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Breastfeeding as Contraception

(9 Posts)
Zipitydoda Sat 25-Jun-11 21:18:06

Does anyone know how effective exclusive BF is as a method of contraception? Obviously I need to sort out a better solution but DS is 3 weeks old and EBF so what are the chances?!

Snuppeline Sat 25-Jun-11 21:21:21

Not a very good one at all from what I can gather! After birth you are very fertile and though breastfeeding seem to release a hormone which supress periods it does not work for everyone. Midwife and health visitor will tell you the same. Go get some contraception less you want a close sibling for your ds smile

Snuppeline Sat 25-Jun-11 21:22:25

oh and by the way, since your ds is only three weeks old you should lay off the sex anyway. Don't they say until 6 or 8 weeks? <not a prude but health conscious emoticon>

whomovedmychocolate Sat 25-Jun-11 21:23:32

The very presence of my 3 year old would indicate it is NOT a good method of contraception wink

Sidge Sat 25-Jun-11 21:38:31

Nope, not hugely reliable so better to have contraception in place.

You can ovulate from day 21 post partum, it's less likely when you are exclusively and regularly breastfeeding but still possible.

tortilla Sat 25-Jun-11 21:54:54

You have to be feeding exclusively, and at least every 4 hours I believe and then it is very effective, but that only applies before your periods return and you may not know when you ovulate before they come back so are at risk then. I didn't trust it myself because both DC did sleep for a longish stretch at night from very early on, but I did use the diaphragm (typically higher failure rate than others) as I figured that breastfeeding gave that an extra boost which made it more effective, and it was a good mode of contarception otherwise (not hormonal, doesn't interfere with sex like condoms do)

Zipitydoda Sat 25-Jun-11 22:29:08

Thanks for the advice. As for the 6 week thing, this is DC3 for us and doctors at the previous 6 week checks have always seemed surprised that I haven't had intercourse yet so I don't think it is banned for 6 weeks.
Would like DC4 but not just yet so I will have to investigate alternatives - hate condoms and anything with hormones.

tortilla Sun 26-Jun-11 08:06:52

I think if you have a cs then you should wait for your 6 week check, but if it was a natural birth then they like you to have tried so you can confirm everything is ok at your 6 week check! I think I waited around 4 weeks both times.

You might want to try the diaphragm. Not many people use it now because it is a bit higher risk than other things, but with breastfeeding as a backup it should be as effective as everything else. I've found it surprisingly convenient as it isn't hormonal but unlike condoms you can put it in before you know whether you will have sex: my GP said to just get used to putting it in as part of your wash/teeth/loo routine before bed so it just becomes a normal everyday thing but you are ready to go if you and DH aren't too knackered smile And if you think sex is in the offing at another time of day you can again put it in well before the moment when condoms just completely break the mood!

TheRealMBJ Sun 26-Jun-11 18:12:09

The Lactation Ammenorrhoea Method (LAM) is recognised method of contraception, however it is only reliable (as reliable as the pill really) if certain, rather stringent rules are followed. More here

These are:
Baby younger than six months
No return of periods
Exclusively breastfed (no bottles/solids/juice/water/dummies)
Fully demand fed (no scheduling *at all*)
Night feeds (no period of of longer than 6 hours without a feed at night)

As these are quite rigorous rules and so most people find them difficult to stick to. Also it can never be relied on for longer than the first 6 months even if you do manage to stick to the other conditions.

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