son in a month, so my answer to you is, no.... it is not a form of birth control.

Tonya - posted on 07/30/2010

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I recieved the implanon after I had my son. It has some bleeding side effects but not everyone experiences it. Ive had it for 1 year 8 months an yet to get pregnant. I havent used any protection with my sons dad not once and still not pregnant so It must work! Just ask your doctor about it. they can tell you more. I wouldnt recomment the IUD, ring pill,shot etc. Heard to many bad things about it. Good Luck Oh and It last for 3 years

[deleted account]

It doesn't work for everyone. Using breastfeeding as a form of birth control is like playing Russian Roulette, or pulling out.

Karlene Jaye - posted on 07/30/2010

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yes..i have proven it..i breastfeed my child until 2 years and 6 mos. and i haven't got pregnant.

Faith - posted on 07/30/2010

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Not a form of birth control... just ask my mother and sister. Both have children less than 12 months apart and both were breastfeeding at the time.

Ash - posted on 07/29/2010

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you can still get pregnant while breastfeeding!! just because you dont have your period does not mean you can't get pregnant! i know a lot of people that have gotten pregnant while breastfeeding and hadn't gotten their period back yet.

Samantha - posted on 07/29/2010

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I have a FEW friends that were under the impression this was a good idea . . . NOPE! That's why they have 2 and 3 children, and I'm still on good ol' number 1!

Laura - posted on 07/29/2010

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Worked great for me! I breastfeed for about a year with each of mine and don't have any periods in that time. When I stop I ovulate and after 1st 2nd and 3rd child got pregnant straight away so no periods at all for me for like 6 years! Used contraception for a little while after I stopped breastfeeding my fourth, had 2 periods in that time and then conceived again after I stopped that (due in a week now). However most of my friends started their periods again within 3 months after having their babies. A lot of things can impact whether or not breastfeeding will keep you from ovulating- lifestyle factors, how often you breastfeed, hormone levels. Works great for some but not so great for others. So if this is only your first child I would recommend using a non-hormonal contraception while you breastfeed to see how your body acts naturally.

Mary - posted on 07/29/2010

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u can still get pregant when u are breast feeding i hate it when people say u cant but u can i know someone that thought that and she has 2 kids now

Karianne - posted on 07/29/2010

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some drs say that you can't get preg. when your breastfeeding but its not always true.

[deleted account]

breast feeding is not a birth control you will still produce eggs you just wont know when because you more than likely will not have a period. contact your dr but be careful what he/she puts you on because some can make your milk sour. (like the estrogen pill if given in the wrong dose) even if they tell you its ok read up on it and make sure, my sister took it and it got the baby sick.

Amanda - posted on 07/29/2010

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its a form of birth control it worked for me until i stopped breastfeeding then i got pregnant again lol

Susan - posted on 07/29/2010

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As far as I know, even if you don't get your period, you can still get pregnant while breastfeeding. I would never consider breastfeeding a dependable form of birth control. Ever.

Chrissy - posted on 07/29/2010

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only true bc is not having sex period, anything else there is always a risk in getting pregos

Jessica - posted on 07/29/2010

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Best advice...TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR!! They know best...not everybody else.

Erin - posted on 07/29/2010

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I really want to believe in birth control methods like this, or explained further by Genia, as I don't really trust pumping my body with fake hormones when we don't really have long term studies of effects, BC methods are constantly being recalled, and I've heard of many pregnancies on all sorts of methods. However I'm just at eight weeks now, and despite nursing on cue, co-sleeping, and walking around with our daughter often in the sling I have already gotten my period back. I second the opinion that I have just been paranoid about the fact that I could get pregnant, and feel like I have to just go settle for a estrogen based pill

Skyelar - posted on 07/29/2010

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oh yeah there are!!! It might work for a small percentage of women but it's not a good idea to use just breastfeeding as a birth control. It's a whole lot safer and a whole lot easier to just ask your doc about it and chose something prescribed. And to just restrain your hormones for awhile to make sure everything is back to normal in the nether regions! lol thats what I plan to do. Im gonna breastfeed get on either the 5yr or 10yr IUD and wait a few weeks until Doc tells me everything looks fine and I can go ahead and have intercourse with my man.

Ashley - posted on 07/29/2010

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My sister in-law got pregnant six weeks after she had her son using that as a birth control.

BUT, it can work, but as some have said, there are strict guidelines.

