Exclusive breastfeeding can temporarily delay your fertility postpartum, making it more difficult but not impossible to get pregnant while nursing. We all know the numerous benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, including reduced risk for breast and ovarian cancer, an increase in weight loss, increased self-confidence and building an irreplaceable bond. Did you know that natural contraception is another benefit of breastfeeding?
Lactational amenorrhea refers to the natural postpartum infertility that occurs when a woman is not menstruating due to breastfeeding. Many mothers receive conflicting information on the subject of breastfeeding and fertility. Exclusive breastfeeding has in fact been shown to be an excellent form of birth control, but there are certain criteria that must be met for breastfeeding to be used effectively.
It is widely documented that, in the first few months after childbirth, breastfeeding reduces chances of pregnancy by preventing ovulation and delaying the return of menstruation. This phenomenon is called Lactational Amenorrhea, meaning the lack of periods due to breastfeeding. Interestingly, the high levels of prolactin interfere with the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian chain, preventing estrogen secretion and blocking ovulation.
LAM is a form of natural birth control that relies on the new mother feeding her baby only breastmilk for up to six months and having no periods or spotting during that time. LAM is a temporary form of birth control when used correctly. LAM requires exclusive onlyfrequent breastfeeding at least every four hours during the day and at least every six hours during the night of an infant less than six months old.
It has long been recognized that women who breastfeed their children have a longer period of amenorrhea and infertility following delivery than do those women who do not breastfeed. The length of postpartum amenorrhea is quite variable, and depends on several factors, including maternal age and parity, and the duration and frequency of breastfeeding. In general, it would appear that the more frequent and the longer the episodes of breastfeeding, the longer will be the period of anovulation, and the longer the period of infertility.
Introduction As you journey into motherhood, bonding with and caring for your new baby, the thought of another pregnancy may be distant. Whether or not you want more children in the future, the time to think about your fertility is before or soon after giving birth. Considering options and determining what best meets your personal circumstances can be overwhelming.
Breastfeeding can have an effect on your fertility, particularly in the early months. While for some mothers this is a benefit, it can also be a source of frustration for those hoping to grow their families. However, many moms experience a time of delayed fertility during breastfeeding.
Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. If sex hurts, it won't be pleasurable. You may be worried about changes to your body or getting pregnant again.
Since the s there has been much study of the relationship between breastfeeding and fertility. First, national surveys began to find this relationship. For some breastfeeding mothers, their period returns as early as a few weeks after giving birth and for others it can take years.
Lactational amenorrhea is the temporary postnatal infertility that occurs when a woman is amenorrheic not menstruating and fully breastfeeding. Breastfeeding delays the resumption of normal ovarian cycles by disrupting the pattern of pulsatile release of GnRH from the hypothalamus and hence LH from the pituitary. Only when lactation declines sufficiently to allow generation of a normal preovulatory LH surge to occur will ovulation take place with the formation of a corpus luteum of variable normality.