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Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

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Many mothers believe that they will not get pregnant while exclusively breastfeeding their babies. This practice is called the Lactational Amerrorhea Method (LAM) of birth control because women who breastfeed exclusively usually do not menstruate after childbirth. This results in natural infertility. However, many mothers are confused about fertility and breastfeeding because of conflicting information they receive. These include myths like breastfeeding is an unreliable method of preventing pregnancy and breastfeeding will prevent pregnancies no matter how frequently they breastfeed or even if their period has resumed.
Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?
Yes, women can get pregnant while they are breastfeeding because although they are less fertile during this time, they may not be infertile. You may not get your period for a few months after childbirth but your body will release an egg two weeks before you resume menstruating again. However, you will not know when you have ovulated or released the egg until after your first period begins.
This means that if you do not want to get pregnant soon after giving birth while nursing your newborn baby, you must use birth control methods when having sex. Doctors recommend using barrier methods such as diaphragms and condoms but others believe that low-dose oral contraceptives or mini-pills are safe even while breastfeeding. Consult your doctor about using these progestin pills, which do not contain estrogen hormone.
Mothers who exclusively breastfeed usually do not menstruate for up to a year after giving birth. However, when the baby feeds less at night, the mother may start having her periods sooner, within 3-8 months. Mothers who supplement their feedings with milk formula are ...

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... old or older. Solid foods should be given to provide added nutrition, not to substitute for breastfeeding.
It is important to remember that the key to successful use of breastfeeding for birth control is to maintain the frequency of breastfeeding. This ensures that the blood levels of the hormone called prolactin are high enough to suppress your ovulation. When the baby feeds less, prolactin levels decline and your reproductive hormones increase, causing fertility to return.
If these guidelines are followed, your lactation amenorrhea may last for 13-16 months, or an average of 14.5 period-free months after childbirth. However, it is also possible for menses to return after six months in a few women or as long as 2-3 years for others.

Works Cited

http://www.babycenter.com/404_can-i-get-pregnant-while-breastfeeding_7093.bc
http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertility/
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