Breastfeeding and Getting a period...Can I Get Pregnant?

Updated on April 12, 2010
J.N. asks from Fort Wayne, IN
21 answers

Hi moms! I am a mom of a 21 month old boy who LOVES to breastfeed! I enjoy the bonding and cuddle time and I really don't want to start weaning him until he is ready. Since his birth, I got my first period in October 2009 (He was 15 months old). I have had a period about every 31 days since then. So my question is...since I am getting a period, can I get pregnant? even though I am still breastfeeding? My husband and I would like to start for another one but I don't want to give up my bonding time with my baby! :)

We co-sleep with my son and he is not nursing as much at night, maybe twice for about 5 minutes and then turns around and goes back to sleep.

Thank you :)

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answers from Sacramento on

I'm a childbirth educator and a lactation educator, and Yes!!! You can absolutely get pregnant! In fact, you were probably able to get pregnant by about 10 weeks post-partum. Even though you don't quite often have a period for several months if you are an exclusively breastfeeding mom, you ARE ovulating! You've probably been ovulating for several months, so just be careful if you don't want another one so soon! It's a common myth that breastfeeding moms can't get pregnant while breastfeeding, but it's just that: a myth. Breastfeeding is not birth control. Good luck and it's wonderful you've been breastfeeding for so long.



answers from Houston on

Definitely. I was still breastfeeding when I became pregnant with my second. My toddler self weaned because my milk supply dropped when pregnant.

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answers from Barnstable on

YUP! For breastfeeding to be an effective form of birth control it must happen at least every 2 hours and be the exclusive food for the child (meaning that when they nurse, they do so for about 20 minutes if not more and take a lot of milk). Once these guidelines are not met, your hormones will begin to shift and you will once again become fertile.

You don't even need your period to get PG while breastfeeding.

You also DO NOT NEED TO WEAN to have another baby. I know many women who nurse a toddler while pregnant and then tandem nurse the toddler and infant without any issues. Very safe (though some moms find their breasts are very sensitive and the taste changes). A fair number of toddlers will naturally wean once mom is pregnant because the milk changes consistency. And all children, if given the chance, will naturally wean themselves without tears or trauma!

Good job nursing!


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

YES! Since you got your period back, you should be ovulating so you can still get pregnant! Awesome job breastfeeding so long!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Absolutely... since approximately 2-4 weeks before your first period back in 09, you've been 100% capable of getting pregnant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

yes even though you are bf you can still get pregnany since you are getting your period.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Yes, you can still get pregnant if you're breast feeding, but that doesn't mean you have to stop nursing. I got pregnant with my second while I was still nursing my first and it didn't really change our routine much.
I asked the pediatrician if this was going to be a problem and she said that pregnancy hormones sometimes change the taste or smell of breast milk and the older one might wean himself off and that's exactly what happened. The oldest was about 11 months old when he decided he didn't want to nurse anymore. It wasn't traumatic for him or me and we were able to transition to a cup easier. Good luck!



answers from Topeka on

yes u can get prego while bfing



answers from Detroit on

Yes, if you are breast feeding and menstruating, you can get pregnant. Been there, done that. I had 3 kids. For some reason, I always started menstrauting within two months after giving birth, even though I exclusively nursed my kids for six months only on breast milk and continued until they were 18 months - 2 years.



answers from Cleveland on

Yes, you can get pregnant when you are nursing. But you should remember that nursing take nutriance out of what you eat & so does a baby when they are growing inside you. I'm not sure it is a good idea to try to do both at the sametime - mainly for your health & the baby's health. If the baby can't get what it need from you when it is growing inside of you - there maybe issues w/ him/her down the road.

My sister did nurse her daughter until she found out she was expecting a few months ago (her daughter will be 3 in July). Sadly, my sister lost the baby about 2 months into the pregnancy and has since put having another child on hold because she was in a car accident about a month ago & may have to have surgery because of it.

