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Thread: Is breastfeeding stopping me from conceiving?

  1. #1

    Default Is breastfeeding stopping me from conceiving?

    Any shared experiences from older ladies who have conceived #2, or had trouble conceiving #2 while breastfeeding?

    I am 41, *adore* breastfeeding; DD is 21 months and suckles during the day for naps or times of need and regularly during the night 2-6am (co-sleeping). I have had regular periods and have been trying to conceive for 14 cycles now, and am on my 3rd month of charting, my 2nd with OPKs. It definitely looks like I am ovulating and my cycles are regular as clockwork. DD took 4 months to conceive so everything was in full working order 2 years ago

    I would love another child and to tandem nurse if possible... of course every Tom, Dick and Harry says of course I won't conceive when breastfeeding but they haven't read what I've read. I'm wondering whether maybe something is going on with prolactin levels that just might be preventing conception/implantation? I've read the Kippley Natural Child Spacing book and there is nothing in there... it's just about ecological breastfeeding delaying menses.

    Could I be one of the few women who just can't seem to get pregnant while breastfeeding? I think I might night-wean (God I DREAD this, I *love* our nighttime suckles) when she is 24 months (October) and possibly fully wean by new year if still not pregnant by then. At 41 I don't feel like I can hang about indefinitely.

    I'm in the process of having bloods taken, and hubby will be having his spermies checked this month too (although he went through IVF with previous wife, albeit 13 years ago, and had some kind of mega-sperm then).

    I guess I just would like to hear from anyone of "advancing" age who has been through any similar experiences? Of course I'm well aware that there are probably people out there who fell pregnant upon weaning for whom this might just have happened anyway... I guess a key point is a friend currently undergoing IVF for #2 who needed hormonal help to conceive #1 because she had raised prolactin levels ("like those of a breastfeeding mother").

    Any thoughts welcome, thank you xx

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is breastfeeding stopping me from conceiving?

    The best book on cycles and conceiving IMO is Taking Charge of Your Fertility. But no, breastfeeding is not really addressed IIRC.

    If you have been trying to conceive for 14 months but only charting for 3, I would suggest give it another 3 months of charting. (I assume you mean you are taking a BBT, if not, start doing that-relying only on OPKs can be problematic, she explains why in the book.)

    If you have still not conceived by then I would suggest see a fertility specialist for testing.

    Because there may be another issue, that has nothing to do with breastfeeding, and you want to explore your options. You love nursing, and do not want to end that prematurely if it is not going to do any good, right?

    From personal experience I suggest, do not delay seeking help too long, because 1) It might take a while to even get an appt with a really good clinic and 2) Fertility testing and treatments take TIME.

    On the other hand, you do not want to panic, as all signs (regular cycles) point to you being fertile.

    A fertility specialist will almost certainly tell you to wean for treatment, if the treatment requires you to take hormones. (Not all fertility treatments do.) But there is no need to wean for testing. And testing can tell you where hormone levels are.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 24th, 2015 at 07:47 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is breastfeeding stopping me from conceiving?

    That's really helpful Maddieb, yes I have read TCOYF and am on the Ovusoft forum with uploadable charts in the TTC over 35 group as well as TTC while breastfeeding group.

    I'm taking temps, yes. We'll see if this first round of bloods reveals anything.

    Any more stories welcome, ladies.
    Last edited by @llli*poghag; June 25th, 2015 at 01:45 AM.

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