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How often does breastfeeding as birth control fail?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
If all the "rules" are in place - bfing on demand, not sleeping through the night etc.

If any of you got pregnant while bfing, how did you find out? And when did you find out?

Just curious because the midwife mentioned at an appointment that breastfeeding is 98% effective as bc if certain things are happening, as I mentioned above..and my SO hasn't said anything about bc since the baby was born, so I haven't said anything either. He's not stupid, he knows nothing is 100% effective and we're risking pregnancy basically anytime we have sex, but if he's not interested in making any other effort to prevent, then I'm definitely not saying anything
post #2 of 20
If you're ABSOLUTELY 100% about all the rules (NO other sucking, no water, food etc, cosleep and nurse at least every 4 hours at night etc)

AND you've not yet had a pp period- it's supposed to be 98% effective.

-Angela
post #3 of 20
Look up "Lactational Amenorrhea Method" for the scientific references, but if

1)baby is not yet 6 months old
2)you are exclusively breastfeeding
3)you haven't had a period

Then there is a 2% chance that you will get pregnant before you have a period.
If you still don't have a period between 6 and 12 months, ~6% chance of getting pregnant before your first period. And after 12 months, 10% (this is from "Ecological Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing).

We've done nothing but ecological breastfeeding and got the "advertised" result - babies spaced 18-30 months apart. I did have one period between pregnancies one and two, and was charting, so knew I conceived that way. With number three I just had a hunch and peed on a stick, no period.

HTH
post #4 of 20
I followed ALL the rules and got my pp af 6 weeks after dd was born... I don't know why... but if dh and I had been having sex before then we could have gotten pg. Just a personal tidbit
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by moodyred01 View Post
I followed ALL the rules and got my pp af 6 weeks after dd was born... I don't know why... but if dh and I had been having sex before then we could have gotten pg. Just a personal tidbit
Yes, there was a 2% chance that you could have gotten pregnant before your first period - but since you didn't, it wasn't a "method failure". Most people with an early return of fertility don't ovulate during the first cycle, or don't have a long enough luteal phase to support a pregnancy.

Sorry you didn't get more of a break from AF, though .
post #6 of 20
Yeah, it doesn't promise to postpone pp AF. For some women... yeah, others not so much

-Angela
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. I just don't trust statistics
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by maliceinwonderland View Post
Thanks for the replies. I just don't trust statistics
Well, all methods of birth control have statistics, ya know
Except castration I guess. And not doing it to begin with. But who wants that?
post #9 of 20
My mom and I both got pg while nursing an infant (the pregnancies were 25 years apart ) but both of us had at least 1 menstrual cycle first. In my case, the baby was also over 6m, and in her case she wasn't doing "ecological breastfeeding" because nobody around here was aware of that in 1971.

So, no LAM "method failures" in my family.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccohenou View Post
Well, all methods of birth control have statistics, ya know
Except castration I guess. And not doing it to begin with. But who wants that?
I don't trust statistics because I've already gotten pregnant while on the pill..but I guess I was just in that 2%? And so was my mom, and both of my sisters?
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by maliceinwonderland View Post
I don't trust statistics because I've already gotten pregnant while on the pill..but I guess I was just in that 2%? And so was my mom, and both of my sisters?
No, on the pill you were even luckier! Like a fraction of 1%, if you took it every day as directed .
post #12 of 20
I wouldn't call it "birth control", but rather rely on it as natural child spacing. If you are okay with getting pregnant whenever nature would have it, then it's a great way to space your kids. But if you totally don't want another one yet, or would consider it terrible to get pregnant right now, I'd rely on something else. HTH!
post #13 of 20
Let's see -- at age 11 months my daughter was co-sleeping, nursing at night, eating only teensy little bits of food, definitely no bottle, and yet . . . I got pregnant with my son. Because of the breast feeding (and perhaps a whopping case of denial) I did not think I was pregnant and it went unknown to me until one day before I felt the baby move, at 3 1/2 months of pregnancy.
post #14 of 20
I got pregnant right around the time my daughter turned two and I was co-sleeping and still night feeding and I used birth control.
I would recommend waiting as long as you can so you can breastfeed your first child without pain. I kept breastfeeding my first and am still tandem nursing. I would not do it consciously. It takes the life out of you. I would much rather have wiened my first before getting pregnant with my second . Personally I also believe it is best to concieve with high intent. That way it is possable to even choose the sex of your child. It would just depend on the power of your envisioning as to how successful you are. My husband and I had an amazing experience concieving our first child by making a ritual out of it and calling in a baby. WE got pregnant first try and we had used withdrawl only for 10 years with out getting pregnant.
post #15 of 20
after 14m of breastfeeding without a pp period i got pg
and i'm hoping it "fails" again!!!!

post #16 of 20
It is important to know your own body and your family's fertility when it comes to this question. In our fertile family, like maliceinwonderland, nothing's gonna stop getting pregnant. I know many women who haven't gotten pregnant while bfing, but I also know many women who have. Moms will say to me, "you must have stopped bfing at night." Nope! Good luck with whichever outcome you prefer!!!
post #17 of 20
My Grandma got pregnant 4 months PP while nursing fulltime - sadly her newborn didn't make it.
Nothing to do with BF, he was a premie and medical help / science was nowhere near advanced back then as now.

My aunt got pregnant 6 months PP, while nursing fulltime - and the second pregnancy was twins!!!
My uncles reply was priceless as he simply comncluded that babe number one was simply not eating enough to prevent the second pregnancy from happening

So with that precedent in mind, it's simply too big of a risk for me to take.
post #18 of 20
Hi There,

Those of you who got pregnant w/o weaning and having a pp period are giving me great hope, as I have not had a period and am still nursing a number of times/day...my daughter is almost 23 months and I have been absolutely in shock over the fact that I haven't had a period yet...My husband and I really want to conceive, but I don't want to wean as my daughter is still really attached to nursing. I have tried so hard to remain patient and be at peace with nature's timing, but now my friends are turning up pregnant. It's hard.

I'm trying to keep the faith and hoping that either my period comes soon or I catch the first egg. I think I'm ovulating and was trying to keep up with my cycle for a while, but now I'm just SOOOOOOOOO confused.

Take care,
Micheline
post #19 of 20
My midwife always says that if you don't want another baby yet, use birth control. This is true because there is always that chance.

As for me, I did it all "right" (exclusive bf on demand, no sippers, nippies, etc.) but my body is SO different from what some consider normal.

When I'm NOT breastfeeding, I only get 1 or 2 periods a year and I can't discern when/if I'm ovulating. (Unless I really wanted to take my temp EVERY morning - no thanks) However, while I am bfing, I get my periods every 30 to 32 days starting 4 weeks after the lochia stops and my periods stop as soon as the child has weaned.

Yes, I'm backwards but all that to say that I easily get pregnant without having periods and going off birth control. And, of course, since my regular periods are only when I'm nursing, I'm crazy careful to use birth control then!
post #20 of 20
Qualia was nursing around the clock, on demand, and still nursing 2-3x/night. We coslept, and I wore her all the time during the day. My cycle came back at 9 months PP and I got pregnant at 10.5 months PP.
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