Author Topic: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control  (Read 22558 times)

Offline mommie

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Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« on: December 28, 2006, 05:43:45 PM »
i remembered reading something on here about nursing between 1 and 3 am prevents ovulation... i can't find the post now but i was wondering about that... i got my period back with my son at 6 weeks and evry 5 weeks after that but didn't ovulate from what i could tell at least until month 7... got my period at 6 weeks with my dAUGHTer and haven't gotten it back...i've taken 4 pregnancy test...alll negative..i've always been extremely under weight 98 lbs 5' 6" and now this is the longst i've gone w/o my period and the funny thing is this is the most weight i've ever had on-non-pregnant 123...i always heard under weight made you miss periodds but not me...my mom just told me fat stores hormones...so maybe this time i have enough fat to store the proper hormones to keep me from getting pregnant till i wean???? i'm very curios about the 1-3 am thing though.. i always heard it was every two hours but that didn't work with my son...istill gotr pregnant...just wondering if im missing something
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 06:43:13 PM by healthybratt »

Offline Blessedw/3

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 03:47:44 AM »
 I don't know about the 1-3 thing but I got pregnant while nursing twice BUT it was after I had weaned them at night. The first time my son was eleven months old, I was not having a period, and I had stopped nursing him at night that month.  ::). The second time my son was 2 years old I had weaned him at night, had several months of heavy period then no period and finally after two normal periods I got pregnant. I think to make it work you have to demand feed day and night, no pacifiers or bottles, no solid food til age one, no drinks.  I am sure some of the more experienced moms can help you more. I am going to check out that 1-3 thing though......... ;)
Wife to Gary, Mama to Joseph 5, Ethan 3, and Jonathan 8 months.

Offline IMPersuadd

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 03:55:49 AM »
My lactation consultant told me there were two "triggers" that would (for most people) cause one to resume ovulation/fertility.  No night feedings and/or less than 8 feedings a day.

Lori
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Romans 8:38-39
II Timothy 1:12

Offline mexmarr

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 04:04:56 AM »
My mom and I both got our periods back after six weeks.  And we were nursing nights, too.  My girls are 11 months apart.  (2nd was preemie, would hace been 13)

My mom had 6 children in 7 1/2 years, no twins, and she breastfeed them all.  Some were demand fed, other were a little scheduled, one was very scheduled.  It made no difference for her.  The results were always the sames... another baby.

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 04:40:58 AM »
My older son was hyper-scheduled, except from 9 pm until 9 am because he slept through the night.  I got pregnant with my second son the first time I ovulated (older son was 12 mos.).  I am currently breastfeeding son #2, but not from 8 pm until 6 am because he sleeps.  I do demand feed him all day long.  I have not had a cycle since August 2003.  I am 5'3" 102 lbs.  I was extremely irregular before kids, so I can't tell anything to be honest, except that I LOVE not having to worry with a cycle, and they say the longer you go without a cycle because you're breastfeeding the lower your chances of all three female cancers (breast, ovarian, cervical). 
That's Shabby SHEIK not Shabby CHICK.  Hee-hee.

Offline boysmama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 11:38:45 AM »
I nursed every 2-3 hrs around the clock ( almost always a 2AM feeding in there) and  ovulating at 4 and 6 weeks after birth. Breastfeeding doesn't seem to delay ovulation/cycling for me at all. The second baby I kept right in bed at night and naptime (with long continuous nursing) until I realized that even that didn't stop ovulation...

Offline chopchop

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006, 02:30:28 PM »
This seems to be one of those subjects there is no easy "yes" or "no" answers  that apply to everyone, all the time.
For some people nursing as "birth control" works wonderfully! It did for my mom & for me.  :) But I have plenty of friends who "demand feed" or "feed responsively" (some of them very religiously every 2 hrs and through the night) They still get their cycles and ovulation back much earlier than "normal"  :P (Just keep in mind that some people do begin cycling but the cycles are non-ovulatory for months)
 From what I have seen, It doesn't work for everyone.   >:(  There are some great books out there on this subject.  Just don't feel like a complete failure if you choose to try for this and it doesn't work for you.  You aren't alone!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 03:17:08 AM by chopchop »

YoopreMama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006, 02:33:46 PM »
I've got an answer from Sheila Kippley's book, "Breastfeeding & Natural Child Spacing", and will post it later...have to put children to bed...she has a list of 7 things...

