Q&A: What are the chances of getting pregnant while breastfeeding?

Q&A: What are the chances of getting pregnant while breastfeeding?

Hoping I’m not asking this question too late! You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, can you?

Melissa, Mum's Grapevine Baby Group Member

The benefits of breastfeeding are many, but being a sure-fire form of contraception is not one of them. While it can work as a temporary method of avoiding pregnancy, it’s not an exact science. Breastfeeding makes you less likely to conceive, but you can still get pregnant while nursing.

The lactational amenorrhoea contraception method

Some women do use breastfeeding as contraception, and it’s known as lactational amenorrhoea contraception method.

Here’s how it works:

  • You only ovulate when your oestrogen levels are high.
  • While you’re breastfeeding your body doesn’t produce as much oestrogen as it usually does.
  • Because you’re producing less oestrogen, you don’t ovulate and can’t get pregnant. Technically.

This method is said to be 98 per cent effective, as long as your period hasn’t returned and you’re exclusively breastfeeding. And it’s only said to be effective in the first six months after birth.

Breastfeeding baby

Your risk of becoming pregnant also goes up if:

  • You’re breastfeeding exclusively but also expressing milk
  • If you’re using some medications, including mood-altering medications

To make sure that using this form of contraceptive is effective, breastfeeding must:

  • Happen at regular intervals, for instance on demand and at least every four hours during the day and every six hours at night
  • Be exclusive or almost exclusive

Wondering if other mums are using this method?

Hop into our closed Facebook Baby Groups and compare notes with other mums consider or using this method of contraception. They’re private, safe places to chat about everything baby and motherhood.

Click below to join your group today.

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