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WIBU regarding contraception (or rather, lack of!)

(59 Posts)
Moominsummermadness Tue 13-Nov-12 21:58:45

When I gave birth to my baby 7 weeks ago, I was handed a leaflet regarding contraceptive choices on the post-natal ward. There was a section regarding using breastfeeding as a form of contraception. It said that as long as periods had not returned, baby was exclusively and frequently breast fed and under six months old, this would be an effective form of contraception. I therefore decided that I would rely on this until I saw the nurse at the 6-8 week check, then get the mini pill.

Today I had the check, when asked if I'd had unprotected sex, I admitted that I had, and I got a prompt telling off. Why on earth do they hand out leaflets stating that lactational amenhorrea is ok as contraception, if it's that unreliable? I was made to feel like a silly little girl!

ShallIJustShutUpThen Tue 13-Nov-12 22:06:41

My second one was conceived before my periods had returned, whilst I was still exc bfeeding my first and before 6 months old. It was quite a shock i can tell you. You have been warned!

Moominsummermadness Tue 13-Nov-12 22:19:24

I can imagine that was a shock! It's ok, I've got cerazette now, just think they should perhaps amend the leaflets explaining that breastfeeding is not a reliable form of contraception!

hobnobsaremyfave Tue 13-Nov-12 22:21:09

I had a friend whose mum had 3 children in 30 months with that method of "contraception"

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 13-Nov-12 22:22:22

I think it is reliable but you have to do it properly ie demand feeding every single time, Co sleeping etc.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 13-Nov-12 22:24:29

It is fairly reliable if you don't use any dummies or bottles your baby doesn't sleep through at night as well as a few other things

wannaBe Tue 13-Nov-12 22:25:40

shock shock shock

When i left hospital after having ds ten years ago I was told in no uncertainn terms that breastfeeding is not a reliable form of contraception. am shock that this bullshit is now being spouted on an official leaflet!

noblegiraffe Tue 13-Nov-12 22:27:06

I found having a newborn to be a very effective form of contraception wink

I'm surprised to read that the NHS says breastfeeding is effective, everything I came across said 'don't rely on it'.

IvanaDvinkYourBlad Tue 13-Nov-12 22:27:28

It's impossible to judge because you ovulate before you get your first period. Or not, if you are pregnant again. No idea how it can be recommended unless you used opks and temping or something confused

TheCraicDealer Tue 13-Nov-12 22:27:40

Isn't it something like you have to be feeding regularly at 4 (or less) hourly intervals for it to be reliable? I only know this from Mumsnet btw, no babies here yet. Just remember thinking "fuck, ill have to remember that".

ShallIJustShutUpThen Tue 13-Nov-12 22:27:56

ItsAllGoingToBeFine That's what I did though, maybe I was just unlucky?
We co-slept, bf on demand, no dummies and was still feeding several times through the night, certainly never went more than 5 hours absolute max through the night without a feed but still got pregnant again. TBH we were thrilled once we got over the shock

thebody Tue 13-Nov-12 22:28:30

It most certainly is NOT reliable( ex nurse) and I am shocked at this advice.

IvanaDvinkYourBlad Tue 13-Nov-12 22:29:07

I have a feeling my post makes no sense, I know what I mean but can't put it into words properly! Basically, bollocks. grin

noblegiraffe Tue 13-Nov-12 22:29:12

I was feeding two hourly or more frequently and all the rest, and my period returned before 6 months. I was well annoyed.

ShallIJustShutUpThen Tue 13-Nov-12 22:31:15

I know what you meant Ivana. You mean that the first time you ovulate after giving birth, the ovulation occurs before your first period, so there is nothing to alert you that the cycle has started again post-baby. So you can be caught out.
That's what happened to us, I had no period between babies at all.

DeathMetalMum Tue 13-Nov-12 22:31:37

I was told by one of the midwifes during my postnatal visits about importance of contraception even if breastfeeding. She told me the number of surprise pregnancies she had seen because of people thinking it was okay to go without contraception.

At my 6 week check I had to pretty much beg the gp to give me the prescription for cerrazette, she told me I would not need it if I was brestfeeding. I was quite surprised at this.

twizzlestix Tue 13-Nov-12 22:31:48

My baby is about the same age as yours. I was given same leaflet stating exclusive breastfeeding as a form of contraception, my Dr even said I was 'doubly protected' when I asked for mini pill! Having dealt with a newborn now both my DH and I were very hmm at the idea of risking it!

Bogeyface Tue 13-Nov-12 22:32:45

The problem is that there can be different interpretations of EBF when it comes to contraception, which is why accidents happen. A baby sleeping through 10 hours for example, is great for the mum but not good for contraceptive purposes, even if the baby is only fed from the breast with no dummies, expressed milk or top ups.

Her attitude was v snotty though, did you tell her about the leaflet and ask her? If you didnt then I would be tempted to write to the practice manager, and possibly the Superintendent MW at the hospital, asking for clarification and saying that you feel it is confusing. I had an issue that when I complained led to a total change of policy, although it was a much more serious problem it did still show what can be done if you are prepared to see it through.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 13-Nov-12 22:36:27

This is the reason my sister and I are only 13 months apart. My mum was very clear with me do not believe anyone who tells you this.

IvanaDvinkYourBlad Tue 13-Nov-12 22:37:04

Yes ShallI thank you smile
You can obviously be made aware of your period returning but not ovulation, which comes before.

Everyone's hormones are different also, some women's cycles return after a couple of months - others don't have one the entire time they breastfeed. Illness and sleep patterns and exercise and diet etc can all affect your body and hormones too.

Sleep derivation though - now there is a good contraceptive.

carabos Tue 13-Nov-12 22:42:16

I bf DS2 for 27 months, fed hourly round the clock, co slept and didn't have a period in all that time. Didn't use any other contraception and didn't get pregnant.

Got a period within minutes immediately he was weaned.

Wouldn't recommend it though - as others have said, everyone is different.

HoneyDragon Tue 13-Nov-12 22:47:02

Ebf here. Period returned with both between 6. -8 weeks.

ShallIJustShutUpThen Tue 13-Nov-12 22:47:28

Carabos Hourly, 24/7 around the clock for 27 months?

greenbananas Tue 13-Nov-12 22:48:52

Statistically, breastfeeding is as good as condoms for the first 6 months, so long as you are feeding very frequently on demand. Of course, breastfeeding does not guarantee against pregnancy. We all know somebody who has got pregnant while still breastfeeding - just like we probably all know somebody who has had a condom split or similar accident.

Your midwife should not have made you feel silly - how rude of her!

Bogeyface Tue 13-Nov-12 22:52:17

ShallI I was about to ask that too!

Carabos Forget sex, how on earth were you not a total basket case from lack of sleep?!

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