I wish you luck!



answers from Houston on

You can get pregnant whether you are getting your period or not. Breastfeeding MAY provide some child spacing, but is not birth control and is not reliable for every woman...I know several women who were pregnant again within two months of giving birth without having their period. The good news is, since your cycles have been regular, it will help you calculate your due date more accurately.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Yep! I am exclusively nursing my 2 month old and have my period back. I got it back at 3 months with my oldest. In my world anyway, saying breastfeeding makes you infertile is a myth! The trade off for me is that I lose a ton of weight! So it's all good. I can't have everything!
Good luck!



answers from Dayton on

Yes you can - and I have!



answers from Toledo on

You can absolutely get pregnant...period or not, you're still ovulating. I breastfed all three of mine and never had a period until I weaned them, but I always knew when I was ovulating. You also can still breastfeed while pregnant, you just have to make up those extra calories. Speak to your doctor/midwife about your'll feel better. Good luck to you!



answers from Chicago on

Yes, you can get pregnant! You can even get pregnant while breastfeeding without menstruating.



answers from Indianapolis on

Oh gosh YES!!!
First, breastfeeding as birth control can only be relied on for the first 6 months while the baby is nursing every 2-3 hours during the day and 4-5 at night. That being said, many women still get their cycles back before that.
Second, you ovulate BEFORE you get a period, not after. So, whenever you got your period, you were fertile about 2 weeks before that.
Third, the little-known fact about frequent breastfeeding and ovulation is that you may still ovulate but the hormones produced while breastfeeding think the lining of the uterus so that if you conceive and the egg implants, it usually doesn't take and you miscarry before you realize you're pregnant. It's basically the science behind the Paraguard IUD and the mini-pill.

So, what you need to do is start tracking your fertility (Everyone will tell you "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" is best). And have sex when you are fertile. Don't get discouraged or worried about infertility because as long as you are breastfeeding, there's the chance that the lining is thinned and will slough off even if you conceive. You just never know:) I have 1 friend who never got her period and got pregnant when she and her husband started trying to figure out how they'd conceive if she hadn't had a period. I got pregnant while nursing all day but my son was sleeping through the night. I have a couple other friends who were nursing and tried for a couple months and were successful even though they were nursing around the clock. Another friend was on the mini-pill but not being very careful and got pregnant. We all nursed right through our pregnancies and tandem nursed the two at the same time.
It sounds like your body is probably ready. Enjoy!

Just to clarify on another post. It's totally a fallacy that you have to stop breastfeeding while pregnant. Unless you have a history of preterm labor or you are high-risk, the slight contractions during breastfeeding will NOT abort your pregnancy. I'm sorry Lisa was told that:( There's no reason to wean a nursing toddler after finding out you're pregnant. If you want info, PM me. Or there are hundreds of links and a handful of books about it. As for Jenni's post, yes, both take nutrients. But that isn't a problem if you eat a healthy diet.



answers from Portland on

Hi J.,
Your story sounds almost like mine! I didn't get my period until my son was 13 months old, and then two months later (and still breastfeeding) I got pregnant again with baby #2!!!
So yes, you can get pregnant even if you're still breastfeeding. You probably aren't doing it as much as you did when he was younger, so your body has kicked back into "fertile mode". :)
Don't worry, you don't have to give up cuddling or breastfeeding even if you get pregnant. In my case I was ready to keep breastfeeding during pregnancy, but my son weaned himself off just a week or so ago at 16 months. We still cuddle, and he still occasionally sucks on my breasts at night or if he hurts himself or feels sick, but there isn't much of anything left in them- maybe a gulp or two.
Congrats for nursing so long, and congrats on the baby to be! :)



answers from Lafayette on

Yes, you can get pregnant, even though you are breastfeeding! I have 6 children ages 14 - 5 1/2 and I breastfeed all of them until I got pregnant with the next child! I was told also that as long as I was breastfeeding I would not get pregnant, that is because you will abort your unborn child while you are breastfeeding. Your uterus contracts while breastfeeding, so then you will lose the fetus. I would get cramps every time I breastfed if I was pregnant, and then I would know for sure that I needed to stop!

Hope this helps! God Bless You!



answers from Honolulu on

YES you can get pregnant. Totally. Just go my your ovulation symptoms. That is what me and Hubby did. We got pregnant naturally that way.

I breastfed my daughter until 2.5 years old when she self-weaned.
During that time I got pregnant... I had my periods, regularly since about 5 months after she was born.

I also co-slept with my kids.

He seems to be self-weaning on his own. Or you can egg him on. But go by your and his comfort level.

All the best,


answers from Pocatello on

If you are having your period then you are ovulating which means you can get pregnant. The only reason they say you won't get pregnant while breastfeeding is because some women (like me) don't get their period back until they are completely done BF. But if you are having regular cycles then you totally can.



answers from Santa Barbara on

My SIL has children 13 months apart because she thought breastfeeding is a form of birth control.

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