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Breastfeeding as birth control has been suggested as an option by many breastfeeding counsellors. It is also being 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, this counselling tip helps with family planning.
Is Breastfeeding as Birth Control Really Possible?
Many mothers are very much aware of the short-term infertility period after giving birth, but have always been skeptical about the infertility during breastfeeding. How is breastfeeding as birth control possible?
This is why breastfeeding is becoming a trend again among mothers and hospitals that care about the child’s welfare. Using breastfeeding as birth control and being in charge of when to get pregnant is both motivating and encouraging for other mothers who are still looking for the strength to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest way of providing your baby with the much-needed nutrients in coping with the new life. Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight off germs, bacteria and viruses in their growing stages. And, it can be used as birth control – yes, it is possible.
Source: Image From Kevin Liang
Birth control is the process of avoiding pregnancy or conception of the wife. Especially when a mother just gave birth, it is best to raise the baby first while the mother is healing and gaining back the nutrients they lost when giving birth.
Birth control comes in many forms. Some women may take pills or get IUDs. Yet, medically proven, these methods have side effects and they do have a cost. Some of the side effects of taking contraceptive pills are imbalanced hormones or weight gain. Some women tend to have a huge change in mood swings.
There is a more effective technique in prolonging the infertility period of a mother that has just given birth. This method is called lactational amenorrhea – the process in which birth control during breastfeeding is possible.
How Can Breastfeeding Be Used As A Birth Control?
To those who ask, it just makes no sense at all. There are some moms who do realize that they are not fertile or menstruating after giving birth – but, how does this mean they are in birth control mode?
The reason behind this is “lactational amenorrhea”. Lactational amenorrhea or LAM is the temporary infertility of the mother for a few months, say six months or more – due to breastfeeding. This also means you have not menstruated yet.
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’ meaning “breastfeeding”, and ‘amenorrhea’ meaning “not having your menstruation”. LAM is most effective when mothers do exclusive breastfeeding with the baby, too.
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.
Source: Image From Kevin Liang
Conditions To Consider When Using Breastfeeding As Birth Control
There are certain conditions when it comes to using breastfeeding as birth control. You need to know how lactational amenorrhea works when it works, and if it is controllable. When it comes to your health and anything relating to being 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. This is the part babies start to wean.
Yes, they may be latching but not as frequent as before because their curiosity of tasting something else keeps them distracted. 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 – which is what you will want to avoid if you want to go on full birth-control mode due to lactational amenorrhea.
During the entire period of exclusive breastfeeding, expect not to menstruate – this is the infertility period induced by the LAM, which is when breastfeeding is used as birth control.
- You are 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 about six weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding your baby, your ovulation is a little delayed. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, your ovulation will not happen as long as you keep going.
Now, what is exclusive breastfeeding? Exclusive breastfeeding is when you do not give your child any other source of food and nutrients aside from breastmilk. No food whatsoever, not even water or formula milk – we’re talking pure breastmilk alone.
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.
Breastfeeding as birth control is possible and achievable, and with good counsel from your doctors as well. Always make sure that you can get opinions from licensed specialists who know your case.
Breastfeeding Positions For Nursing Time
Always make sure to educate yourself from time to time about health and motherhood, especially when it comes to making decisions for your baby.
Breastfeeding as birth control is a smart way of being a responsible parent and spouse.
It won’t only be good for your baby, but it can help you in planning a better future for you and your family! Breastfeeding as birth control lessens the probabilities of getting pregnant right after delivering your baby, giving you enough time to recuperate from childbirth.
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