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BFing, TTC and no PPAF yet @ 15 months

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hubs and I aren't officially TTC yet, but we would like to start by the new year. My daughter will be 16 months old on 11/21 and still breastfeeds for 90% of her nutrition. I still haven't had a PPAF yet. Not even a hint of one. Right around my DDs first birthday (7/21) I did start having cyclical changes--mood shifts, heavy feeling uterus, crampy, and CM changes and my sex drive started to come back --but no AF (not complaining). She has gone 4 hours without BFing but only a handful of times and she still nurses all night long. She is at my breast at least 20 times a day, if i had to guess. I have many friends who have conceived while BFing with no PPAF. My questions are these:
Should I start charting? What am i charting? CM? BBT?
Since I don't have a cycle yet--when we do start TTC officially, when should
i test? I was thinking something arbitrary like every monday morning.

For those who have experience here please share your story of conceiving while BFing with no PPAF. Make me hopeful that this will be an easy thing to do! How long did you try before conceiving?
post #2 of 29


Looking for the answers to the same questions ! My DS is 16 mos, and I actually got my very first period since he was born about two weeks ago. He still nurses voraciously, and like your DD, gets 90% of nutrition from the boob. I would love to hear what others have to say. Thanks for posting !
post #3 of 29
Oh wow, I was about to start the same thread, however my title was going to be "TTC while BF with no PPAF for 30+ months"!! Not to hijack your thread, but I'm looking for the same information.

My DS is 2.5 still no PPAF. I used to think it was cool and I was so lucky, but now that we're finally ready to TTC, I want the control back! I had always planned on having a 2-3 year child spacing, but DS honestly wasn't ready before. Around the time he turned one and everyone else was showing up pg (and I had major envy/baby fever) I knew it wasn't our time. It was obvious he needed his mommy all to himself and I didn't even want to risk messing with my milk supply (as a long of moms see a big decrease in supply sometime during their pregnancy, not to mention tenderness and hormon changes that can totally change the way you feel about your nursling). When he was your LO's age, he too was getting 90% of his nurtition from nursing.

Now he's getting about 50% of his nutrition from nursing I'd guess. He's on the breast maybe 10 times a day and once or twice over night. I feel emotionally he's more ready, and he's not as dependent on mommy milk (though he'd be crush if my supply tanked), but it's apparently beyond my control because my body still isn't ready!

"Current research indicates that nursing frequency and total amount of time at the breast per 24 hours are the most important factors, rather than the time of day that the suckling occurs." And "Chance of pg while ecological BF are about 6% after 6 months. The average time for the return of menstrual periods is 14.6 months."
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/fertility.html

So what can you do to get pg? KellyMom, LLL and Adventures In Tandem Nursing say that you can get pg while BF but it's more difficult. You need to be ovulating, which occur before AF but some lucky mamas catch the "first egg."

I've heard people mention Vitex, Vitamin B supplements and night weaning all assist with getting fertility back. Any info on these? I don't know much about charting, and not sure how one charts with no AF.
post #4 of 29
We're sort of in the same boat. DS is 21mos and nurses about 3-5x during the day and x?s at night. He eats throughout the day but definitely depends on nursing, too.

I have been having symptoms of my PPAF coming for the last few weeks and just started charting my temps today.

As far as taking supplements and herbs I did that in order to get PPAF back after DD (that was when she was 3yrs+!) and it worked pretty quickly. However, she was nursing much less than DS is now b/c she was much older and nursing more for comfort. I don't know that it affected my supply that much?

I hope that you are able to get some good input, mamaharrison!
post #5 of 29
There is hope you wonderful mamas, you!! I applaud you for keeping up the BFing even though you want to conceive again.

Exactly a year ago I was in the EXACT situation you're all in and now I have a beautiful two week old baby girl and my 2 y/o DS is still BFing.

I can definitely share my story but the short version (in case anyone doesn't want the long version) is, go to the TTC thread!! There is SO much great info there and you don't actually have to have a cycle and be TTC to post there and get helpful info. There's even a "TTC while breastfeeding" thread!

