Breast feeding and pregnancy and birth control.The role of contraception in breastfeeding and nursing babies and infants.
Can You Get Pregnant While Breast Feeding?
If so, what birth control can you use?
By Anne Hutchison
My name is TC. I am from Singapore.
My wife recently wean my 10 months old daughter from her breast milk. She has been diligently feeding our daughter 5 times a day everyday
for 10 months. I do not know what symptoms or side-effects which is related to stopping breast feeding. However, my wife is 3 weeks late on
her regular menstruation and her gynae and obes suggested to her that it is pretty normal and to wait and see.
We are not sure if her "late" menstruation has anything to do with the termination of the breast feeding. But we did have sexual intercourse during this period using the rhythm method. And we are not sure what to think. She has not get a pregnancy test yet, but if you can advice me, it would be a great help.
When babies are fully breast feeding, even at night, with few to no bottles and no pacifiers and thumb sucking, and mom is not having a menstrual period, it is rare for the women to get pregnant. Statistics say about 2% of the time. It is not impossible, just rare.
However, as the baby begins to sleep through the night, goes longer between nursings, has some solid food, or has a few bottles, the chances of ovulation occurring grow. Once ovulation occurs, pregnancy is certainly back in the picture as a possibility.
Also, ovulation can occur without a prior menstrual period, so lactation is not a foolproof contraceptive. Far from it.
So, what do you do for birth control without affecting your baby?
First, the non-hormonal methods of contraception do not change breast feeding at all. Hormonal methods of contraception are another story.
Some, maybe all, oral birth control pills might affect milk supply, alter milk composition, and/or even have an effect on your infant's growth.
In the book Breastfeeding Pure & Simple, by Gwen Gotsch, the author writes, "With any type of hormonal contraceptive, small amounts of synthetic hormones appear in the mother's milk, and some experts have expressed concern about possible long-term effects on the baby."
The only way to be certain is to discuss this with your doctor.
Many women do not have menstrual periods while they are breast feeding. It is not unusual for the periods not to return immediately after weaning.
The only way to be certain about pregnancy, of course, is the test.
Good luck to you and your family!
Back to directory of breast feeding
& Simple by Gwen Gotsch.
Starting with the words, "Mothers agree; it's worth it," Gwen Gotsch takes breast feeding from why mothers breastfeed, through all the stages of breast feeding your child, right through weaning. It covers all the bases from fathers to other generations to mothers returning to work. This admirable reference book is probably the best one for new mothers, making it an excellent new-mom and new-dad gift. But despite the thoroughness of the book, it is short and easily read in an afternoon or two, a real plus for busy and sleepy new moms. The book was published by La Leche League International following their commitment to helping breastfeeding women everywhere....book review continued
Book review: Copyright © 1999 CyberParent. All rights reserved.
of Breast Feeding!
Advice about Breast Feeding.
Questions and Answers about Breast Feeding.
More Reasons to Breast Feed Your Baby.
Directions for Breast Feeding Your Infant.
Hints for Breast Feeding in Public.
Breast Feeding and Working.
Milk Supply: Is your milk supply adequate?
The Older Child.
New Insights on Breast Feeding.
Choline: One more reason to breast feed!
Vitamins: The role of vitamins in breast feeding.
Nutrition: The role of nutrition in breast feeding.
Pregnant: Pregnancy and birth control in breast feeding.
Letters, Feedback, Q & A from Readers.
The best thing about this book is that is thorough. It takes new moms and soon-to-be moms from A to Z in breast feeding.
The second best thing about this book is that it is well-illustrated.
Review Breastfeeding Pure & Simple
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