Hello friends, how are you all? I am bipasa from bestforbabies.com, so you may have heard before that as long as you’re breastfeeding you can’t get pregnant and it seems that for some people that’s true well for others it’s clearly not so in this blog we are talking about how breastfeeding impacts your ability to get pregnant as well as a natural alternative method for family planning.
How you Can Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding:
So why is it that you hear some people say that breastfeeding was their birth control and others say the opposite well to start this conversation off it’s important to remember how women cycles work now I’m sure you all know this already but during a certain time each month an egg is released from an ovary and troubles down to the uterus to implant
if it has been fertilized by a sperm along the way but if the egg remains unfertilized the lining of that uterus that has been thickening with nutrients in preparation for that fertilized egg to implant and begin growing will start to shed resulting in a period that lasts anywhere between 2 to 7 days,
now while a mama is breastfeeding especially during the first six months after birth the likelihood of her ovulating is very slim and the reason for this is because we act of baby sucking triggers a signal to the mother’s brain that actually interferes with the production of hormones that are needed to ovulate in fact for the nursing mother there’s really only about a six percent chance of pregnancy occurring prior to the first menstruation
Do keep in mind though that you ovulate before your period which means you can get pregnant before that first period even while you’re breastfeeding however there is a way that you can reduce that 6% chance of getting pregnant while breastfeeding and this little method is why some women may postpone getting pregnant whether they know they’re doing this method or not and the method that I’m talking about is called the LAM.
What is LAM ( Lactation Amenorrhea Method) & How do LAM works?
Lactation Amenorrhea Method LAM for short or ecological breastfeeding and using these methods can lower your chance of getting pregnant in the first six months to about one percent so what exactly is LAM or ecological breastfeeding basically these methods use breastfeeding as a way to help mamas prevent getting pregnant but there are a few conditions that have to be met in order to get the desired results from LAM to remember these requirements we can use the abbreviating letters LAM.
The three criteria for LAM effectiveness are:
The first letter L is for lactation so you can ask yourself am I exclusively or nearly exclusively breastfeeding my baby and what that looks like is frequent feeding so feeding on demand or feeding about every three to four hours during the day and at least every six hours at night and without regular supplementation of food water or formula now supplementing happens more than one to two times a week and it disrupts normal feeding times or in other words, you’re supplementing and you’re not expressing milk from your breasts then this criteria isn’t being met and you’re more likely to become pregnant if you’re using the lam method.
The next letter is A amenorrhea which basically is just a fancy term for your period so has your period returned now of course after birth you’re bleeding for sometimes up to six weeks after baby is born and this is not considered a period so a period is considered to be after your postpartum bleeding has ended and then you experience menstrual-like bleeding again lasting two to seven days just like in a typical menstrual cycle,
so once your postpartum bleeding has stopped and then in a few months you have you know you’re bleeding again that’s probably your period and if you have started your period you’re no longer amenorrhea which means you’re more likely to get pregnant.
The last letter M stands for months and the first six months is when Lam is most effective because most exclusively breastfeeding mamas don’t get their period back within those six months if they are breastfeeding at least every four hours during the day and at least every six hours and night.
Now, this isn’t to say that once that six-month mark rolls around that the lam method is totally ineffective in fact there have been studies done in Rwanda where women who maintain breastfeeding frequencies through nine months were able to effectively avoid pregnancy and beyond those nine months a study done in Pakistan showed that frequent feedings day and it could work as birth control for up to 12 months.
so really what it comes down to is the frequency of feedings and if you want to use this method you want to make sure that you are feeding baby very very frequently and usually at that six-month mark babies begin to eat more solids and rely less on breast milk which is often why you those feedings become less frequent.so when this is the case and mamas aren’t feeding as often as before the chance of ovulating increases.
So bottom line is that for a mama who hasn’t had a period yet and it’s exclusively breastfeeding through the day and night and especially with a baby who is less than six month old has about a 1% chance of getting pregnant the US Department of Health and Human Services states that lam is a highly effective method of contraception if mamas are meeting the requirements.
However, if you’re a pumping mama this method might not necessarily work for you because studies show that manually expressing milk increases the chances of getting pregnant over your baby directly at nursing from the breast so it’s definitely something to consider and just be looking out for
So this is a chart from institute of reproductive health and you can tell from this chart that lam is actually very effective in preventing pregnancy next to other birth control methods so oral contraceptives as commonly used as in maybe you’re not taking them at the same time every day or miss a day has an eight percent chance of pregnancy while commonly is lamb is only 2 percent now if you want to look closer at that chart I’ll link that write here ( LAM ).
so that’s a basic idea of how the lactation amenorrhea method works and ecological breastfeeding is very similar although a little bit more strict on their guidelines ecological breastfeeding usually means not offering baby any supplements at all no pacifiers and encourages co-sleeping or at the very least room sharing so that you can nurse basically around the clock,
But basically it’s the same idea and nursing exclusively haven’t had a period yet and baby is under six months and in my opinion lamb is a little bit easier to follow and allows a little bit more freedom and flexibility for Mama, so figuring out what’s best for you and your family is important and this is just one method for family planning that focuses on a warrant natural approach.
I hope this blog also answers your question about whether you can get pregnant while breastfeeding because yes you can but there are ways that you can help avoid getting pregnant if you’re hoping to space out your babies a little bit more thanks for being with me in this blog mamas and I will see you in the next one bye.