SO! Last year at this time my DS2 was 18 mos and I had not even a hint of a cycle. Zlich. Nada. With my first DS I didn't have a cycle for two years and it only came after he slept through the night. I knew if I wanted to get pregnant that something would have to change but I wasn't willing to wean.

My sister recommended Dr. Jay Gordon's method of night weaning and I did my own version of that. I didn't go to the phase where you don't pick the baby up.. Since I was doing it to bring back fertility rather than to get more sleep, I didn't need him to fall asleep without being held (so I picked him up when he cried). And by the 10th night he wasn't waking up and crying anymore anyway! This truly is a very gentle way of night weaning and it worked for us without my DS suffering!

After hanging out on the TTC threads I found out about vitex and started taking it. I think I'd been on it three months and nothing had happened and then I learned about MACA!! Good ole' maca! I started taking it and ovulated within a month! I ovulated before my first period but my luteal phase was too short to sustain a pregnancy. Once I had my first cycle I went in for acupuncture and had three treatments. I also started on natural progesterone cream. My second PP cycle had a longer luteal phase but still was too short (9 days). My third cycle I was pregnant!!

I had been wanting to be pregnant for MONTHS so it seemed like a long wait, but when I consider that I was pregnant on my third PP cycle and the very first one that was normal, I guess it was actually really fast! I did have long cycles and ovulated late (day 21 the month I conceived).

I've probably left out some details so PLEASE feel free to PM with any questions! I feel so fortunate to have been able to conceive while BFing and I know how hard it is to be waiting and waiting for your fertility to return! We seem to be a minority because most women get their cycle back sooner than they want!

GL to you all!!

Oh! Forgot to respond to the questions...


Should I start charting? I tried charting because so many women swear by it, but it really wasn't practical for me. It's not necessary but SO many women find it helpful so I think if it's something you WANT to do, then go for it! fertilityfriend seems to be the favorite among charters.

What am i charting? CM? BBT? For the most accurate chart, you chart both.

Since I don't have a cycle yet--when we do start TTC officially, when should
i test? I was thinking something arbitrary like every monday morning.

I'd start trying now because you could ovulate at any time. Having "I hope we make a baby but I'm not freaking out about it" sex is the best!! And I think picking a morning once a week to test is very smart. Cheap pregnancy tests are just as good as the pricey ones. Although I do love the digital ones because seeing the word "Pregnant" is so wonderful!
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing your story Stellamia! I had already lokked at Dr. Jay Gordon's nightweaning advice and had decided that I would try it when I did become pregnant so that I wouldn't have 2 nurslings through the night. I think that when we are truly ready, if we find ourselves unable to conceive then I may try that to help bring on the O.

I used OPK the last 2 days because I have been feeling very fertile and although the lines were not as dark or darker than the control line they were there and todays line was a shade darker than yesrtdays line--so--I thik I may be getting ready to ovulate, but we aren't TTC right now--we are waiting until DD is 18 months in January.
post #7 of 29

Wow, this thread is packed with great info!! And I'm so glad I'm not alone in TTC while BF and with no PPAF. Congrats to those of you who have had success...and have continued nursing!

Do you mind if I ask a few questions?

 

1. What is maca? I've never heard of it.

 

2. The more I'm reading about vitex the more I think it may be worth trying. If my supply dips then I can just quit taking it and the supply should come back, right?

 

3. Is there any point in trying maca or vitex to bring on AF if I don't make any changes to night nursing? I'm really hesitant to restrict DS on nursing during the night because, as KM states, it's not the time of day that the suckling occurs but rather the "nursing frequency and total amount of time at the breast".

 

LOL, I just want to continue nursing as we are, get pg with only a small dip in supply, and go on to tandem. LOL! Now is that too much to ask?!? smile.gif

post #8 of 29

I'll be talking with an ND who helped me greatly in resuming cycles while BFing DD.  I am looking forward to her input and will be happy to share what I find out. 

