How possible is it to get pregnant while nursing with no monthly cycle?

Lindsey - posted on 02/04/2009 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I have a 10 month old boy who loves to nurse and I'm terrified of weaning him since that's the only way I can get him sleepy enough to fall asleep. The bad thing is that I would like to start working on a 2nd child by April or May but as long as I'm nursing I haven't resumed my monthly cycle. Can I get pregnant anyway? How do I know when I'm ovulating, if at all?

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Debbie - posted on 02/07/2009

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Yes you can get pregnant without having a monthly cycle. My baby was 4 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. He was only breastfed and still is now.

Mary - posted on 02/08/2009

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Here is an article on ovulation without bleeding, which only occurs in certain conditions or diseases. Although like Erin, many women get pregnant at their FIRST ovulation after the baby is born, which can occur anytime, and there is no bleeding to signal its coming first. :) http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/ovul...

Sherry - posted on 02/11/2009

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Hello everyone,



I have not had the luxury of being without a period for very long in between children :).  The longest was 11 months.  Very different for me.  I have been nursing for almost 16 years solid.    Alot of tandem nursing sometimes juggling 3 nurslings....my midwives talked to us about the ovulating without a period issue.  I seem to hve no problem getting pregnant.  I have been pregnant 13 times and have 8 living children.  I guess it is exactly like one of the women stated,  it is so individual.......I thought that it was 2hrs. of no nursing that ovulation came into play.   I have never used soothers ,  bottles or introduced solids earlier than when the child seems interested(they seem to be aver. 10 months)--yet still resume cycles early.  My 8th child was born in Aug. 08 and in Jan. I  had my 3 rd cycle....everyone IS so different.

Lina - posted on 02/08/2009

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I have a 9 month old boy and I haven't had a period yet either. I have read that you can indeed fall pregnant while still nursing. Even if you haven't resumed cycles you can still ovulate. You can tell you're ovulating by the type of vaginal discharge, clear and runny is fertile, thick and opaque is usually not but don't take my word for it. It's also possible to tandem feed meaning nursing while pregnant if that was something you wanted to do. check out www.kellymom.com for more information. Good luck!

Mary - posted on 02/10/2009

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Hey Lindsey,

Every woman's body is SO different, no one can really say. It might be enough it might not. Some women only have to give one little bit of cereal per day to suddenly be fertile again, my sisters periods didn't come back until she had weaned her 18 month old from her ONE morning feeding she was still doing. My periods always come back at 3 months old, nursing full time. Everyone is just too different to be able to predict it, other than watch your body, look for signs of ovulation, if there are none, then try upping his solids intake and skipping another feeding. You might have to keep doing that until either you get a period back, or get pregnant. :) Good luck!

Mary

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Stephanie - posted on 02/04/2013

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I was wondering about pregnancy and nursing. My baby is 15 weeks old . I nurse and use formula I don't produce enough to pump enough for during the day. how ever I nurse 85% of the time. My baby don't eat a whole lot. (stomach issues) I was reading some of the comments and I was trying for 4 years to get pregnant and only got a period maybe 3 times a year. I had endometrios and tyroid issues. However I got my period early october 2011, didnt get it again but still got pregnant in January 2012. So you can get pregnant, and I guess you can ovulate too without a period. Now I must say I feel my pregnancy was all in Gods hands and I look at my baby as a miracle. I was told I would most likely never have children.

[deleted account]

I believe is very hard to do so,  I tried my self and didn't work for me either I did get pregnant 3 months after I stopped nursing though

Holly - posted on 02/10/2009

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I too had the same concern because I wanted our kids to be closer together in age and it took over a year to get preg in the first place. I did not get my cycle back until my son was 18.5 months old, after we did a partial night-weaning program. This is how I looked at it: if you wean him so you can get preg again, but then you never do or it takes years, you would have weaned him prematurely for nothing...which is really shortchanging you and him both. Your body is not cycling yet for a reason - it is not ready to carry another baby! It was hard for me to get over my idea of ideal child spacing, but once I let it go and was able to just focus on giving my son what he needed, I felt much more at peace about it. Another baby will come when the time comes...right now, I need to focus on the baby I have!

That being said, partial night weaning might help - check out Dr Jay Gordon's program - you can find it by googling... Its very gentle and effective.

Lindsey - posted on 02/09/2009

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Thank you for all your help!!  Right now I'm nursing him 4 times a day, every 4 hours, one side at a time.  Then also the mini nursings before 2 naps and bedtime.  For those of you who say once you cut back on your nursings you can get pregnant......is that cutting back enough??  Each side is essentially going 8 hours before another feeding.

