21 answers

Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding W/ No Period

Ok, I know you *CAN* get pregnant while breastfeeding, but are the chances reduced significantly? Does anyone know the stats on this or where I can find them? Does not getting your period back affect your chances also? I believe I saw you can still ovulate without getting your period back? I haven't had mine in almost 2 years...my DD is 11 months old. I just started tracking my temps again, and I'm down to pumping/BFing once or twice a day (I have a large frozen supply). I would like to get pregnant in a few months, but am wondering if my chances are reduced since I am still BFing. I would love to continue breastfeeding at this reduced level, but only if my chances of getting pregnant are not significantly reduced. I've been slowly reducing the frequency & length that I pump since Christmas, but my period has yet to return.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Just relax and let it happen. I was bfing a lot and started my period when my daughter was a year, then got pregnant with my son right after that.

More Answers

I think that there is a lot of information out there that is contradictory, here is my opinion based on my experience. Breastfeeding is very different for every woman. Some women have a huge supply to the point where even after a year and a half it is painful to wean. As I understand it it's all based on hormone levels and depending on your hormone levels can determine whether or not you begin to ovulate and/or have a period and when. I think that if you have started your period the chances are higher that you can become pregnant, but that doesn't mean that you cannot if you haven't. I know MANY women who have become pregnant while breastfeeding exclusively, just as I know many who have become pregnant while taking hormonal contraception - I don't think ANYONE understands the human body and all its intricacies well enough to say anything for certain that applies to everyone. I would say, on average, your chances of conceiving are lower if you haven't started your period, however, you obviously ovulate before having a period, so you could. I do know that some women are able to maintain a pregnancy while breastfeeding but doctors sometimes recommend against it because nipple stimulation (like breastfeeding) can cause uterine contractions. I think that is between you and your doctor based on previous pregnancy history (like did you ever have an early miscarriage, etc) Congrats on bfing for so long and being committed to it. I hope you get the outcome you want!

2 moms found this helpful

Thanks for asking this question! My daughter is 23 months old and still nursing twice a day-I havent had regular periods since she was born and we have been trying for #2 for 9 months. I think tracking your temps is the best way to know where you stand. I need to start doing that!

1 mom found this helpful

My midwife told me when I was down to twice a day to "be careful". If you are tracking temps, you should be able to tell when you are ovulating.

I got pregnant while still nursing MORE than twice a day twice in the last 5 years :) But, I did get a period before I got pregnant (just one each time).

J.

1 mom found this helpful

the infant care/ parenting classes my husband and I took a month ago said it doesn't matter if your are breast feeding or not. It doesn't heighten or lower your risk of getting pregnant. She told us that it was just an old wives tale and to be careful. I hope this helped. Good luck. :)

1 mom found this helpful

It's just an old wives tale. Breastfeeding does NOT protect you from getting pregnant. I've always read that it doesn't affect it one way or the other - it's irrelevent. Also, you CAN still get pregnant even if you haven't gotten your period back. Some women don't ovulate without the period but that's not true for everyone. So I think ovulation would be the thing to look at for you, and don't worry about the breastfeeding.
Just look at the Duggars. Michelle gets pregnant with each child while still nursing and then keeps nursing through the pregnancy. It would be rediculous for any doctor to say either of those things was impossible. lol

1 mom found this helpful

Clearly, I don't have to tell you since it sounds like you've been successfully spacing your children through breastfeeding, but for those who say it's a myth, that is simply not true.

You can space children with breastfeeding up to 2 years or less. However, there are specific conditions you must follow. You have to be doing what's called ecological breastfeeding (on demand) in order to postpone fertility. There are many factors needed as well, such as never introducing a bottle, child wearing, etc. In many non-western cultures this method is successfully used because the lifestyle of women is more conducive to ecological breastfeeding. Most women in the West work or are too active to consider child-wearing or avoiding the ease of bottle feeding.

Since it sounds like you're pumping, and only feeding twice a day, chances are VERY GOOD fertility has or is returning. And yes, you can ovulate before you have a noticeable first period and get pregnant right away. This is why it's important to start charting using the "sympto/thermal" method as soon as you can, if avoiding pregnancy is a goal. If you simply want to start trying for a family, you'll probably have success within weeks or a few months. Probably not much longer.

The "sympto-thermal" is important as it gives you additional fertility signs to back up your charting. You will have a clearer idea if you are ovulating when studying your charts.

Here is a book with all of the answers to your questions and in more detail. By they way, all of Sheila Kippley's books on NFP and spacing are excellent and helpful:

http://www.amazon.com/Breastfeeding-Natural-Spacing-Sheil...

http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Standards-Ecological-Breastfe...

1 mom found this helpful

I nursed the first baby while pregnant with the second baby, they are 21 months apart, although my doctor told me it was impossible even as he stood there watching me do it!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter nursed for two years and I didn't have a period for 18 months after she was born. She didn't change nursing habits when I finally had a period, it just started and was only every other month until she stopped. I got pregnant when she was 21 months and had only had two periods. I would suggest after she turns 1, stop pumping but let her nurse when she wants. That should reduce it enough but if it doesn't, at least you made it through the first year!

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