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Nursing Doesn't Prevent Pregnancy

Sex Myth: You Can't Get Pregnant If You're Nursing

I really get a kick out of the pregnancy myths floating around, like you can't get pregnant if you pee after sex, two condoms are better than one, and, of course, that you can't get pregnant while breastfeeding. A good friend of mine actually had to learn this one the hard way — she got pregnant while nursing her 10-month old son!

Using breastfeeding as contraception is known as lactational amenorrhea method (LAM), but since it's not 100 percent effective, you shouldn't rely on it unless you don't mind getting pregnant soon after giving birth. According to the World Health Organization, LAM is 98.8 to 99.1 percent effective while breastfeeding for the first six months, but you can conceive without knowing that you're menstrual cycle has returned to normal since you ovulate about two weeks before your period.

If you're not interested in becoming a mother again so soon, your best bet is to talk to your ob/gyn about an effective and safe form of birth control that you can use while breastfeeding.


sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I wish somebody would tell my service users this. =) They're all teen mothers and nobody has educated them about sex.
Aestuo Aestuo 8 years
Also, no method of birth control except ABSTINENCE is 100% effective. And that would be no fun, would it? ;)
Aestuo Aestuo 8 years
"JESUS! For the first six months of breastfeeding it is 98-99% effective. That's on par with the most effective forms of birth control. What more could you want people!?!?! Just start the pills around six months!!!!" This is exactly correct. So long as you are consistently breast feeding (doing it regularly, not pumping often, and the mother hasn't regained her period yet) it is over 98% effective within 6 months of having given birth. This is a scientific fact that has been studied. There are variables to it, but so long as the baby goes no more than 4 hours or so between feedings directly from the breast, it is more than 98% effective. Since more information is clearly needed by some people, here is an article so folks can get their facts straight.
rowlkitty rowlkitty 8 years
Hm.. My mom and uncle are 10 months apart. I wouldn't trust it as a reliable method.
sprinkibrio sprinkibrio 8 years
JESUS! For the first six months of breastfeeding it is 98-99% effective. That's on par with the most effective forms of birth control. What more could you want people!?!?! Just start the pills around six months!!!!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Ignorance is a choice.
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
Nursing is only effective as a birth control method in third world countries where women don't get much food. In most of the industrialized world, we get enough nutrition to put us back into fertile mode. You can nurse all the way through a second pregnancy and both kids can be perfectly healthy. Not sure if you would want to, though. How do women not know? I had five nurses and a doctor lecture me on how I could get pregnant while nursing before I was allowed to leave the hospital! Total overkill. Sheesh!
bbkf bbkf 8 years
You can take a "mini-pill" to prevent pregnancy during nursing, but I know several women who got pregnant on the mini-pill. I can't imagine having one baby, let alone two so close together. :-(
fabpuissant fabpuissant 8 years
I have 2 kids with 5 years gap both been breastfed for 2 years... I take progesterone pill(exluton) on the 4th month after giving birth while I'm nursing. it's prescribed by my ob/gyn and it's safer because it has less side effects than most common pills.
luna08 luna08 8 years
I'm constantly amazed at how ignorant we are about our bodies! Our Health & Sex Ed system definitely needs an overhaul!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Personally, I know of two women that became pregnant during breastfeeding. Their nursing babies were about 6 months old.
janagoldhill janagoldhill 8 years sis in law got pregnant the very first time she and her husband had sex after their first child. she went on walks daily and ate very healthily. she even did tae-bo videos and classes and her body was in even better shape her second pregnancy than it had been in her life! if you want to have a second baby so close, then there's nothing stopping you..good luck!!
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
BTW, 98.8 - 99.1% is about the same chances to get pregnant as most birth control, isn't it? So in essence breastfeeding IS as effective as birth control. It's just that nothing is certain.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I personally find this great news. I'm pregnant, want to breastfeed and want a second child. Since I'll turn 36 shortly after giving birth, I'm glad to know I can get pregnant again soon afterwards since all the doctors and literature tell me I'm an old hag and better hurry up with having kids if I want them!! The only drawback is not letting my body recover inbetween kids but such are the breaks...
SusanTeufel SusanTeufel 8 years
It may lessen the chance, but doesn't prevent it obviously.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
"According to the World Health Organization, LAM is 98.8 to 99.1 percent effective while breastfeeding for the first six months," I'd like to add that this assumes that baby is using NO artificial nipples (no bottles or pacifiers EVER) and your period has not yet resumed.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I read this in a reputable source, a medical advice thing... I guess it's not true - better safe than sorry? Though personally I'd never be sorry about another baby :)
queenegg queenegg 8 years
This is how my Nanny had my Uncle. She just had my Mom and thought that she couldn't have another baby.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
huh - that's the one that i thought was actually the truth - that if you were nursing...but if you say that it's not the case, then perhaps i'll have to remember that in the future :)
vmruby vmruby 8 years
Yes it can definitely happen.... My younger sister got pregnant while she was nursing her first daughter.My nieces are exactly 12 months and 6 days apart
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 8 years
It's pretty obvious that you are fertile since you just had a baby, so why risk it unless you want to!
Miss-Senorita Miss-Senorita 8 years
Never believed the hype.
Allytta Allytta 8 years
women can be so stupid sometimes. i had ton explain to my 20 year old friend what menstruation is and what happens in our body. she just thought it was flith that came out... i'm not friends with her anymore :D
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
My brother and I are only 18 months apart which means my mom got pregnant with my brother when I was 9 months old. I wonder if she believed in this myth. Off topic but I do enjoy having a brother I am so close to in age. It's nice.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
My sister thought this was true and she got pregnant when her first was only 9 months old and still nursing. So yeah, it can definitely happen.
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