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Thread: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return?

  1. #1

    Default Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return?

    I'm a 38 yr old mom of a lovely, sweet 22-month old. I planned to nurse him until he's 2, which is fast approaching. He doesn't quite seem ready though, so I'd like to consider waiting a while to wean but we are ready to conceive again, and I worry about not being able to get pregnant if I don't.

    The thing is, I have had my period back again since he was about 6 mos old., so for almost a year and a half. In that time, my period has been surprisingly regular. Historically I've always had a bit of irregularity with my cycle, so I wasn't surprised to have one or two months in this time when the arrival of one period from the month before's date would be "late." About 4 months ago, I was late 10 days and thought I might be pregnant but there it was on the 10th "late" day...

    Although I feel that overall he is nursing less and less, it does fluctuate. He had a recent cold and nursed much more that week, for example. Currently, during the day he typically nurses 3x. We co-sleep, but many nights in the past few months he's barely nursed. In contrast, last night was fitful, and it seemed he was attached all night. Can these fluctuations affect my well-established cycle, like my lateness 4 mos ago, or is it just my familiar irregularity? Is it possible to have what seem like periods for this long without actually being fertile?

    My past 3 periods were pretty regular, it seemed: on the 30th last month, the 30th the month before that, and the 24th before that. However, I'm currently late again, by 10 days if counting from the 30th. Tomorrow I suppose I'll buy a test but I'd love to hear any feedback surrounding the topic of breastfeeding and fertility once your period HAS come back. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    Welcome to the forum!

    Once your period is back and fairly regular, breastfeeding is almost surely doing nothing to prevent you from getting and staying pregnant. So I really don't think you need to think about weaning, or worry about your child's nursing frequency.

    If it were me, I would pick up a copy of Toni Weschler's excellent book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." With TCOYF and a good basal a body thermometer, you can start charting your cycles and your fertility signs, and determine what your body is really up to. The length of your cycle doesn't tell you everything you need and want to know!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    49

    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    Just from personal experience: I've had no problems getting pregnant while nursing. I have 4 kids (though only three pregnancies - I had a set of twins). #1 was 15 mo and still nursing 4 time a day when I got pregnant with #2, and #2 was still nursing 4 times a day and 18 mo when I got pregnant with #3 and #4. Each time I went off of birth control, I got pregnant fairly quick. But everyone is different.

    I've been late before by about 2 weeks for with my period, but only because I was stressed out. This didn't happen to me when I was nursing and trying to get pregnant. Are you overly stressed out?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    Thanks so much for the replies. Exciting news! I'm pregnant! No doc visit yet, as I just found out yesterday. 2 tests, both with plus signs clear as day. On the first one, I didn't even have to wait the 2 minutes, I could see the + immediately! SO. I guess I can safely say that breastfeeding did NOT interfere with my chances of conception! We are thrilled.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    24,794

    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    Congratulations! Enjoy your pregnancy. And no need to wean, even if your doc insists that nursing will make you too tired or "steal" nutrients from the fetus. Your body will protect the pregnancy first, your health second, and milk supply third. The only moms who really should wean during pregnancy are the ones with a history of miscarriage or preterm labor.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    I don't have a history of miscarriage, and this is my 2nd pregnancy, but I worry due to being almost 38 about it... is there any relationship between miscarriage and breastfeeding?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    There is only a hypothetical relationship between breastfeeding and miscarriage, and it is further hypothesized to affect only those women with a history of repeated miscarriages or preterm labor. That being said, many, many doctors will assert that the relationship is real and will insist that you wean, but this is, IMO, out of a vast excess of caution when you consider just how many mothers successfully nurse throughout pregnancy!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    49

    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    Congratulations!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    UK
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    Default Re: Can increased nursing affect my periods once they return

    Congratulations!!

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