Can Breastfeeding Prevent Pregnancy?


Breastfeeding as Birth Control

Well, the answer is yes and no. Breastfeeding as birth control is usually effective in first six months after delivery but it does not come with a 100% guarantee. But the fact is that no method provides fool proof protection. Breastfeeding and fertility can be connected for at least first six months post pregnancy.

How does breastfeeding help prevent pregnancy?

Breastfeeding is usually effective in preventing pregnancy after the first six months of child birth if breastfeeding is exclusive. This means that the baby is not given formula and any other type of baby food. In case of exclusive breastfeeding, a mother is feeding the baby continuously. Due to continuous feeding, her body does not generate a hormone that is required to release eggs. This helps prevent pregnancy.

How to use breastfeeding as a birth control method?

To make breastfeeding an effective birth control method, you need to ensure that you do not give anything other than breast milk to your baby. You need to feed your baby once every four hours during the day, if not more. During night, you would need to feed the baby at least once in six hours. You can ensure better effectiveness using below tips:
1. Keep your baby close to you. Co-sleeping is encouraged during exclusive breastfeeding time.
2. Breastfeeding during night specially in lying down position as it will ensure the comfort during breastfeeding (compared to sitting positing) for mother and baby and hence no long breaks during night time are seen.
3. Totally avoid use of bottles or pacifiers instead breastfeed your baby for comforting him/her when colic
Important thing to keep in mind is that breastfeeding can be effective as a birth control method only for first six months after child birth. In other words, you would need to adopt another birth control method after your child is six months old.

Can I get pregnant if I am breastfeeding and have not got period?

No. If you have not got period after delivery, within first six months breastfeeding can be an effective birth control method. If you have had a period that means the body is generating hormones necessary to release the egg. In other words, breastfeeding would not be able to prevent pregnancy now. This is your body telling you to
Many experts say its safest and 99% reliable method of birth control like mentioned in this article.

Is breastfeeding a safe method for birth control?

Breastfeeding is not just a natural birth control method; it also has many advantages for you. This method does not alter your natural hormone profile and helps protect hormonal balance. In addition, a woman has zero risk of infection due to birth control devise.

Are there any chances of getting pregnant while breastfeeding?

Yes, you can get pregnant during first 6 months of breastfeeding also. The good news is that medical survey and study data says that only one percent of women who breastfeed exclusively get pregnant within six months of delivery. You can count on exclusive breastfeeding for birth control only for the first six months after pregnancy and only if a woman has had no period since delivery.

Other Safe Birth Control Methods during Breastfeeding

Most of women are worried to use birth control pills during breastfeeding because they are afraid of its effect on baby. So it is highly recommended that consult with your gynecologist. Here is some more information about birth control ways during breastfeeding.

How soon can you get pregnant after baby birth?

The fertility returns back (not completely though) when you get your periods back post pregnancy. The functional ovulation will usually happen after one or more periods. If you are planning your next baby, you should wait minimum 18 months for a trouble free pregnancy. For a healthy pregnancy, a gap of at least 2.5years is recommended. Here are some more details.

Breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can give to her baby. It is not only good for baby but also for the mother. One of the major benefits of breastfeeding we can see here is natural way of birth control.


About Author


An IT professional, a mom of two, Sapana had belly-only pregnancies in her life & has lost 15Kg weight twice. Along with fitness, Sapana is an expert in Indian names & has helped scores of Indian parents to shortlist suitable baby names by virtue of her years of expertise in Sanskrit origin names & logical approach towards cultures & trends during the name research. Drop a comment to get help from her.

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  1. Pingback: How Breastfeeding Benefits Mother and Baby? | GoMama 24/7

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