Hoping I’m not asking this question too late! You can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, can you?
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.
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 here to join your group today.
Read next …
Want more info on periods after baby, or breastfeeding? Take a look at these articles next:
- 8 things you’ll need for your first post-baby period
- Feeling angry when breastfeeding? It could be D-MER
- This may be why your baby is refusing expressed milk