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Does nursing normally affect your fertility the same way each time?

(11 Posts)
18wksplus Tue 25-Sep-12 20:21:04

DD is 2 and I'm 18wks pregnant (she'll be 2.6 when it arrives). We'd like a third very quickly for various reasons.

However, it took totally stopping nursing DD (at 12m) to get my period back. We were still feeding at night time occasionally and she never took formula/a dummy.

So... can I expect to need to totally stop feeding the new baby before I get my fertility back? or does it change with each baby (ie might I get my fertility back whilst still nursing this time around)??

quoteunquote Tue 25-Sep-12 22:00:20

No, it can be different each time, well it has been for me,

and I have got pregnant with no period returning, so anything goes, I shall be interested to see what other people say.

ThreePly Tue 25-Sep-12 22:23:10

Hopefully someone more expert will be along in a minute, but I think your body gets more sensitive to progesterone each time -- so with subsequent babies, your fertility will be suppressed by just a couple of feeds.

Progesterone is highest at night so night feeds would be the ones to drop if you wanted to get your fertility back.

Having said all that I've fallen pg twice while still bf -- the 2nd time I didn't even have a period in between blush

18wksplus Wed 26-Sep-12 00:18:29

Three - so the progesterone theory means that you need to cut back more with subsequent babies to get the same effect on fertility.

Pants. Was really hoping to get away with dropping night feeds early on and seeing if that made a difference. Really want to feed for a long time, but really want another baby sooner rather than later.

ThreePly Wed 26-Sep-12 23:16:36

The other thing you could try is cutting down dramatically all of a sudden and seeing if that kick starts your fertility. That happened inadvertently when I went back to work after dc1. (And of course you can just build it up again by feeding lots. Slightly risky in case baby loses interest so you'd have to weigh it up.)

Good luck.

sanam2010 Thu 27-Sep-12 17:36:46

Don't equate periods with fertility. I never got my periods back with Dd1 and was just considering weaning her at 18 months as we wanted to try to conceive %232 when I suddenly found out i was 5 weeks pregnant already! (I found out bc at some point i was so tired all the time that it reminded me of first pregnancy, obviously missed periods weren't a signal for me)!

This happens to quite a few extended breastfeeders. Also from the bf mums I know, it was more common for periods to return quicker after the second baby - perhaps also bc with the second they slept through earlier.

So I wouldn't worry too much for now, and when your periods don't come back after some time you could start night weaning first, which brings periods back for many mums, and if that doesn't work then you make a decision, but basically you can conceive without periods, it's just less likely and harder to time, but you can use measures such as discharge, body temperature etc as indicators of ovulation even without periods.

tableandchairs Sun 30-Sep-12 23:31:29

Surely there's only one occasion when you can conceive without a period (ie two-ish weeks before your first period post-baby)? Otherwise if you 'miss' that egg (the first one to be released post-baby), you get a period.

So surely you can't be fertile (ovulating) every month without getting a period...?? I've always understood that if you ovulate, you either a) get a period or b) get pregnant - that you can't ovulate without getting a period (although you obviously can have a period without ovulating).

Does that make sense?

halloweeneyqueeney Sun 30-Sep-12 23:36:40

no! I know people who've had BFing BFPs for their 3rd because they thought their fertility would be affected BFing no2 in the same way as it was when BFing no1 grin

18wksplus Mon 01-Oct-12 12:04:42

Ooh halloween - that gives me hope smile

sanam2010 Mon 01-Oct-12 12:14:45

Tableandchairs, as far as i know, u can ovulate without having a period, it's just leas likely but from what i read it is possible.

Toptack Mon 01-Oct-12 12:22:28

I'm pretty certain that tableandchairs is correct, after you've ovulated you either get pregnant or have a period, so there is only one 'window' when you can get pregnant without having a period.

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