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Is it true that breastfeeding can prevent pregnancy?

I have read in several books that women have a very low percent chance of becoming pregnant while breastfeeding after birth. The process can suppress ovulation in MOST women.

Anyone know about this and agree/disagree?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:15 PM on May. 30, 2009 in Pregnancy

Answers (14)
  • disagree,.after birth you are VERY fertile,.i would not chance it.breastfeeding is not birth control.

    Answer by naturepeace at 10:17 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • It can help you skip your period but it doesnt' mean that you don't should talk to your doctor about it b/c some women still seem to think that they can use it as a form of birth control. It's an old wives tale.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 10:18 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • Every lady that I know of that fell for that one has kids between 13 and 15 months apart!! Its NOT TRUE! When we leave the hospital here, they make us sign something saying we acknowledge that we can get pregnant without having a period

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 10:20 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • i'm living proof that this is not true. i'm 33 weeks pregnant and still breastfeed. it can stop your menstral cycle but you still ovulate.

    Answer by babygirl9304627 at 10:25 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • You might still ovulate. Breastfeeding is known to suppress ovulation. But only if you breastfeed exclusively on demand. That means when and where baby's hungry. No pacifiers, no bottles, no solids. It's not a guarantee. Some nursing moms gets their periods just a few mos after birth. Some don't ovulate for over a year later. It really depends. So it's not safe to trust it alone as BC.

    Answer by jus1jess at 10:38 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • It CAN suppress ovulation...and if you don't supplement, nurse on demand and co-sleep it can greatly reduce your chances of pregnancy.

    HOWEVER...if it's vital that you NOT get pregnant...then use some other form of birth control because pregnancy is STILL a possibility.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:38 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • Yes, and no as well. It depends on your situation and how you breastfeed.

    If you practice ecological breastfeeding (described at that site) your chance of conception in the first three months is practically zero, and then "less than 2% between 3 and 6 months, and about 6% after 6 months (assuming mom's menstrual periods have not yet returned)" I have many friends who have relied on breastfeeding who did not conceive - who actually couldn't have if they wanted to, in that first year! - and one who did unintentionally become pregnant when her baby was about 2 mos old. However, her period had returned at that point, so the "rules" of LAM no longer applied to her. Good luck!


    Answer by Collinsky at 11:09 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • PS Most drs aren't very educated in this area, unfortunately - they simply don't receive the information about it in med school. You're better off seeking information from a dr who has made breastfeeding and fertility a specialty.

    If you can, get a copy of Toni Weschler's Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It's amazing!

    Answer by Collinsky at 11:11 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • gdiamante is EXACTLY right.

    It CAN be a form of ovulation suppresion in the first 6 months but that is NOT the case for all women. Learning to chart using FAM or NFP can help you to know if you ovulating.

    My DH and I had unprotected sex for the entire first 13 months after our daughter was born. My cycles returned (I knew that I was fertile through charting CM before my period ever returned) at 14 months post partum and then we used protection during the times I was fertile.

    The first month we charted when my daughter was 20 months old (and still breastfeeding) we got pregnant.

    Get the book TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR FERTILITY!! It's VERY VERY informative. It changed my whole outlook on birth control and my fertility health!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:18 PM on May. 30, 2009

  • I breast fed my first child and when she was 3 1/2 months old I thought I had food poisoning. Nope, I was pregnant with my 2nd baby! I knew I could get pregnant even though I breast fed. We were not careful one time and I was pregnant again. It turned out to be a blessing and I wouldn't change it now for anything in the world.


    Answer by plumdelightful at 11:36 PM on May. 30, 2009

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