or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Fertility › Family Planning › FAM temp-taking and waking nursing babes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

FAM temp-taking and waking nursing babes

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I used FAM as a birth control method.  I have two children.  Both were the result of rule-breaking.  However, my second was conceived while I was nursing and DS1 was waking a lot at night.  I was only charting CM because I wasn't getting three solid hours of sleep before waking in the morning.  My CM was really pretty wonky with my PP cycles (I only had four before getting pregnant again), so it was difficult to use it--and according to my U/S due date, I ovulated REALLY early the cycle I got pregnant. 


I'm just wondering if anyone has a reliable temperature with less than three consecutive hours of sleep.  DS2 is still young enough that he doesn't really have a consistent sleep/wake routine yet, so I don't know what he'll end up doing. But I'm wondering if I can get reliable temps with maybe two hours of sleep.


OR could I take temps in the middle of the night?  Or does that not work?


Thanks for any insight.

post #2 of 19

What does your DS's sleep schedule look like?  Between DD1 and DD2, I charted, and I temped at DD1's first waking (~3AM). The temps showed a pattern, and I pinpointed my fertile period to conceive DD2 at 9m pp on my 3rd pp cycle.

post #3 of 19

You might want to consider the Marquette method for postpartum since it doesn't rely on temperature. It uses the clear blue fertility monitor and essentially you do fake 20 day cycles.  You can collect through the night when you get up so that you have enough concentration to check in the morning so you don't need to have a certain number of hours of sleep.  Postpartum, if you get a low reading you are safe and can test every other day.  If you get a high reading, you need to test daily to the end of that mini-cycle.  They have a website with the instructions.  I got my monitor for a decent price on e-bay and have been getting my test sticks there as well.  My cycle seems to be about to return at 14 months postpartum and the monitor picked up all highs just before I saw a temp shift.  We'll see if this is it.  I plan on using this with temping once my cycles return.  I have been temping as I have gotten closer now that we are getting better sleeps.


If you google nfp marquette, the main website will pop up and you can read about it.  They have a forum where you can ask questions. 



post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

DS doesn't have a clear waking pattern yet.  He's only 7 weeks.  I mean, there's something of a pattern, but it's not completely consistent.


Jodi, that sounds interesting.  So you were using the monitor prior to getting your first PP period?   Did you wait until you started seeing CM to use it?

post #5 of 19

Jayray--If you can, also Google LAM method. There are rules about fertile CM that apply prior to 6 months if you are ecologically breastfeeding. You wouldn't need to invest in a monitor for a while then.


jodi--you make me want my monitor back. That method sounds wonderful!!

post #6 of 19

Jayray, I agree with pinkbunch that at this stage you should use LAM and watch for when you start having CM. I know I started temping at the beginning postpartum and came to the realization it just wasn't helping me, and my temps were all over the place due to the stage I was at postpartum.   After that I think the monitor is really helpful. 


Yes, I did use the monitor before my first AF.  Basically, you pretend you are having cycles.  When you set up the monitor you fast forward it to day 5 so that it will ask you for a test the next morning.  You test every other day as long as you are getting lows.  Those days are safe. If you get a high reading, you test every day and assume you are fertile.  When you get to day 25 on the monitor (20 day cycle), you retrigger the monitor and fast forward to day 5 again.  From what I understand from the website, although the monitor in regular cycles does not give you enough warning, it is adequeate during postpartum time.  From what I have read, a lot of people get several cycles where they get highs before they actually see a cycle where they ovulate and get a peak reading.  In those cycles a lot of people start testing daily getting more cautious as they get towards cycling. 



post #7 of 19

If you meet the criteria for LAM, I wouldn't worry about charting until 6 months or any spotting, whichever comes first.  If you meet the criteria for ecological breastfeeding, you can go beyond 6 months if you do not have more fertile mucus.  Once you have more fertile mucus (clear and stretchy), start temping and/or using the CBFM.  The only downside to the fertility monitor is that you go through a lot of the urine sticks, and it seems to me like a waste of resources.  Most people don't have a problem getting usable results while bfing as long as they take their temperature at the same time every day.  Some take it in the middle of the night after a longer stretch of sleep.  Others take it in the morning after waking up several times a night to nurse.  As long as it's at the same time, I have known very few people who have had problems. Are you cosleeping?  A lot of moms find that they don't really wake up enough to disturb their temperature while cosleeping.


Also consider looking at ecological breastfeeding.  It is how traditional cultures spaced their babies.  Most women get 9-18 months of amenorrhea in the US, and mostly due to diet, women elsewhere tend to get much more.  I'm not typical for the US, but I just had my first fertile postpartum cycle, and my daughter is almost 26 months old.  If we had conceived that cycle, my children would have been just over 34 months apart, a spacing that is quite reasonable.

post #8 of 19

I successfully charted while breastfeeding and waking up every 90 minutes to 2 hours at night for two years.  I just took my temp whenever I woke up in the morning, which usually was between 7 and 8, but occasionally earlier or later.  I got pretty clear biphasic patterns so that I knew when I ovulated, how long my LP was, etc.  HOWEVER, I could not rely on it for birth control b/c when I was going to O was not always clear with my wonky CF.  We ended up accidentally getting pregnant twice (one ended in m/c and the other resulted in ds).  Ds was conceived with 5 day old sperm.  After ds, I had one postpartum cycle with a 3-4 day LP and the next cycle I got accidentally pregnant AGAIN when we DTD on a day with no fertile CF and no sign of O whatsoever.  I spiked the next day.  Go figure.  So I say, yes it is totally possible to chart while night waking and breastfeeding, but it is definitely more challenging to actually use it for CTA.  Liberal condom use.