OK, Here it goes:

Quote
Basic Principles:
1.  Frequent and unrestricted nursing.
2. Ecological Breastfeeding (avoids use of artifacts and mother substitutes, and follows a baby-initiated pattern).

Phase 1 of Eco. Breastfeeding (usually lasts 6 months):
1.  Exclusive breastfeeding for 1st 6 months--no solids or other liquids.
2.  Pacify your baby at your breasts.
3.  Don't use bottles & pacifiers.
4. Sleep w/ your baby for nighttime feedings.
5.  Sleep w/ your baby for daily naptime feedings.
6.  Nurse frequently day & night, & avoid schedules.
7. Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby.

The average return of menstruation for ecological breastfeeding mothers is b/w 14 and 15 months
(I can attest that this was true for me).

That's a brief summary but the book is excellent and totally revolutionized my thinking on nursing.  Can elaborate more later if needed...date night w/ DH!   ;)


« Last Edit: December 29, 2006, 03:46:17 PM by YooperMama »

Offline boysmama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2006, 09:08:19 AM »
I followed all seven steps with my second child and it still didn't work for me ??? ...the first had a pacifier and did not sleep right against me although he was within arm's reach...I need to get that book for myself so that I can read it carefully... any other guesses why it didn't work for me?

Offline hsmamafl

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2006, 10:27:51 AM »
This is just my experience...I went back to work at 6 weeks after my first son, I pumped 3 times at work and demand-fed when we were together, he wouldn't take a pacifier for my husband, he started solids at 6 months and got my period back at 9 months and I was pregnant at 13 months.  With my second son, I went back to work at 7 weeks, pumped 3 times there, demand-fed when we were together and lost my job when he was almost 4 months old.  I have been home since and other than the fact that he really likes his thumb, he gets most comfort at the breast.  He started solids at 8 months and my cycles started again at 11 months.

As you can see I haven't been able to truly ecologically breastfeed either of my sons so maybe I can be more help after the next one!  Also, I will say that along with breastfeeding, knowing your body's signals of fertility would also help you in delaying a pregnancy if that is what you feel led to do.

Love those babies!
Michelle

YoopreMama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2006, 12:44:38 PM »
Some excerpts from the end of the book:

Variations & possible causes: (pg. 195)
93% were in amenorrhea @ 6 months, 56% @ 1 year, and 34% @ 18 months.  We do not know what causes this sort of variation.  Undoubtedly some of the variation in the length of amenorrhea can be attributed to the differences in the suckling needs & nursing patterns of different babies.  In addition, there are probably differences in the way bodies of different women respond to the same amount of suckling stimulus.

Chapter 20 has a checklist: (pg. 184)
"I had an early return of menstruation.  Did I do the following?"  The 1st list includes the obvious:

--Exclusive breastfeeding for the 1st 6 months of life
--no pacifiers
--no bottles
--no solids during the 1st 6 months
--nursed & slept w/ the baby during the daily nap
-- " the night
--used frequent & unrestricted nursings
--kept the baby physically close to me (sling, carrier, etc. No swings, bouncy seats, pack-n-plays...)

The following are situations that may be less applicable as possible causes of an early return to menstruation, but I list them for possible consideration:

--baby had an illness & decreased his nursing
--my reluctance to nurse often
--my reluctance to nurse modestly in front of others (i.e. visiting relatives)
--my reluctance to include the baby in our activities
--absence of the family bed
--absence of a daily nap
--baby is not an eager or frequent nurser
--I was fatigued for some reason.

Maybe there's something there?  Good book! 

« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 07:17:27 AM by YooperMama »

Offline LKS

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2006, 05:09:05 PM »
From what I have read and my personal experience, I believe this is one of those things that works for many women but just won't for others. Some women cycle no matter what and generalizing or assuming someone is "doing it wrong" just makes for bad feelings. With my babies I nursed 1 to 18 mths and 2 to 2yrs. and my youngest is 5 mths and still nursing. I started my period at around 12mths with all 3 of the oldest. The last 3 have all slept with us the 1st did not but was "demand fed". With my 2nd and 4th my breastmilk did not satisfy them. They failed to thrive and I gave/am giving supplemental bottles more or less on demand. I have had many women make "suggestions" or judgements about the bottles and have been made to feel pretty low. I think this can be the same for the women for whom nursing does not provide birth control. Two of my children thrived on my milk and 2 have not but thrived once bottles were added in. Please understand I am still nursing on demand but the child will suck me dry and still cry from hunger at which point he gets a bottle. Even with adding the bottles,  because I nurse on demand I still gain the benefits of not cycling. All this is just to say it doesn't work the same for everyone and if it doesn't work for you it doesn't mean that you are doing it "wrong". I think there is no more sensitive subject for us women than our ability or inability to nurse/conceive/carry successfully. Just my thoughts.  :-\

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2007, 06:40:46 AM »
you're right it can be a sensitive topic... i guess i was genuinely uinterested in what i was doing "wrong"... i do think its just the way it is for some women... (getting their period back sooner or later no matter what they do) but i was hoping to find some sort of "secret" to doing it "right" so i could space my chikldren a little futher apart naturally... i didn't mean to offend anyone by bring up the subject though

Offline milli249

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2007, 06:58:20 AM »
My son was a very strong and frequent nurser and I got pregnant while breastfeeding :)

YoopreMama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2007, 07:23:49 AM »
Quote
I think there is no more sensitive subject for us women than our ability or inability to nurse/conceive/carry successfully. Just my thoughts. 


Well said.  :-*  I hope I haven't offended anyone by sending out more information.  In trying to be helpful, I forget that sometimes, women don't want more information, just empathy or an open ear/heart.


Offline boysmama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2007, 08:07:18 AM »
I WAS looking for more info...Thanks for supplying some general rules to making this work  ;D

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2007, 03:08:35 PM »
yes, thanks yoopermamma...I'm gonna look for the book at our used book store!!

YoopreMama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2007, 03:38:46 PM »
If you haven't ever checked out www.half.com (eBay's sister media site), you might find copies there to buy, new or used, cheap.  I find many books there.  I know many prefer to shop locally, but it's a great place to look.   ;)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 04:38:23 PM by YooperMama »

Offline kmw0373

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2007, 03:54:35 PM »
Has anyone had their cycles come back at VERY different times with each child?  My first two children nursed until almost 2yrs. old and I got my cycle back at about 13 mos.  My third, now, is 20 mos. and I still don't have it back.  Does that seem odd or something I might need to check out.  He basically nurses to fall asleep and several times(ok, sometimes a lot) a night.

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2007, 09:17:59 AM »
I wouldn't worry...Just enjoy it!! :) I got my period back at 6 weeks with my son...but I didn't ovulate until the 7/8 month...with my daughter I got it at 6 weeks and haven't gotten it back and there has been no ovulation as far as I can tell...Each child seems different as well as our bodies after each child (age, stress, body therefore hormones)...so I would think you are fine...thats my thoughts...

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2007, 01:36:37 PM »
oh..thanks  for the idea about half.com...i have a credit at a local place...that's why I'm going there...free is always nice  ;D

Offline LKS

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2007, 04:44:01 PM »
Quote
I think there is no more sensitive subject for us women than our ability or inability to nurse/conceive/carry successfully. Just my thoughts. 


Well said.  :-*  I hope I haven't offended anyone by sending out more information.  In trying to be helpful, I forget that sometimes, women don't want more information, just empathy or an open ear/heart.


