Increasing fertility without stopping BF(7 Posts)
I wasn't sure whether I'd get more responses in Breast and Bottle Feeding or Conception so I've stuck it in both, sorry!
DS was conceived with IUI and me taking clomid. I'm 36 and have a low follicle count. DS is now 3 months old and from day 1 he took to BF like a duck to water! We co-sleep so night feeds are easy (he's fed to sleep), and if anything bothers him a comfort feed sorts him out in seconds. I really love BF and all the health / ease benefits for both of us.
When I got pregnant with him, we knew we'd love to have a second child too. We thus planned to swap to formula from 6m to endeavour to get fertility back and probably try clomid / IUI again.
Now that time is approaching I feel really torn and quite sad. In an ideal world I'd feed him for at least a year, and then think about trying for a second. I feel awful about stopping BF as he is getting great health benefits and is comforted by it. And I'll miss it too.
However because of my age and fertiliy problems, I know we should try for a second as soon as possible.
I'm hoping for sage advice on how I can somehow get the best of both worlds - I guess dropping a few feeds might help, but any other suggestions? If I can perhaps TTC naturally for a while then I won't have to stop BF (as I obviously would have to if I was taking clomid again).
Also I know fertility can return before your periods start again - is there any way of telling if that has happened? I guess the ovulation predictors won't work if you don't have periods and thus know when to use them.
Forgive the ramble - I think I've included all the relevant info!
I understand that dropping the night feeds is supposed to have the larger impact hormonally. Hard if co-sleeping though!
You could try spacing feeds? The contraceptive effect of bf'ing relies on frequent feeds. Perhaps you could replace a couple of feeds with formula?
I'm sure some excellent info will come along re maximising your chances etc...i believe bf is considered fairly reliable as contraception while it remains exclusive, but once any solids/water/dummy etc are introduced this decreases along with nipple stimulation...thresholds of nipple stimulation needed to stop period return vary from woman to woman...but as i say others will know more about this.
I actually wanted to tell you something that might help you spot ovulation. There is a special kind of milk called "weaning milk" apparently produced when production drops below a certain point, and when pg (which is how i found out about it) and for a day or so when you ovulate . It tastes salty (yum) due to having higher levels of sodium and lower levels of lactose. So if you have a daily taster you may be able to tell you are ovulating even if you haven't had a period yet. Though it's probably a rather home spun method, not very scientific
I still co sleep with frequent night feeds but got my periods back when dd was 12 months - I think this was due to decreasing day time feeds.
I still co-sleep with both, I got pregnant as soon as DD1 was night-weaned. She was a bit older but I think the age they are ready to night-wean can vary.
Once your DS starts on solids at 6 months then he will gradually want less breastmilk and a lot of women find they get their period back once their DC is on solid food.
There used to be a 'TTC whilst BF' thread in one of the other forums, I don't know if it's still there. Might be worth a read to see if anyone's in the same boat as you. Good luck!
Apparently a sudden drop in feeds is more likely to trigger a return of fertility than a gradual one.
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