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Got pregnant while still breastfeeding?


bee74

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I am just curious to know if the 'common knowledge' that breastfeeding reduces fertility is actually a fact. I see a lot of evidence to show that it is almost impossible to get pregnant if you are fully breastfeeding a child until 6 months, but nothing conclusive about breastfeeding a toddler (up till 3) especially if you already have periods and have had for a while.

Thank you

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I was breastfeeding my 20 month old son many times a day (and night) and got pregnant. It was the second month after i got my period back. I had tried an ovulation predictor kit just to see if i was ovulating at all. The first month it said i didnt- the second month it said I did ovulate and I got pregnant that month. I would say if you have had your period a number of months than there is a good chance you could get pregnant as well.Just my personal experience.
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This is what my mother-in-law thought (breastfeeding reduces fertility) but two months after having my husband she fell pregnant with his brother (my brother-in-law)! For two months of the year they are both the same age and my mum-in-law said it was like having twins!
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I fell pregnant when my daughter was 6 months, never had a period. I exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months and didn't fall pregnant but the minute she went onto solids I did..... I did know that it only works as contraception when babies are exclusively breastfed but it was still a surprise (we had actually started being careful after she started weaning).
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Research and clinical trials across the world suggest breastfeeding as a contraceptive to be 99% effective if done correctly. This would put the effectiveness of the method on level with condoms and a variety of other contraception methods available worldwide. To achieve the best results your baby can be no more than 6 months old, should be fed night and day (straight from the breast) without any long periods of time without a feed and cant be taking any other liquid or solids. For ultimate effectiveness it supposedly helps if your baby goes straight to the breast after birth, is not given any expressed milk also you should feed through illness of mother or baby. Of course your monthly periods cannot of returned or this method will likely fail.


Clinical trials in Chile, Pakistan and the Philippines studied the effectiveness of LAM (lactational amenorrhea method) and came to the conclusion it was 98-99% effective. Studies on 422 women in Chile ended with only 1 woman becoming pregnant whilst practicing the method, of 391 practicing in Pakistan only 1 also became pregnant and of 485 women practicing the method in the Philippines only 2 women became pregnant during the trial. A study in Italy as early as 1988 followed the use and data of LAM to predict a rate of 98% effectiveness if the main 3 criteria were met.


Very interesting stuff, 'Breastfeeding prevents pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and in cases where ovulation and fertilization do occur, by inhibiting implantation of a fertilized egg.' but a lot of health providers are still reluctant to discuss breastfeeding as a method of contraceptive and would rather prescribe a fully tested and safe (not that breastfeeding isn't, or natural) contraceptive pill recognized as a major contraceptive right across the world.

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The prolactin produced during a breastfeed supresses ovulation, but the hormone only stays in the system for about 3 hours. So as long as you are feeding three-hourly, day and night, you will not be able to conceive. But even one 5 longer gap between feeds is enough for ovulation to occur.
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As GinaG3 says, it's only effective as a contraception if your child is taking nothing else at all, only breastmilk, with no more than 3 hours between feeds. So once they start solids at 6 months, or if you do the odd bottle of formula or expressed milk from any time then it stops being effective as a contraceptive.
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