Breastfeeding has long been considered a natural contraceptive. This kind of contraception is called Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM). This birth control strategy is considered most effective only if the newborn’s mother will
- Breastfeed with a time gap of not less than four hours during daytime and 6 hours during night time
- Directly breastfeed rather than using other methods to feed the child breast milk (like using breast pumps); this regulates the neuroendocrine response of the mother which helps birth control
- Give a minimal of supplementary foods
- Breastfeed the baby 9 out of 10 times
- Supplement with other formula food 5 to 10 percent of the total feeding
Besides, the frequency and the vigor of suckling also help to make birth control effective during breastfeeding. When breastfeeding turns out to be effective in birth control, the baby has to be weaned in order for the mother to get pregnant again.
For those who would prefer not to adopt birth control methods, in order to get pregnant again, there is a possibility of conception during breastfeeding. This is because you are only less fertile and not infertile during this period. Ovulation takes place and the postpartum egg (egg released soon after delivery) is released about a fortnight before the first menstrual period after delivery.
- Increase the number of times you give supplementary foods
- Increase the gap between two breastfeeds
- The less often you nurse the baby, the faster will the periods return – within 12 to 32 weeks
- The same is true when you increase supplementing; the more you supplement breast milk, the faster will the periods’ return
Besides, if the baby sleeps through the night, this brings down the number of times the baby is breastfed. This again helps increase the chances of conception.
Though it is quite well known that breastfeeding slows down the hormones that help in ovulation, ovulation may begin after three months of breastfeeding. After this, it is quite possible to conceive if birth control methods are not used.
However, there are quite some instances where women have conceived within a few weeks or a few months of breastfeeding only, without giving the babies any kind of supplements. Some mothers have become pregnant when the baby was only six weeks old while some became pregnant when the baby was 28 weeks old.
All this boils down to the fact that breastfeeding cannot be considered as a natural contraceptive and pregnancy may occur, even within a couple of months after birth. Every woman’s body responds differently to the environment. Getting pregnant during breastfeeding would depend on your body type and on how soon the periods return.
Breastfeeding has long been considered an effective contraceptive. It has been believed that giving the baby no supplemental formulae and feeding him only breast milk would help in birth control. However, there are certain instances where, in spite of exclusive breastfeeding, women have conceived soon after birth, sometimes as early as six weeks after the child is born.