Is It Possible To Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?


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If you are a new mommy who breastfeeds her baby, you probably have a lot of doubts about your next pregnancy. The truth is, one may still get pregnant while breastfeeding, and there are numerous factors surrounding this.

Let us examine the various aspects of breastfeeding and conceiving while nursing.

Breastfeeding And Your Periods:

When you start breastfeeding your baby your menstrual cycle stops. This is because the lactation process inhibits ovulation of egg.

  • The hormones that release milk suppress the reproductive ability, making you stay infertile for some time.
  • Usually, you will not have your periods as long as you are breastfeeding day in and day out.
  • While some mothers may not get their menstrual cycles until 6 to 8 months after delivery.
  • Others may continue without it for a year or more, as long as they are still breastfeeding their child.

Is Breastfeeding A Natural Contraceptive?

It is true that you may not get pregnant while nursing your baby. However, there are great chances that you still may become fertile after few weeks of nursing.

  • Some mothers think that breastfeeding acts like a natural birth control and act careless!
  • It is advisable to use the usual birth control methods while you are nursing to avoid any minimal possibilities.
  • Talk to your doctor about the ‘mini pill’ that can be used while lactating. It contains only progestin and not estrogen, and is completely safe to use.

Pregnancy While Breastfeeding:

While chances of pregnancy while breastfeeding are minimal, it is not entirely impossible. There are different ways you may get pregnant while still breastfeeding:

1. Weaning:

There is a clear and undeniable correlation between weaning and your fertility.

  • If you have started to wean your baby by either reducing the frequency of nursing or starting off the formula feed, there is a good chance of pregnancy while breastfeeding.
  • Your menstrual periods may or may not return as per the plan, but you still cannot rule out the fact that ovulation occurs before the signals of oncoming periods.

2. Unpredictable Hormones:

There is no telling as to when you are fertile or infertile.

  • A lot depends on how your body switches on and off as per the breastfeeding patterns.
  • While some may stay infertile for months, others can get fertile on those occasional spaces when the nursing pattern changes.
  • Most women try to get pregnant while they gradually reduce or stop nursing. This is a good way to try but let the nature take its own course.

3. Menstrual Periods:

Once your periods are back, it is an official confirmation that you are ovulating.

  • Whether you plan to get pregnant or not, the chances are sky high if you have intercourse after getting back your periods.
  • If you do not want to get pregnancy again, so soon after your delivery, make sure you use adequate birth control methods.
  • Visiting your doctor is a great way to get suggestions on the best birth control method at this time.

4. Catching The First Egg:

‘Catching the first egg’ is a common phrase used when you get pregnant even before the menstrual cycle returns. This happens in the cases where no birth control methods are used while lactating.

Breastfeeding While Pregnant:

If you are pregnant and still breastfeeding your first baby, it is completely okay and compatible in case you have a healthy pregnancy.

  • If you are healthy enough, there are chances that you will end up nursing both the babies after the second childbirth. This is called Tandem Nursing.
  • Your gynecologist should be able to guide you in detail about lactating while pregnant.
  • Make sure you get all the inputs and take the necessary precautions while doing so.

Infertility And The Next Plan:

If you had a history of infertility, it is recommended that you reduce breastfeeding while planning your next pregnancy.

  • If you intend to go for specialized IVF methods, the nursing has to be stopped before doing so as the methods are not safe for the breast milk.
  • The chances of getting pregnant again are one of the major questions that are posed by many nursing moms.
  • The pattern of reacting and adjusting to fertility differs for everyone.
  • Make sure you get a complete picture of your health status while contemplating the next pregnancy.

We hope our exhaustive piece helps you deal with the situation more effectively. Do share your views and experiences with us in the comment section below:

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