 

From what I understand, Vitex can effect each nursing mama differently.  I personally wouldn't take anything without talking to an AHP first, but that's just me being really cautious!  I'll be interested to hear what others have to say and also an explanation of Maca. smile.gif

post #9 of 29

Oops, forgot my fourth question.

 

4. On KellyMom there's an article called Return To Fertility that states "any abrupt change in nursing is more likely to bring back fertility than a gradual change, regardless of nitght vs day nursing." So what would be an abrupt change? What if I tried to limit nursing to just nightime for one day only (like a fun family day with too many exciting distrations for DS to think about his boo boos)?

post #10 of 29

post #11 of 29

We're in almost the same situation. After no PPAF for 37 months (and unofficially ttc during almost all that time) I decided to initiate weaning. It is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make, and yet I think it was ultimately right for us. It was a lot easier than I thought (emotionally, mostly, though physically and routine-wise too), though by no means easy. Well, 6 weeks after weaning, still no PPAF and I'm not pregnant - just tested. I'm trying hard to be patient and let things come in their own time, but it's hard not to know what's going on. If it were just a matter of "we'll try next month" it would be so much easier. My OB said to come in if I don't get a PPAF by 12 weeks post-weaning, so this is all completely normal and I am trying to remember that and be at peace with what will happen. Anyway, I don't mean to be discouraging, just wanted to let you know that I waited a long time to see if I would regain fertility while nursing and I didn't for over three years. (I have no regrets about it and am thrilled with the nursing relationship I had with my son, one of the great joys of my life.) I too am toying with the idea of charting or testing but honestly, it's a lot of money and I know my body well, I've always been fortunate that way. I do sense some changes so hopefully that's my body gearing up for full fertility again.

 

I'm so glad to have someone to talk to about ttc with extended breastfeeding, I don't know anyone else in the situation! Sending good thoughts everyone's way!

post #12 of 29

I always want to get pg before my body is ready to do so on it's own. I have used vitex and maca to get my DD2 and DS without making any changes in nursing. I do not believe in nightweaning for my children so they continued to nurse all night and all day while TTC.  Vitex does make my supply dip, I used fenugreek to combat that problem while I TTC, which really is a moot point for me because my milk disappears just as fast as as the test turns positive. 

 

DD2 was 2.5 years old when I induced AF back to get pg, another 7 months of short cycles and figuring out the right combo of herbs (I also suggest working with an herbalist or someone who knows the herbs)  and I was pg with DD2. AF came back by its self when DD2 was 18m old, I went straight on my cocktail, we started TTC when she was 21 months and got pg that first cycle, and the first cycle where the vitex and maca made for a LP over 10 days. Now this time AF returned at 8 months, we have not been TTC so I have not been taking my cocktail so it has been interesting to see how my cycles have varied over the past year, almost all my LPs have too short to substain a pg, cycles range from 27 days to 50, the last was very close to normal and DS still nurses very often at 18 months old. 

post #13 of 29
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchiesMom View Post

Oops, forgot my fourth question.

 

4. On KellyMom there's an article called Return To Fertility that states "any abrupt change in nursing is more likely to bring back fertility than a gradual change, regardless of nitght vs day nursing." So what would be an abrupt change? What if I tried to limit nursing to just nightime for one day only (like a fun family day with too many exciting distrations for DS to think about his boo boos)?

I would think that constitutes an abrupt change. Although this wouldn't work for DD and I because she doesn't nurse on any kind of regular schedule during the day, but worth a try I think.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by sraplayas View Post

I'll be talking with an ND who helped me greatly in resuming cycles while BFing DD.  I am looking forward to her input and will be happy to share what I find out. 

 

From what I understand, Vitex can effect each nursing mama differently.  I personally wouldn't take anything without talking to an AHP first, but that's just me being really cautious!  I'll be interested to hear what others have to say and also an explanation of Maca. smile.gif



I have made an appt with an ND to address preconception health and the issue of TTC without any kind of weaning--I don't think DD is ready for any kind of nightweaning yet because she gets most of her nursing in during the night vs. day. I don't know what vitex is, but an very hesitant to take anything that *may* affect my milk supply in any way.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchiesMom View Post

Wow, this thread is packed with great info!! And I'm so glad I'm not alone in TTC while BF and with no PPAF. Congrats to those of you who have had success...and have continued nursing!