Skyelar - posted on 07/29/2010

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Not birth control. It has been proven MANY a times that you can still get pregnant after having a baby and breastfeeding at the same time. Especially with just breastfeeding, so put it into your false pile about breastfeeding, Ladies, and use REAL doc prescribed birth control. Or a condom your choice!

Montana - posted on 07/29/2010

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No birth control is a for sure thing. I am the product of an IUD AND my mom was breastfeeding my sis at the time!

Christi - posted on 07/29/2010

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breastfeeding is not birth control. you will get pregnant if you think it is.

Melissa - posted on 07/29/2010

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Michelle was talking about being able to conceive while breastfeeding, maybe not all of them were conceived at that period, but she said for some reason she can still get pregnant while nursing and considers it a blessing. I know she was still nursing #18 when # 19 was conceived!

Sarah - posted on 07/29/2010

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its not a form of birth control! you might not get your period at first but you can still get it while breastfeeding! your body is just adjusting from having a baby and has to get back into a regular cycle again! i don't know if you've ever watched the show 19 kids and counting... she was like constantly breastfeeding... and i know on the show she got pregnant with her 19th child while she was breastfeeding and i'm sure she got pregnant with a few others while breastfeeding too because i believe her oldest is around age 22... so she basically has had 1 kid right after the other!

Kelly - posted on 07/29/2010

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I'd never heard of that before!

Whether it's successful or not, why would you want to? I'm planning on breastfeeding and expressing but I do not want to be a slave to my child. That sounds harsher than I mean it!

This LAM method has too many rules and not enough success for my liking.

Katie - posted on 07/29/2010

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i got pregnant while breastfeeding with my first,when my 2nd was born i had the depo shot and still breastfed safely

Kara - posted on 07/28/2010

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how stupid breastfeeding is NOT a form of birth control you can an most likely will fall pregnant doin so.... I fallen pregnant breastfeeding my 1st an my 2nd .... an thats with birthcontrol aswell ........ so i wouldnt rely on breastfeeding as ur birthcontrol

Tamira - posted on 07/28/2010

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My doctor told me you can still get pregnant while breastfeeding. There is a pill you can take while breastfeeding. Talk to your Doctor.

Ethel Joy - posted on 07/28/2010

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They say if you're breastfeeding you are protected until 6mos but i don't take the risk. I breastfed my eldest daughter for two years and 2 months and i haven't had my period until 18months. Imagine the stress im going through, everymonth i would buy pregnancy test kit to check if im pregnant and my mind is racing and im always stressed thinking i might get pregnant. While waiting for your period, just resort to condoms since you cant take pills.

Amanda - posted on 07/28/2010

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I was breastfeeding my 1 1/2 yr old daughter and was trying to conceive and we did! So don't use that as birth control!

Samantha - posted on 07/28/2010

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I had my daughter in January of this year. I was breastfeeding and I am now 4 and 1/2 months pregnant so I would use something else.....unless you want your kids very close together.

Jessie - posted on 07/28/2010

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it can be effective if your are exclusively nursing with no other supplements including a pacifier or other soother. you need to do some more research on the subject for more specifics. A lot of women do not ovulate/get their periods while they are nursing. Mine returned when my son was 6.5 months old and I attribute this to starting on food. You can obviously get pregnant without getting your period because you ovulate BEFORE you have a period so you never know when that first time will be until after it has happened. My cycle is still irregular now and I am nursing my 12.5 month old. We use condoms as our BC. I tried taking the mini-pill (when baby was 3 months old) that is safe to take while nursing and it almost dried up my milk so I threw it out and we've used only condoms since then. Nothing is fool-proof though I got pregnant on regular bc with our son.

Hilary - posted on 07/28/2010

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I have proof that it doesn't work. I have been breastfeeding my son ever since he was born (he is now 18 months) and I am 8 weeks pregnant.

Aliesha - posted on 07/28/2010

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Breastfeeding as a form of birth control worked for me, - we only risked it because it didnt matter if i got pregnant or not. I breastfed for 14 months - an as "A N" has said above no solids till 6 months - B/F on demand, no pacifier, no schedules, I have just stopped now and still havent got period or pregnant yet :) But i wouldnt risk it if i didnt want to get pregnant as everyone is different.

Charlena - posted on 07/28/2010

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I watched that show " I didnt know i was pregnant " ...... yea I wont be using breastfeeding as a form of BC lol

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