Getting Knocked Up While Breastfeeding: Fact or Fiction?

October 7, 2011 1 By EngineerMommy
Can you get pregnant while breastfeeding? Well, it depends.
Known as the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) of birth control, breastfeeding does provide some protection against pregnancy but there are some rules to follow, especially if it is being used as a primary method of contraception.
Exclusive breastfeeding is over 95% effective as a contraception method as long as:
  • Baby is younger than six months old
  • Menstrual periods have not yet returned
  • Baby is exclusively breastfeeding on cue around the clock.
  • Baby does not exceed 4 hours during the day and 6 hours overnight between feedings.

Remember that ALL of the above criteria must be met in order for the LAM method to be effective. Personally, I would have used this method of birth control myself. However, my baby girl was a great overnight sleeper early on. And after she regained her birth weight, her pediatrician told me not to wake her to feed her. And she slept over 6 hours straight by four weeks of age – lucky, I know!

If you want to increase the effectiveness of the LAM method, practice ecological breastfeeding. This involves the following:

  • Staying near baby
  • Breastfeeding on demand 24 hours per day
  • Avoiding bottles and pacifiers – babies’ sucking needs have to be met at breast!

That last one was not something I had to worry about. Dear Sophia was not a fan of bottles or pacifiers. Good for breastfeeding success – bad for mommy being able to get out of the house for more than a couple hours at a time!

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