Crunchy= natural, green, environmental, granola.
Cradle= birth, baby, breastfeeding, pregnancy.
Catholic= One, Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church

Monday, August 17, 2009

Breastfeeding and Family Planning

As a follow up to my last two posts, I have one more before moving on to a new topic. I have encountered many women who have had trouble with breastfeeding their new baby due to their choice of birth control.

If you are breastfeeding you should not also be using artificial hormones to prevent another pregnancy. The hormones in birth control pills and IUDs can interfere with milk production as well as be passed through your milk and to your baby.

It also cannot be assumed that just because you are breastfeeding that you cannot also get pregnant. While breastfeeding can and does delay ovulation, there are conditions to lactational amenorrhea:
  • exclusive breastfeeding (no supplementing or pacifiers)
  • first 56 days post-partum
  • OR after the first 56 days if you have not had a period AND are also monitoring cervical mucus (this is because your body will often ovulate before you have your first period)
Women who are breastfeeding exclusively can have many months of infertility (and no periods) before their regular cycles return. What is often forgotten or misunderstood is that the body ovulates before it menstruates, so unless you are watching for the more subtle signs of ovulation you may miss them and become pregnant.

My solution to the above concerns is Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) or Natural Family Planning (NFP). This natural way of monitoring for fertility avoids hormones that can interfere with breastfeeding and can help the breastfeeding mother to know when her fertility is returning.

Please see earlier blog posts for more information.

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