It is amazing how often the question of getting pregnant while breastfeeding comes up. It is not amazing the question is asked, but that it is asked for the two completely opposite reasons. Let us explore both sides of the question.
Is getting pregnant while breastfeeding possible? There are so many wife’s tales and stories which try to convince you there is no need to worry about getting pregnant while your are still breastfeeding. Sometimes it is the guys who want to promote this theory. The simple and undeniable scientific fact is you can get pregnant while breastfeeding.
Women who are breastfeeding get pregnant on a very regular basis. If you explore countries with very high birth rates you will discover many babies born within 1 year to 18 months after a previous baby. In most of these cases the mother was still breastfeeding. The evidence is overwhelming.
The other question is usually asked by mother who are ready to have another baby but are still breastfeeding their last baby. From what we just said you would think the answer would be an immediate yes. The problem is there is a tiny bit of truth to the old wife’s tales.
When you are breastfeeding your body’s hormone production is still affected. Your ability to get pregnant is decreased. For some women it is greatly reduced. For other women it is reduced only slightly. What does this really mean for you if you want to get pregnant again?
The real answer is pretty simple. You are simply going to need to try. If you and your husband have decided the time is right and your obstetrician agrees your body is ready, then the only way to know for sure is to try.
You may need to try longer. It may take more patience on your part, but the odds are very high you will be able to get pregnant even if you are still nursing your previous child.
Take into consideration the age of your last baby, too. If your baby has reached an age where they are beginning to desire the breast less often this could be the perfect time to start weaning them from breastfeeding. Your body will quickly start balancing hormone production and increase your ability to conceive. This choice will be up to you, your baby, and a consultation with the pediatrician.
The real bottom line facts are very simple. Never trust nursing a baby as a birth control method. Getting pregnant while breastfeeding is not only possible, but happens all the time around the world. While it decreases your odds a little it is not in any means a way to insure you will or will not get pregnant.
If you are trying to avoid getting pregnant while breastfeeding talk to your gynecologist or obstetrician and choose a birth control method which makes sense. If you want to get pregnant, do the same thing, only ask for advice on how to improve your chances. They are the experts and will get you on the right track quickly.