Do you mind if I ask a few questions?

 

1. What is maca? I've never heard of it.

 

2. The more I'm reading about vitex the more I think it may be worth trying. If my supply dips then I can just quit taking it and the supply should come back, right?

 

3. Is there any point in trying maca or vitex to bring on AF if I don't make any changes to night nursing? I'm really hesitant to restrict DS on nursing during the night because, as KM states, it's not the time of day that the suckling occurs but rather the "nursing frequency and total amount of time at the breast".

 

LOL, I just want to continue nursing as we are, get pg with only a small dip in supply, and go on to tandem. LOL! Now is that too much to ask?!? smile.gif


This is a GREAT maca https://www.brightearthfoods.com/index.php?src=directory&view=dirCatalog1&srctype=dirCatalog1_detail&refno=869

I don't currently take it, but am considering it. ALthough I do use the Rainbow smoothie mix which contains Maca. WONDERFUL brand and products--i highly recommend for all!

 

I totally agree with your sentiments--'continue nursing as we are, get pg with only a small dip in supply, and go on to tandem' EXACTLY!

post #14 of 29

I just got my first ppaf with my 3rd child 4 days shy of him turning 19 months old. I thought it would NEVER return! It did take some weaning though. He had ben nightweaned for 2 weeks and down to 4 nursing sessions. But I wasn't willing to do that until at least 18 months. My ppaf returned after my 2nd child on it's own when he was almost 11 months and no changing in our nursing, and he was nursing every 2-3 hours still then. I thought it would be the same, but no. I should mentioned I did try Maca and Vitex for a couple of months, but to no avail with either. It just took less nursing for us. 

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

I always want to get pg before my body is ready to do so on it's own. I have used vitex and maca to get my DD2 and DS without making any changes in nursing. I do not believe in nightweaning for my children so they continued to nurse all night and all day while TTC.  Vitex does make my supply dip, I used fenugreek to combat that problem while I TTC, which really is a moot point for me because my milk disappears just as fast as as the test turns positive. 

 

 



So, do your kiddos nurse still even after your milk disappears?

 

This is the number 1 reason why I am not going to force anything by encouraging nursing changes and/or taking herbs to 'induce' a return to fertility--I would be very upset if I did that, got pregnant and lost my milk and Josie STOPPED nursing before she was 2 (7/21). So....I am very interested in getting pregnant with #2, but not going to really do anything beyond 'whatever' until this summer. I will be bummed if it takes that long, but more so if I am pg before summer and Josie doesn't BF anymore.

post #16 of 29

They do, but it is vastly decreased. Both went from nursing very frequently to nursing every couple of days by the time the new baby was born because of no milk. Neither one picked up after the baby was born either, both kept lengthening days between nursings until several months later when they were done, their choice. I do CLW. Dry nursing is not for the faint of heart, for me it feels like they are trying to suck out my bone marrow basically. I hate every second of it but they aren't the ones that  got pg so I deal. DD1 was 3 when I got pg, DD2 was 21 months, and it really was too soon for her to be without my milk, she had problems adjusting to no milk (weight loss, etc...) and I do regret that, but that is me, there are more then enough people that would say that was long enough, but for us, it wasn't. DS is 18 months right now and we are going back and forth about another one, I really don't want to do what I did last time, he seems even more of a baby then DD2 was at this age. Tough decisions. 

 

Most children do wean during a pg, if I remember my numbers correctly, something like 70% of children do. That is not broken down between child led due to lack of milk or mother lead. Lactation is my specialty and when I talk to moms about this subject, I do tell them to pick an age where they would be ok with the child weaning and then get pg after that date. There is never any way to predict how nursing during a pg will go, there could be no difference at all (rare though) or a very painful experience that ends up with the mother weaning before she is ready. Course I have said that for years and did I follow my own advice, of course not! My goal is 2y with mama milk, and while she did nurse till just a week shy of her 3rd B-day, it just wasn't the same as before I got pg. 

