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15th April 2012 01:45 PM #1
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- Apr 2012
How can I prevent pregnacy while continously breastfeeding?
Hello, I am jenet. I am breastfeeding since I gave birth to my one year old baby girl. I have not have my menstruation since I gave birth so I am apprehensive to be pregnant. Is there any possible technique or method that I can use to determine If I am fertile or not while breastfeeding?? Hope to hear from you..Take Care!
17th April 2012 01:22 AM #2
One of the best ways to determine if you are fertile, while breastfeeding, is to watch your body's natural signs of fertility. Your body will tell you when it's getting ready to ovulate, even before you have your first period after giving birth.
When you are not fertile, your body produces "dry" cervical mucus. You'll know you're dry because you'll feel like you need to add a lubricant when you're making love. It just won't be very slippery or wet.
About 5 days before you're going to ovulate, your cervical mucus will change. You may see a clump of mucus on your underwear or hanging from your pubic hair. That clump of mucus might feel like dried rubber cement if you touch it. Some women won't see this clump of mucus, and others will see it routinely, each month. Being that the breastfeeding is actually keeping you from ovulating right now (and keeping you from having a period) you may only have a couple of days of fertile mucus before you ovulate so knowing what to look for is key, and can give you peace of mind.
Your cervical mucus will become sticky and tacky and creamy and it may look white. This is a good indication that you have entered your fertile window, and having sex at this time could result in pregnancy. If you want to avoid pregnancy, you'll need to avoid intercourse as soon as you see any signs of fertility, whether that's a clump of mucus, or a creamy discharge or really slippery clear fluid.
Typically, after seeing the change from clump to white and creamy, your cervical mucus will then go from creamy to stretchy and take on more of a clear color. You will be able to pick it up and stretch it between your fingers. It may stretch just an inch or two, and then break. You're in your fertile window and sex during this time could result in pregnancy.
The day before and the day of ovulation, your cervical mucus will be clear and wet and it will have the consistency of egg white. You will be able to pick it up and stretch it between your thumb and fore finger and it may not break even if you stretch it 6 inches. This is when you are at your peak of fertility and sex at this time gives you the best chance of conception.
When you are highly fertile you may notice that the cervical mucus looks shimmery when you wipe across your vagina with toilet paper. You may also notice that you're sex drive is high and you just feel sexier. One study that I read showed that women tend to buy sexier clothing when they are close to ovulation. This totally makes sense because God designed it so that hormone levels would change, creating a higher sex drive around the time of ovulation thus ensuring that the human race would continue.
Another way to tell when you're at the peak of your fertile window is that your cervix will rise just before ovulation. If you straddle your husband while making love and your cervix is high, it will feel very comfortable for you to sit on him, whereas if your cervix is low, you may find this position to be less comfortable.
Sperm can survive for 3-5 days in the presence of good, fertile, cervical mucus, so if you're trying to avoid pregnancy, you'll want to be sure you stop having sex as soon as you see any signs of fertility, and that you start having sex 2 days after you ovulate or your last signs of fertility. You'll want to have 2 good, dry days, before resuming intercourse.
The egg only lives for 12-24 hours, so once you've ovulated, you can be confident that you can no longer get pregnant starting 2 days later (unless you ovulate again, which is rare, and in that case you'd have signs of fertility again).
This is called natural family planning or NFP and though there's a little more to this (taking your temperature) I simply watched my fertility signs (cervical mucus changes) and avoided pregnancy for 7 years this way. When we were ready for our first child, I just reversed what I had been doing to avoid pregnancy, and used my fertile signs to know when to conceive. We conceived the first month we tried for our first baby.
Please post back any questions you may have. Even if it's 2 months from now when you're wondering if you're seeing signs of fertility, feel free to post back and I'll help you as best I can.
17th April 2012 10:06 PM #3
I see you have already had some great information from Kate. If you are are 'ecologically breastfeeding' then the average time for your periods to return (and fertility to fully return) is 15 months. Ecological breastfeeding means: you breastfeed on demand, you breastfed exclusively for your baby's first 6 months of life, you breastfeed in the day and night. Fertility also takes longer to return if you babywear and co-sleep. See this research on 'child spacing and breastfeeding'.
However, you cannot completely rely on breastfeeding as a contraception method, particularly when your baby is more than 6 months old. When you are a breastfeeding mum, you don't know when your fertility will return.
I hope this has been helpful for you - please post back if you have any further questions.
19th April 2012 10:13 AM #4
I'm one of these women who had her cycle return quickly after each of my babies, even though I only breastfed, and I have a friend who didn't get her cycle for 2 1/2 years after she had her baby.
As LJ mentioned, the average is 15 months for those who practice ecological breastfeeding, yet everyone is different. Will be interesting to see why your cycle returns.
26th April 2012 09:35 AM #5
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- Apr 2012
It was really great having that very detailed information. I will be very observant regarding that matter. It was really helpful. LJ and Kate...Thanks!
Last edited by jenet; 26th April 2012 at 09:37 AM.
20th May 2012 12:28 AM #6
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- May 2012
That was a very detailed information. I am currently breastfeeding and I am actually looking for information regarding that matter because I read somewhere that a breastfeeding mum's cycle is going to be irregular after giving birth. Thanks for sharing your experience. This will help me a lot as I don't want a third child as of now yet.
20th May 2012 09:24 AM #7