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HELP!: ANYONE KNOWS IF BF CAN REDUCE MY FERTILITY?

(12 Posts)
Letsdoit Fri 11-Jul-08 22:56:12

I realise BF obviously reduces fertility at the beginning, until ovulation is re-established and periods return, but what about later?

I'm still BF my 14mo DD but want to conceive again. Being 38 and having taken ages to conceive the first time, I wonder if I should stop BF to increase my chances this time?

Such a difficult decision - nearly cried today thinking about stopping BF, but feel that if it is reducing my fertility, then I am being unfair to my (potential) second baby in favour of the first one??

I am trying hard for my opinion not to come into it, as I love BF and so does DD - does anyone know the scientific fats to help us decide, please??

Thank you in advance!!!!

SamJamsmum Sat 12-Jul-08 11:00:47

I presume your cycle returned? And if so, how long ago? Periods seem 'normal'?
Do you have a sense you are ovulating? Notice thicker cervical mucus/ discharge around that time? Done any charting?
Any experience with ovulation predictor kits?

I conceived my second child in the first month of trying while still bfing my first 3 times a day. I'm not saying that in a 'woo-hoo look at me!' way but just to point out it can be done. But he was 3 when he was feeding and my cycles had been back almost 2 years.
However I also personally know a mum who conceived (very unexpectedly) when her baby was only 5 months old and bfing.

It's hard to give 'scientific facts' as there is so much variation. But obviously ovulation and a decent luteal phase (that's the gap between ovulation and your period starting ordinarily) are the keys. Luteal competence sometimes comes after a few cycles when breastfeeding. If that phase is too short then implantation is less likely to be successful.
How much do you know about your own cycles? Kellymom.com is pretty good on this subject.

Letsdoit Sat 12-Jul-08 19:08:12

Thank you very much, SamJamsmum. Such great news to see it can indeed happen.

My cycle returned 5 months ago, when DD was 9 mo. Periods do seem normal but cycles tend to be short, 25 - 26 days, quite usual for me.

Used to know a lot about my cycles but my baby brain can't remember much - last time I actually watched my periods was already 2 yrs ago. Time flies when you become a mum, eh?

I used to use a thermometer in the mornings, combined with ovulation predictor 'sticks'. Guess we must get the kit out again. Soo exciting. Wish us luck.

On the other hand, I notice you breastfed until your 1st child was at least 3 yo; may I just say congratulations. I am feeling pressure to stop, I have to say. Sisters and even husband making comments about it etc. But that's another matter...

Grateful if anyone else has any other comments.

Thanks again!

idontbelieveit Sat 12-Jul-08 19:22:08

i'm 10 weeks preggers and still bfing my 25month old dd. it can be done. Sorry can't add more as have to go and make the tea.

Letsdoit Sat 12-Jul-08 19:28:39

Great - thank you anyway idontbelieveit - go enjoy tea smile!

princessofpower Sat 12-Jul-08 19:38:18

Message withdrawn

sabire Sat 12-Jul-08 19:58:39

I understood that bf does reduce fertility in many women, even after solids are introduced, because of affects on ovulation and luteal phase. I stopped feeding dd1 at 18 months to try and conceive. I was 34. After a 18 months of trying I went for investigations and was told that I had a less than 1% chance of conceiving naturally because of DH's low sperm count and motility, and my endometriosis and PCOS. Despite this, I conceived ds1 naturally at 36, then conceived again naturally at 38, while I was still bf ds 1 several times a day! Go figure.... Guess it didn't reduce my fertility......

Letsdoit Sat 12-Jul-08 20:30:34

Hahaha, no, it didn't, did it, sabire?

It's awsome to read all this; very encouraging. Maybe I should stop worrying so much about being 38.

Docs looked at me quite thoroughly when I took 1.5 yrs to conceive first time and all was well, including unblocked tubes. I am convinced it was just LOADS os stress - gave up work and conceived naturally twice in 5 months (miscarried first one).

Going to look at kellymom right now.

You are all stars. Thank you!

Letsdoit Sat 12-Jul-08 20:32:14

princessofpower sorry forgot to say thanks to you directly and to ask how old you were when you had all ur children, pls?

princessofpower Sun 13-Jul-08 11:17:52

Message withdrawn

Tapster Sun 13-Jul-08 11:28:27

I've just found out that I'm pregnant and I'm still BFing my DD who is now 20 months. I was about to give up BFing as I was convinced I couldn't stay pregnant will BFing. I had 2 months where I conceived (I get pregnancy symptoms very early) but obviously the eggs didn't implant successfully as I got late periods when I am never late.

I cut my DDs feeds to just morning and night and NEVER any other time and it seems to have worked. Not sure it helped but I'm glad I did it - also made our BFing relationship a bit better as I was tired of feeding on demand.

Cutting down and no night feeds and give yourself a time limit would be my advice. This was my fourth month of ttcing and if I hadn't got pregnant this month I was going to stop. Hope DD will self wean if the pregnancy sticks, if not plan to stop when DD is 2.

Good luck I contacted the LLL and they admit that some women can't conceive while BFing.

SamJamsmum Sun 13-Jul-08 18:28:19

If your cycles feel very short it might be that your luteal phase is quite short. It ideally needs to be at least 10 days. You could count from ovulation one month and work it out. I've read on another forum that there are ways to help extend it - one is actually to ensure you have as much darkness at night as is possible (not always easy!. One TTCers was wearing an eyemask and felt that gave good results.

Thanks for the congrats. Yup he is 3 and I bf my 7 month old too.

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