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Thread: Contraception & breastfeeding?
1st December 2013 10:11 PM #1
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- Dec 2013
Contraception & breastfeeding?
I know breastfeeding is a form of contraception if followed the correct way. My periods haven't returned, my baby is purely being breastfed.
She will go for approx 9 hours at night without me breastfeeding her, can I use breastfeeding as a safe way of contraception?
2nd December 2013 08:26 AM #2
It sounds like breastfeeding is keeping your body from ovulating, and thus, is acting as a form of natural contraception for you. I have a friend who didn't have a period for 2 years, while she breastfed, even though her son started eating lots of solids after his first birthday. Once she stopped breastfeeding altogether, her periods returned.
This, however, is not typical - usually, once a baby starts taking more solids, and breastfeeding less, ovulation returns.
I would encourage you to learn how to read your body's personal signs of fertility, so you will know when you are going to ovulate. Women who can't read their body's fertility signs may get pregnant with another child, without ever having a period. The reason this happens is because ovulation occurs before a period. Therefore, a mum who has not seen her period return yet can expect to have anywhere from 1-5 days of fertility before she gets her period. Knowing how to read your body's signs of fertility will allow you to know approximately when you are going to ovulate, so you can avoid conception during that time, if desired.
One of the best signs of impending ovulation are changes in consistency and texture of your cervical mucus (secretions from your vagina). You are probably pretty dry right now, which means you probably use lubrication during sex.
The typical pattern of fertility is when you go from being dry, to seeing a "clump" of mucus, to a thinner, whitish consistency, to clear and very stretchy.
If you see any change in your cervical mucus, assume that you may be fertile. Sometimes this is very hard to determine if you have recently made love but if you start tracking your mucus consistency each day, it will make it easier to determine when you're seeing a true change in fertility.
I hope this helps, and please post any questions.
2nd December 2013 09:15 AM #3
Personally, if bub is going 9 hours overnight without feeding, I wouldn't be relying on breastfeeding alone if you really want to avoid falling pregnant. I believe that the advice from ABA says that breastfeeding can be mostly relied on as contraception if bub is having no more than a 4 hour break between feeds.
Kate's idea of tracking cervical mucus is probably a good way to goR, mama to M (8), Z (5.5), and bellybabe due Jan 2014
2nd December 2013 10:48 AM #4
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- Dec 2013
Thanks girls. We had sex Saturday night, stupid me hasn't filled the mini pill script and so not sure if pregnant as I don't track cervical mucous.
Is there such a thing as the morning after pill if breastfeeding? I was sort of relying on breastfeeding as contraception, but after reading numerous articles, and seeing as bub is sleeping 9 hours I wasn't sure! I did see that max should only be 6 hours...
2nd December 2013 10:56 AM #5
According to this link, you can take the morning after pill while breastfeeding.
"The ‘progestogen-only’ method is the most commonly used method in Australia. It involves taking a dose of EC pills containing progestogen, a synthetic version of the progesterone normally produced by the ovaries. This is usually one full dose that is taken straight away. A doctor can prescribe these pills, but they can also be bought over the counter without a prescription at most pharmacies in Australia.
‘Progestogen-only’ EC is safe to use when breastfeeding and it is rare for a health issue to be a reason not to take it. However, as some medications can make it less effective, you should check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking EC."R, mama to M (8), Z (5.5), and bellybabe due Jan 2014
2nd December 2013 11:19 AM #6
Please consider that there is very little chance that you would be pregnant, and if you are, your children would be 18 or 19 months apart. My first two children were 19 months apart and they were best friends growing up. They are now 20 and 21 and still very close. I loved having 2 together so close - they always had a play mate Every child is precious!