I didn't mean to come down on anyone or accuse them of being offensive. I'm sorry if I offended anyone! I just know how easy it is to feel inadequate about these areas. More info is always helpful, you never know when you might stumble onto something that works!
LKS

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2007, 06:50:11 PM »
Just jumping in to say that I found the book mentioned earlier to be extremely helpful, as there is more than a "1, 2, 3 - - follow these simple steps" method to child spacing in this way.  I was a La Leche League leader for many years and know of many, many mothers who used Sheila's method, as well as the Couple to Couple League method for natural family planning.
 Please note, as has been said, that each person's individual systems can alter the success rate.  Also, please don't judge the methods as fallible and untrustworthy without reading about them.   
Sheila Kippley's book, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, is well worth reading.  The type of mothering that she encourages is very much a lifestyle choice.
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;    Titus 2:13

YoopreMama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2007, 04:20:11 AM »
Quote
Sheila Kippley's book, Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing, is well worth reading.  The type of mothering that she encourages is very much a lifestyle choice.


Again, I agree!   :)

I recall reading her book 3 years ago after the birth of ds #2, and being brokenhearted over how I had "parented" our 1st 2 children.  Our 1st pediatrician had recommended "BabyWise" (Gary Ezzo) to us to help put dd on a schedule and to achieve better sleep, but oh the cost!   :'(  We were so self-centered (wanted convenient parenting) and I was so un-nurturing.   :-[

BF and NCS really isn't a program to follow to achieve a goal kind of book, but more of a philosophy of relating to your children book, and the "fringe" benefit is that you may have natural child spacing as a result.  It's been awhile since I've peeked at it, and I've had it on loan a lot.  Maybe it's time to read and quote from it to renew my mind on nurturing parenting!   ;)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 01:00:54 PM by Yooper »

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2007, 01:10:07 PM »
so can you feed your babies after 6 months with out it being a problem???

Offline ladyhen

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2007, 01:16:45 PM »
so can you feed your babies after 6 months with out it being a problem???

A problem for who?  For mom?  For baby?  That's up to you.   
My best advice here is to read the book if it is a topic you want to know more about and discuss it with your husband.  There is a lot involved - it is a lifestyle.  The absence of fertility is a side benefit. 
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;    Titus 2:13

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2007, 01:20:39 PM »
like does it make you fertile earlier...not that that is a problem...but in regards to that...yeah I got to go get the book

YoopreMama

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2007, 02:38:43 AM »
I thought that the introduction of solids, even after 6 months, commenced the weaning process, thus beginning the steps toward fertility.  I'll scan the book this weekend and see what I find.   :)

Hard decision to make, regardless...lots of opinions out there on solids, when to give, etc.  Parenting is full of hard decisions, but God's wisdom from above will more than suffice! 

Offline chopchop

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2007, 03:07:22 AM »
As I read through this thread, I had a thought to share as a side note.
 This is a subject  seems to be a highly emotional subject for us as women, since it is so closely connected to us ;).   
Just want to encourage each of you that this really needs to be something your dh and you decide together. Regardless of what "camp" it is from, demand feeding, responsive feeding, parent directed feeding, natural birthcontrol or whatever.......
It was helpful to me to realize that many husbands (mine included) appreciate greatly to have some time when a wife is neither pregnant or nursing, as both of these tend to effect the hormones and thus our desire levels. :D  ;D
Just my thoughts.

Offline mommie

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Re: Breastfeeding/Nursing as Birth Control
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2007, 06:54:18 AM »
thanks ladies..Yeah my husband would like as many blessing as he can possibly have...the nrusing / pregnant thing doesn't seem to bother him..So he's definately up for as many as he can get....I'm the one who is more worried about my body holding up at this pace...I know God is in control though...I'm just trying to be wise and see if we are missing something in our parenting/eating or whatever that may space our kids a little further apart...Yeah I'm not big on introducing solids that early...I thought teeth were a good sign to start a little bit of something...but my 6 month daughter just got her first two teeth and I think I would like to wait a little longer...she 19 pounds and doesn't seem to be needing anything else anyways...so why change what is already working...plus she is extremely nosey and I'm afraid she'll wean herself if I give her even a little tatse of food...getting food while being able to look around would be very exciting to her...she would never have to miss anything!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 06:10:06 AM by mykidsmama »