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 

It is more like 60% of kiddos wean during mamas pregnancy, but yea, the number is high. However, I feel like I have WAY more friends whose kiddos did NOT wean than those whose did. I know MANY very dedicated breastfeeding mama, and of those who have lost their milk completely only 1 had a child that weaned--mother encouraged. I agree with your notion of choosing an age that I would be ok with weaning if it did occur though and that means 2 years in July! So, in that respect I am kinda glad that I don't have my AF yet because then I would be really chopping at the bit to conceive. We are still 'whatevering' but I don't think I will conceive until near summer time.

 

Thanks for the advice ladies! I will be cooling my jets off for a few months ;)

post #18 of 29

MamaHarrison, I'm glad you're able to weigh this out in your head and make the decision that's best for your family! And thanks for starting this thread.

 

I recently finish Adventures In Tandem Nursing and have skimmed a few fertility books from the Couple To Couple League. The information I'm seeing, in addition to LLL and KellyMom resources, is all consistent. Some mothers can get pg by catching the first egg (more likely the older the nursling is), some get PPAF back on average of 14 months, some don't get PPAF back until their nursling has totally weaned. The hard part for me, being the type A planner, is I don't know how things are going to unfold for me. And it's totally out of my control!!

 

Since DS is 2.5 now, I'd be okay (though sad) if he weaned anytime now moving forward. I's prefer it be after he's 3 though. I'm still toying with the idea of trying supplements to bring on AF. I guess I don't know where my mind is right now. I don't NEED to be pg yet, but as he gets older and the child spacing gets larger I feel more internal pressure. Maybe I'll just let nature take its course and see if PPAF comes back closer to him turning 3. Then if not, reassess. 

 

How did you guys know when the time was right to take your fertility into your own hands? There is something very empowering about AF!! LOL!

post #19 of 29

MunchiesMom, that's exactly how I felt when my son was 2.5. Then when he turned three I just knew it was time to do more. I really struggled with it, because I didn't have a reason that I could give him for why he couldn't have his milk anymore, and without that inner conviction, I just felt horrible about it - like it would be a disconnection. Finally I realized that my reason was coming deep from within, from the same place that told me I wanted to get pregnant with him. It wasn't "you're a big boy now," "you're three and no more milk." That felt untrue to me. It also couldn't be "I'm doing this because I want to add a baby to our family but I can't tell you that." That just felt like a deception. As it happened I sort of did it without planning so much, very unusual for me! It was just after the start of a new year/cycle (in my culture) and it felt right. I just held him close and said we weren't going to have milk tonight and I didn't think we would have it again (I was down to 1 nursing after a very gradual tapering off, hoping AF would come before then). We were both sad but it was bearable. My son was such an avid nurser, I was really surprised at how he could express his feelings and yet deal so well with the end of nursing.

 

Now going on 7 weeks later and still no af...I am going a little nuts! On the other hand, I'm pretty sure I would not have resumed fertility while nursing, ever. I definitely feel pressure from the impending larger age gap than I imagined. It came on suddenly and swiftly. Argh.

post #20 of 29

OMG, just a few hours after my last post and guess what. Aunt Flow showed up. I haven't had a peroid since June 2007 (conceived DS in July 2007). He's 2 years 6 months, and I was sure I wasn't going to get AF until he weaned. I'm relly surprised, no cramps (yet) or anything. No changes in his nursing habits or breaks (I've been apart from him for like 2 hours max). He nurses on demand all day and all night. Since I'm a SAHM, he just askes for his "boo boos" whenever he wants, I'd estimate maybe 10 times a day. And he nursesat least once, sometimes more, over night and sleeps in our family bed.

 

I'm kind of surprised we didn't "catch the first egg" since we just DTD a few times prior. So now I guess I need to read more about TTC with PPAF. I hope this gives those who are BF with no PPAF hope, she'll come when you're ready. My widwife always reminded me that AF and fertility will happen when you living children are ready. It's just so hard to surrender that control!

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