Can I get pregnant and continue to breast feed?

(29 Posts)
cherrylola Thu 17-Apr-14 13:53:44

Just that really! Currently breastfeeding my 10 month old DS and DP and I are keen to start work on TTC a little brother or sister in a few months smile.

My period has not returned and there is no sign of it coming any time soon (except my usual once a month spot break out!). I really don't want to force DS to stop BFing before he is ready so I can get pregnant again.

Do you have any advice or success stories??

CityDweller Thu 17-Apr-14 15:35:10

I'm sort of wondering the same. I think the 'natural spacing' of ebf a baby leads to bigger age gaps than you want for your DC, but everyone's fertility is different. There's some helpful stuff on the Kellymom website about ttc while bf and there's also a thread over on the conception board.

CityDweller Thu 17-Apr-14 15:36:43

Realised I didn't really answer your q! Yes - you can continue to bf, but that will probably mean waiting for longer to conceive than you might want

leedy Thu 17-Apr-14 15:48:58

Yes, I got pregnant while BF: my period came back by itself at 9 months after DS1 was born without my really needing to do anything, and I had no problems getting pregnant. What seemed to kick-start it for me was him really ramping up on his solids intake so he wasn't feeding quite so frequently. I've also heard anecdotal evidence that taking an iron-containing supplement like Floradix can encourage your cycles to come back, other people have had some success by night weaning to get a bigger gap between feeds.

I continued to BF DS1 for the first few months of pregnancy with DS2 - he more or less self weaned in the second trimester because my supply basically tanked.

weebairn Thu 17-Apr-14 17:16:33

I got my periods back at a year and conceived within a month of having my coil out, at 14 months.

It is very variable when periods return. There is a good thread in the TTC section about TTC when breastfeeding. There are some tricks you can try, mostly to do with timing of feeds I think.

weebairn Thu 17-Apr-14 17:20:57
confuddledDOTcom Thu 17-Apr-14 17:32:15

Yes you can! I tandemed my first two right through the third pregnancy. Only stopped feeding the third when I was on bedrest with the fourth. The first three were exactly 2.5 years apart and the last two are 1.5 years apart.

Booboostoo Thu 17-Apr-14 18:02:55

My periods returned when DD was 18mo and then it took me a further 14m to conceive, but then again it took 14m to conceive DD as well. Still bf DD and 18wks pregnant.

LizzieMint Thu 17-Apr-14 18:06:43

Yes you certainly can! I got pregnant when my LO was 5.5 months and exclusively breastfed. I used temperature charting to check when I ovulated as hadn't had periods and fell pregnant first time.
I fed her all the way through my pregnancy (the only issue being that I've NEVER been as hungry in my life as when I was pregnant and breastfeeding!) and stopped a couple of months before second baby was born because I didn't want to tandem feed.

RuthlessBaggage Thu 17-Apr-14 19:40:23

My DC2 and DC3 are testament to the fact that you definitely can!

But support yourself... you need a 12+ day luteal phase to sustain a pregnancy, so just getting your bleed back won't necessarily mean you're fertile.

You need regular overnight periods without feeding, usually (obviously there are exceptions) and then B vitamins to lengthen luteal phase. Get to a good level of health and fitness with a healthy, balanced diet.

Good luck.

cherrylola Thu 17-Apr-14 20:24:57

Thanks everyone, it sounds like night weaning may help us get things moving. Ruthless why vitamin B? Can you suggest how I can increase my vitamin B levels?

RuthlessBaggage Thu 17-Apr-14 20:28:11

I read it in a book or maybe on MN I think, and took a supplement.

I have no idea why it works. But it certainly did for me!

crazyhead Thu 17-Apr-14 21:01:32

I got pregnant while breastfeeding on the first day of TTC without contraception - my mum and sister also conceived while bf. But it does vary a lot, so personally I'd give it a go for a few months then reassess whether you want to keep feeding if it doesn't work for you.

CityDweller Fri 18-Apr-14 13:07:05

And stopping night feeds might not do the trick - just in terms of whether or not to night wean. My DD (1yo) dropped all night feeds three months ago and my periods still haven't returned.

McBaby Sun 20-Apr-14 08:25:47

My older DD is 20 months and my youngest is 3 days old. We got pregnant when DD was 11 months when I was breastfeeding and I have not had a period since before DD1.

So it is very possible even if you don't have signs of fertility.

confuddledDOTcom Sun 20-Apr-14 08:52:31

Don't night wean before a year old, but it may not be necessary anyway.

TerrariaMum Sun 20-Apr-14 18:10:45

It is definitely possible. DS is 2 weeks old and DD2 just turned one and I am bfing them both though DD2 obviously has other food as well.

cherrylola Mon 21-Apr-14 04:30:16

Thanks everyone, it's comforting to know I don't necessarily have to wait to have a period before TTC! I think DP and I will see what happens naturally then reassess if we don't have any luck after a few months grin

cherrylola Mon 21-Apr-14 04:34:02

Also, minor going to push night weaning just yet (perhaps once he turns one and I am working much more I'll see how we are getting on). His night feeds are reducing now anyway as he eats everything in sight usually!

cherrylola Mon 21-Apr-14 04:34:51

*not
Not minor (stupid phone)

Madrigals Mon 21-Apr-14 08:25:45

Come and join us on the bf while TTC thread which weebairn has linked! Lots of graduates there, so yes you can smile

Big wave to you, weebairn grin

Madrigals Mon 21-Apr-14 08:32:55

The average stage for periods to return is 9 months after the last dc. If you are doing what they call in the bf books 'ecological bf' (eg feed on demand, carry a lot, co sleep) is 14 months, so you are probably very close to your AF returning.

Under one your dc still really needs the milk feeds nutritionally speaking so any dropped bfs would have to be replaced by ff. As your AF is likely to return over the next few months even if you do nothing, I think you are right not to be thinking about cutting down or spacing out bf.

The night weaning thing is thought to be a bit of a red herring now and the focus is moving to total sucking over 24 hours and the longest gap between feeds at any time of day. There is no need to night wean to get AF back.

cherrylola Mon 21-Apr-14 11:21:50

Thanks Madrigals. Yes we cosleep, feed on demand and baby-wear! DS feeds on average 6-8 times in 24 hours, but they have certainly reduced in length of time as he has gotten bigger (getting more milk more quickly I assume) and as we do baby led weaning he has a healthy appetite for solids (3 meals a day and no snacks really, apart from the odd rice cake if out and about and desperate)! I don't have any concerns at all about his breast milk intake as he seems satisfied and BFs at regular intervals. He certainly feeds more if poorly and my supply seems to compensate ok for this.
I'll join the TTC thread too, thanks wink

cherrylola Mon 21-Apr-14 11:25:59

TararriaMum congratulations on your squish! You sound amazing tandem feeding a newborn and a one year old! We had such a tough time starting out BFing I couldn't even begin to imagine how hard that must be grin

TerrariaMum Mon 21-Apr-14 17:13:24

Oh, gosh, I hope that didn't come across as a stealth boast. In fact, if you look on the board, I started a thread asking about positioning.

We had a tough start bfing with DD1, DD2 we had no trouble, and DS had a bit of trouble. Once they got it, they got it. I think that's why I am determined to let them feed for as long as they want. Also, ime, feeding the older one can prevent and/or relieve engorgement.

In my post to you, I was more intending to show the small age gap between DD2 and DS thus indicating that you can indeed get pg when ebf.

We are also baby wearing, cosleeping, demand feeding lentil weavers wink.

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