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Breastfeeding as Birth Control – What?

Breastfeeding as birth control has been suggested and included in family planning for many couples in the years that has passed. Especially when the couples are newly married and expecting their first child, counseling could help them with family counseling.

One of the most useful advice on family planning is using breastfeeding as birth control.

Many mothers are very much aware of the infertility period after giving birth, but have always been skeptical about the infertility during breastfeeding. How is breastfeeding as birth control possible?

What is Breastfeeding? What is Birth Control? Is Breastfeeding as Birth Control Really Possible?

Breastfeeding is the most common and cheapest form of feeding your baby. It may not cost much, but it is the healthiest source of nutrients for babies. Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight off germs, bacteria and viruses in their growing stages.

Birth control is the process of avoiding pregnancy or conception of the wife when it is not in family planning or the goals of the couple. Especially when a mother just gave birth and is raising the baby until they are ready to raise their second child.

Birth control can come in many forms. Some women may take pills or get IUDs. Yet, medically proven, these methods have side effects and does have a cost. They may also not be good for the health of the women choosing these options, unless the woman is single and is not starting a family yet.

Birth control pills and IUDs are best for women who are not yet starting a family.

Breastfeeding is becoming a trend again, among mothers – which is both motivating and uplifting for other mothers who are still looking for the strength to breastfeed, especially in public.

Breastfeeding as Birth Control

Many moms out there have been asking how it happens that breastfeeding as birth control is possible. There are some moms who do realize that they are not fertile or menstruating after giving birth, and also during breastfeeding.

The reason behind this is “lactational amenorrhea”. It is now used as a method in family planning to control unplanned pregnancies. It is also a great way to cut down on expenses within the household. Lactational amenorrhea is the temporary infertility of the mother for a few months, say six months or more – due to breastfeeding.

Going back to the lactational amenorrhea method or LAM, it is the method of breastfeeding and lessening your chances of getting pregnant. ‘Lactational’ meaning “breastfeeding” and ‘amenorrhea’ means ‘not having your menstruation’. Breastfeeding is not only for birth control, but a great way to improve the relationship of the baby and the mother.

LAM is what helps mothers use breastfeeding as birth control, especially during exclusive breastfeeding.

Exclusive breastfeeding is when the baby is not feeding on anything else but breast milk alone. This means the baby is solely dependent on breast milk, forcing the mother to nurse from time to time and when the baby demands.

How is breastfeeding as birth control done?

breastfeeding as birth control

Image From Oleg Sergeichik

There are certain conditions when it comes to using breastfeeding as birth control. You need to know how it works, when it works and if it is controllable. When it comes to your health and anything relating to it as a mother, education is important.

  • You have not weaned your baby.

When the baby has been exposed to other food and other feeding methods, they start to breastfeed less.

Yes, they may be latching, but they may no longer be sucking for breast milk. This may be because they have tasted formula milk, solid food or have started to prefer bottle nipples over the mother’s nipples.

  • You are not ovulating or you do not have your menstruation yet.

It is important that you are not menstruating anytime soon because this may be a sign of fertility, especially after giving birth. Though, it is possible to menstruate a couple of times before ovulation postpartum.

There are also some instances that ovulation happens right after the first menstruation postpartum, which is why breastfeeding as birth control is really advisable if you are not ready to expect another baby anytime soon. This is how it is possible to use breastfeeding as birth control.

  • You have been exclusively breastfeeding.

When you have given birth, there is a period that you are infertile for a while. When you are not breastfeeding your baby, your fertility and ovulation may occur a few weeks after. If you are breastfeeding your baby, your ovulation is a little delayed.

Sometimes, if you have been exclusively breastfeeding, your fertility won’t return for six months, the duration of the breastfeeding period or more months after you have weaned your baby. This is the lactational method. There is temporary infertility caused by breastfeeding that will last as long as the conditions are met to avoid getting pregnant with this birth control method.

Breastfeeding as birth control is possible and achievable, and with good counsel from your doctors as well. Always make sure that you can get as much opinions as you can when it comes to birth control from licensed specialists.

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Note: Always make sure to educate yourself from time to time about your health and motherhood, especially when it comes to decisions regarding breastfeeding as birth control.

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