Hormonal Birth Control and Breastfeeding

photo courtesy of thedailygreen.com

There is a longstanding rumor that it is not possible to become pregnant while you are breastfeeding.  However, it is simply not true.  Breastfeeding does generally decrease your fertility, and therefore you may find that you do not menstruate for months after having your baby.  However, the body will typically release its first postpartum egg about two weeks before you experience your first post-baby period.  Therefore, it is very possible that you can become pregnant while you are still breastfeeding.

At that point, with all that your body has just been through, you may not want to become pregnant again immediately.  Initially, abstinence is recommended.  Doctors will usually tell women who have just given birth to put off having sex until their six-week postpartum examination, at which point the progress of their healing can be checked and they can be medically cleared.  However, once given the green light, hormonal birth control methods are not the best option for breastfeeding women. First, oral contraceptives containing estrogen are known to suppress milk production.  Second, any type of hormonal birth control will enter into the breast milk you are feeding your child.  Physicians still do not know what type of impact these hormones have on children’s long term sexual and reproductive development.

Therefore, non-hormonal forms of birth control are ideal for the nursing mother.  This can include the use of condoms, diaphragms, sponges, or cervical caps.  However, these forms of birth control are subject to human error in usage that can decrease their effectiveness.  Women have an affordable, accurate, and all-natural alternative for fertility control with Lady-Comp. Lady-Comp is a computer which will determine your ovulation with 99.3% accuracy based simply on the data you provide and your daily morning body temperature.

During the time of reduced fertility immediately postpartum and the initial stages of breastfeeding, Lady-Comp shows yellow.  Just try to take your temperature as often as possible. Your temperatures are a typical zig-zag pattern.  Lady-Comp plus a barrier method like the condoms, diaphragms, sponges or cervical caps are the best choice during this time.

Once you and your baby reduce the frequency of breastfeeding, your body starts to produce hormones inducing ovulation (FSH).  You will notice a change in the pattern of cervical mucus – sometimes being more fluid.  During this time you are potentially fertile.  Lady-comp still shows yellow, but your wake-up temperatures drop to a lower level with fewer disturbances.  This is the time to be extra cautious when making love.

As soon as your first ovulation has taken place, Lady-Comp will notice a significant change in your temperature pattern and show green when it is sure you are definitely infertile.  About 8 days later you will have your first menstruation and Lady-Comp will be able to predict future ovulations.

Be aware that only the change of temperature can show you for sure that you ovulated. The mucus pattern comes and goes like waves – thus it’s a sign of being fertile, but not good enough to establish that ovulation has definitely taken place.

 

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