Agnieszka - posted on 02/08/2009

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if you go more than 6 hours without nursing a day, you can get pregnant.... so as you start weaning, your chances increase.... my daughter was 9 months old when i went back to work...sometimes i couldnt pump- and although i was still breastfeeding, i got pregnant anyway.  i started my daughter on whole warm milk in a bottle to help weane.  she is 21 months old now, and i took the bottle away about 2 months ago, and she is going to sleep without it just fine. 

Crystal - posted on 02/08/2009

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And Mary, what I was saying is that I started ovulating around the time my daughter was 6 months old. My period came back when she was 14 months old.

Erin - posted on 02/08/2009

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You can get pregnant. I was breast feeding my oldest when I got preg. with Gabe. I never even had a period still haven't because I am breastfeeding gabe

Mary - posted on 02/08/2009

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Crystal, I didn't say you don't ovulate at all without a period, and you can't get pregnant, but that you can ovulate and get pregnant on your FIRST ovulation, and never have had a period. All the fertility signs go together. When the ovum is dropped without fertilization, your uterus sheds, and the egg goes with it. If there is no shedding going on, then there are no eggs being dropped. UNTIL the first one, in which case, it can be fertilized immediately and end in pregnancy, rather than shedding.

Heather - posted on 02/08/2009

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My fourth daughter I finally had an actual period around 11 months even though I was still nursing. Eventually, nursing or not, your body will resume its cycles.

Crystal - posted on 02/07/2009

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Quoting Mary:

If you aren't having periods then you aren't ovulating, but it can start any time, and you can pregnant on your first ovulation, without ever having a period. If you watch for signs you will know when you are ovulating, its called "fertile mucous" (I know, sounds gross) and you will notice more and thicker vaginal discharge. You will probably also be way more "in the mood" those few days.



This is a big misconception.  You can ovulate and not have a period.  You cannot get pregnant however if your uterus is not preparing for a baby, which would eventually lead to a period. 



 



The best way to check for signs of ovulation is to use basal body temping and checking your cervical mucous but that can be hard to do when you're having sex because sperm is a lot like fertile cervical mucous.



 



Check out fertilityfriend.com they have a lot of good advice.  You will probably have to lessen your son's feedings in order for your body to know to prepare your uterus for pregnancy though.

Jodie - posted on 02/07/2009

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be very carful you are MORE fertile even if your not havin periods than you were before you had the baby

Barbara-Anne - posted on 02/07/2009

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http://www.fertilityfriend.com/



 



you can track your ovulation here.  You can take basil temperature levels to know when you're ovulating, but you have to do it every day morning.  My midwife told me that you do ovulate before you get a period after pregnancy.  Good luck !!!  I also have a 10 month old and we're also considering starting again around may or june...this may sound like a stupid reason for timing, but I want another March baby so that I can reuse all my maternity and baby clothes (the seasons will match up).  All this stuff cost us a fortune and I don't want to have to rebuy it all!

[deleted account]

Yes, you can still get pregnant. I am still nursing my 15 month old and am 4.5 months pregnant with baby number two. I did not know when I was ovulating either so you just get to have some fun. But, what will prevent getting pregnant the most is the throughout the night nursing. A nighttime nursing is fine but the hormones in our body change or surge or something (I did internet research - more b/c we were trying to avoid becoming pregnant back when she was just 5 and 6 etc months old I am not an expert) at night and this can prevent proper implantation for some women. Once your baby no longer nurses throughout the night getting pregnant (even if you aren't getting a period) is more likely. If you do get pregnant keep in mind your nipple will hurt a bunch when you nurse for the first minute or so (like when your baby was first born - b/c of the hormones in your body) but the pain goes away really quickly during the nursing session.

Mary - posted on 02/04/2009

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If you aren't having periods then you aren't ovulating, but it can start any time, and you can pregnant on your first ovulation, without ever having a period. If you watch for signs you will know when you are ovulating, its called "fertile mucous" (I know, sounds gross) and you will notice more and thicker vaginal discharge. You will probably also be way more "in the mood" those few days.

You probably don't need to wean baby, but you can start the process by giving him more and more solids in between nursings. That is usually enough to start up ovulation again and get pregnant. If you still don't get your cycle you can just continue the process by getting him drinking from a cup, eating more solids etc. and just cut out the bedtime/naptime nursing last. Its the nicest and most gentle way to wean anyways. :) By then you may be pregnant and you'll WANT to wean cause it gets uncomfortable for some! :) Good luck.

Oh, I also get a little sharp pain thruout the day in my ovary region, but not everyone gets this. Everyone does have a mucous/discharge symptom tho.

Mary

Heather - posted on 02/04/2009

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You CAN still get pregnant. My childbirth educator stressed this over and over!! to find out when your ovulating is different from person to person.

Trina - posted on 02/04/2009

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Yes you can still get pregnant and you're still ovulating. I don't know how to tell when though! I guess you'll have to try at all times of the month, which isn't a bad thing! :)

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