Many women who are breastfeeding or nursing their babies exclusively believe that they cannot get pregnant during this time. This practice is a birth control method called Lactational Amerrorhea. It is used because breastfeeding exclusively normally cause women not to menstruate after giving birth.
Unfortunately, there are conflicting information regarding this subject, including myths such as breastfeeding not being a reliable method for preventing pregnancy and can prevent pregnancies regardless of how frequently the woman breastfeed.
If you have heard all of this it is highly likely that you are also confused and want to know if you can get pregnant when breastfeeding. Well, you have come to the right place as this article will help you understand more about this subject.
Is it possible to get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?
Absolutely yes! You can get pregnant at this time because you will be less fertile, but not infertile. Your period might not come for a few months after you give birth, but your body is going to release an egg within two weeks before your menstrual cycle resumes. However, you won’t know when you release the egg or ovulate until after the first period starts. For this reason, you need to use birth control when having sex if you don’t want to get pregnant right after giving birth whilst nursing or breastfeeding your newborn baby.
Doctors usually recommend the barrier birth control methods such as condoms and diaphragms, but others think that the mini-pills or low dose oral contraceptives are safer to use when breastfeeding.
Keep reading on below to know about the pregnancy signs that you could see while breastfeeding, as well as the precautions that you can take.
Breastfeeding can be an effective method of birth control, based on the Lactational Amenorrhea Method, if you are a nursing mother who is breastfeeding completely for every three hours in the day time and every six hours at night. You could nurse your baby every two hours in the beginning and then increase the time to three hours. You should not go for more than the maximum four hours in between breastfeeding during the day.
It can be difficult for you to recognize the early signs of pregnancy when you are lactating, especially if you are not seeing your period after childbirth. When your body starts to return slowly to fertility, the first ovulation or release of egg from your ovaries will occur before your first period. This means that it’s possible for you to get pregnant and not notice the missed period as a sign of pregnancy. However, you might experience certain other pregnancy symptoms.
As a pregnant nursing woman, you can experience implantation bleeding or spotting when the fertilized egg is implanted to the uterus wall. Some other symptoms include frequent urination, soreness of nipples or swollen/tender breasts and increased fatigue. If you are a week pregnant, you can experience vomiting, food cravings, nausea, upset stomach, constipation, indigestion, headache, dizziness, backache, or mood swings.
An increase in basal body temperature for over two weeks will indicate pregnancy. Of course, you might not detect this change in temperature if you weren’t keeping a record of your basal body temperature prior to ovulation.
One of the important pregnancy signs that you could see after three weeks would be a decrease in your milk supply.
You can also notice morning sickness, stomach cramps, stronger sense of smell, and so on. Your baby might start to respond differently to breastfeeding, one of the important signs that you could see after one month. When the taste and consistency of your breast milk changes, becoming sour or salty, some babies will show signs of dislike. The milk might also become more watery and less white, but this might not be a sure sign of pregnancy and the nutritional qualities will not be affected.
Now, breastfeeding can result in uterine contractions so women with higher risk of preterm labor or miscarriage are not advised to breastfeed while they are pregnant. In this case, you have to consult your doctor as a nursing pregnant woman because you are feeding your baby and providing nutrition to the fetus.
In general, the pregnancy signs during lactation might vary from one woman to the next. You could be pregnant if you are experiencing breast tenderness, morning sickness, soreness of nipples, or any of the other symptoms above, but it’s always best to do a pregnancy test to be really sure.
At this point it is worth mentioning that you can take certain steps to increase your fertility if you want to get pregnant when breastfeeding. On the other hand, you need to ensure that you are using contraception if you are not ready to have another baby. This way, you can avoid unexpected surprises and be in control of family planning. Be sure to talk to your doctor to get advice and recommendations about the right birth control method for you.