But prior to actually getting AF back, I just charted CF.  As soon as I got patches of EW, I would note that in case AF was on its way. 

post #9 of 19

I would second the notion that CF can be confusing while BFing.  I have had more CM than previously so that I haven't really had "dry" days.  It's frustrating when the fertile phase begins the day my period ends.  We don't use condoms, so in our case, it's a lot of abstinence.  It takes some patience, and there's a lot more days that you can't be sure about in the postpartum period, but with care, I think it can be effective.

post #10 of 19

I agree the monitor seems like a waste of resources.  At the same time, like others here, i found my cm difficult to read so thought it was what we needed to do.  It definitely did make me feel more comfortable.   My cycle is returning later this time than it has in the past and I went back to work earlier.  I think Reid and were very attached and spent to much time in the rocking chair.  I swear that chair made it stay away.  I miss that time each day since I have been back to work.  We still do that when we can in the evening. 


Good luck with whatever you choose. 



post #11 of 19

Just thought I would update that my first PPAF arrived today and I caught it with the monitor.  Here is my chart.  When I switched back to lows on the monitor readings, I was actually still getting highs on the monitor but I could see on the strips that I had dropped back down to low.  I did not get a peak this first cycle but with this method since I was getting highs I would have been required to abstain during this period so the monitor did its job.  I just thought it was interesting that when I got the last high, the next day, my temperature shifted.  My son will be 14 months on Fridays so that is how we did.



post #12 of 19

I'd love to see your chart... can you repost the link?  Thanks!

post #13 of 19
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses, ladies!  I did ecological BFing last time and didn't get the first PPAF until 9 mo PP.  But this time I had blood streaked mucous at day 59 (supposed to count anything after day 56, I think...I had a pap smear on day 55.  I feel like that was a little long for the blood to be from that.  I don't know.  I didn't see anything else after that one day).  DS has also slept more than 6 hours a couple times.  So if they sleep  more than 6 hours a couple times does that completely negate LAM?  Usually he is waking every 2-4 hours.


I just need to be really careful if I don't want to get preggo again.  Thanks again for all the input.

post #15 of 19

Jayray, the fact that you had blood tinged mucus on day 59 negates LAM.  Was it brown or red?  If it was brown, it was more likely that it was old, but if it was red, it was fresh and definitely a possible sign of your body trying to get ready to ovulate.  If you continue to practice ecological breastfeeding and have 6 weeks of amenorrhea, you can consider yourself to have returned to amenorrhea.  I had spotting for one day when my daughter was 4 months old, spotting a second day when she was 19 1/2 months old, and my first period (with ovulation but inadequate LP) a couple days before she was 21 months old.  I ovulated about a month after the second spotting.


For now, though, you have to assume that you might be able to be fertile.  Chart CM for sure and consider yourself to be potentially fertile on days you have CM and to the evening of the 4th day afterward.  Chart temperature if you can because it will help you confirm ovulation if you have it and help you to know if you haven't ovulated yet.  If you have 6 weeks with no spotting or bleeding, you may feel comfortable being less strict about your charting, but don't ignore fertile mucus.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

It was red.  But I haven't had any CM since then.  Just normal vaginal moisture. 


I need to just stay aware and maybe just get into the habit of temping--see what things look like.

post #17 of 19

That sounds a lot like my spotting at 4 months - just one day of bright red spotting, then nothing for months.

post #18 of 19

I think that is quite common around that time.  I always wondered if that was about the time where we would have gotten our cycles back if it were not for bf.  I know with the monitor, I got a high around 3 months postpartum and never again for many months after that.  I didn't get any spotting, but that high had me worried.  For what it is worth, my middle son slept 10 hours per night starting at 2 months old every night without a feed and my cycle did not return until 11 months postpartum, exactly the same time it returned with my first who nursed every 4 hours at night.  This time round we were later, 14 months.  He slept through the night often during that time, but we also had a lot of long rocks in the rocking chair with him snoozing on me during the day and sometimes at night. I feel that time is actually what deferred everything.  We just were very attached. 


i agree that you have to be aware about your fertility possibly returning, but just because you have had that bit of spotting, doesn't mean that your cycle is on its way back, you may find it doesn't come back again and no spotting for quite a while.  This time is hard sometimes since we are in a kind of limbo.  As much as it is nice to go cycle free, that part can be difficult. 

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yes, it's funny because I'm convinced my cycle came back when DS1 spaced out his DAY feedings.  He was still nursing a lot at night.  Your experience is nice to know as I would love it if this child slept more at night!


Well, we'll see.  It's all very exciting.winky.gif

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Family Planning
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Fertility › Family Planning › FAM temp-taking and waking nursing babes