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Thread: Nursing as a birth control method?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    67

    Default Nursing as a birth control method?

    Hi, I was wondering if any of you know how 'safe' it is to use BFing as a birth control method? I am anti birth control pills (miscarriage because of them - then later found out what they really do) and every other method I just don't like so much. This is my third baby, (4.5 months) & the only one that has nursed for longer than 2 weeks (mom/baby issues - lack of support).

    Anyways, how effective is nursing for a method? I nurse on demand, no pacifiers. She has been sleeping longer stretches during the night but haven't started my period yet.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    there is some good info here at the web site.
    click on resorces in the gray bar at the top and then on the next page there will be a side for mothers issuses and baby issues

    We use condoms and they work great for us, cheap no hormones

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    If you meet ALL of the following criteria:
    - You nurse on demand
    - You do not use any artificial nipples (bottles, pacifiers)
    - You are breastfeeding exclusively (no formula, no solids)
    - Your baby is less than 6 months old
    - You never go >6 hours without nursing
    - Your period has not yet returned
    then breastfeeding provides about 99% effective birth control. Break any of these "rules" and the effectiveness declines markedly.

    What methods have you tried? And what are you looking for in a birth control method? Maybe we can help you find something that works for you.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    Thanks. How effective is it after she start solids at 6 months? We don't plan on trying for another baby until our daughter is 2. A year before I got pregnant with her we weren't using anything but condoms when I thought I was in my cycle. I think the only reason why I didn't get pregnant for that year was because it was a rough year for us and we weren't intimate as often and when we were we usually used that hot/cold lube stuff. That is the only thing I can think of. I read somewhere that lube kills sperm.

    Guess I am hoping I can use birth control as a method. I don't like the idea of having hormones in my body that are passed to my daughter, nor do I like the idea of a IUD. Maybe I should just stick with condoms? What do all of you do?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,117

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    How effective is it after she start solids at 6 months?
    It's impossible to put a % on the effectiveness once you're not meeting ALL the rules for the method described above (it's called LAM, for lactational amenorrhea method). For some moms, breastfeeding will continue to suppress fertility for much longer than 6 months. For others, not so much. And there's no way to know which type of mom you are!

    If you want to be sure that you don't get pregnant again, it is very important to use a back-up birth control method as soon as you don't meet every single one of the criteria for LAM. If you're thinking "Oh well, I'll just take my chances," one thing to remember is that something like 80% of women who become pregnant while nursing will lose their milk supplies. So you'd want to have a back-up feeding plan in place for your baby should you become pregnant prior to your child's first birthday.

    Lube does seem to kill sperm, or at least inhibit its effectiveness. But not reliably enough that you should rely on it for birth control!

    I would not worry about hormonal contraception passing through your milk to your baby. The hormones in hormonal contraception are synthetic versions of hormones your body makes anyway, so they're unlikely to harm your child. However, using hormonal contraception can negatively impact your milk supply. Therefore, if you choose to use hormonal contraception you want to pick a method that is easily reversible in case you're one of the moms who experiences a reduction in milk supply. The mini-pill is probably the best choice because it has the lowest dose of hormones and can be stopped immediately. Methods like Mirena, Implanon, and Depo-Provera are probably not good choices because they cannot be reversed easily (or at all, in the case of Depo). In addition, combination pills (e.g. Ortho-Tricyclen) are not a good choice because they seem to have a greater negative impact on milk supply than the progestin-only pill.

    What do all of you do?
    We use a combination of a diaphragm with spermicide and FAM (the fertility awareness method- I suggest reading Toni Weschler's Taking Charge of Your Fertility for a primer on FAM and because it tells you everything you didn't learn about your body in health class).
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    2,197

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    with everything mommal said.

    But I also want to share that with both of my kids, I was nursing round the clock. Neither one went more than about an hour at a time without nursing. And with both kids, I ovulated about 2 weeks after my postpartum bleeding stopped. Which is to say that I was fertile immediately with both of them, and I am one of the mamas who ovulated BEFORE the first postpartum period returned. I wouldn't *personally* rely on breastfeeding as birth control unless I was perfectly comfortable with the idea of another baby immediately.
    Teal

    25 May 96 and 14 January 08 and 27 February 2012

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    yup what they said

    barrior mythods seam like the way to go....


    heres a page from planned parenthood

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/hea...ethod-4218.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: Nursing as a birth control method?

    We use condoms when we have time to be intimate... which we don't have much of lately...

    And just to chime in on how "long" it works:

    With my first I did not get my period until the week of mother's day after I had her (she was born May 24, mom's day is not too long before that).

    This last baby, I had my first period a month ago. He was born June 4 last year. I'm doing everything the same I did with my first (exclusive pumping, timing of the pumping schedule, etc). And actually with my first my schedule was more messed up (went longer between some pumpings) because my employer was a #%^@& and would not let me keep my schedule and made me change it to fit with the lunch and break periods at 12 and 3. I was NOT pleased.

    Just thought I'd give some first hand experience on how much and how long it stops you from having a period can change pregnancy to pregnancy.
    Momma to K 05/24/07 (due 05/31/07)
    Momma to I, 06/04/10 VBAC'd (due 05/31/10). Read about it here

    Exclusive Pumper to first for 18 months.
    I got my VBAC!

    Struggling with nursing but one way or another breast milk is all they get.

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