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starting FAM while nursing?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
long story short...I can't stand the pill...I don't want an IUD....and neither dh or I really like/trust condoms....

So I'm looking into FAM. I just got 'Taking Charge of your Fertility" from the library (YAY!) and so far so good--except there isn't much info in there about STARTING when you are nursing....

ds is almost 5 months old and AF still hasn't returned (gosh darn... )

I want to start charting and stuff....but I have a few questions/concerns

1) Can I just start charting and then figure out where I am in my cycle? :

2) How the heck am I supposed to get a true basal temp when I co-sleep and nurse all night???? As if I ever get 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep!!
(ds likes to nurse LOTS most nights...but is pretty relaxed about it during the day where there are more exciting things to see and do)

please please pretty please if you can offer some advice or know where I can go to get more info (I tried a google search, but didn't find the info I need) I would be eternally thankful

**edited to add that I finally got to the section where she says you can't start until you have af back again....
Is that true??? What if it is a long time yet???
Is there no way I can start charting now?
From what she says about cervical fluid, I'm guessing I just passed through a 'fertile' time....
post #2 of 8
You might want to try "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing" by Sheila Kippley (you can get it at www.ccli.org, if not average bookstores). I'm not sure how much it goes into charting, but it talks a lot about using breastfeeding to delay the return of cycles.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by amyrobynne
You might want to try "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing" by Sheila Kippley (you can get it at www.ccli.org, if not average bookstores). I'm not sure how much it goes into charting, but it talks a lot about using breastfeeding to delay the return of cycles.
I think dh and I are too paranoid to go for that...I mean right now the not knowing when my cycle will return is a major source of stress (and loss of...umm...stress-relieving activities )

I totally let ds nurse on demand and he nurses all he wants at night. I don't take naps with him, but that is 'cause that is the only time I have alone with ds1, who misses his mommy-time....

Who would ever have thought I would *want* af back!

Although I wouldn't mind if it held off until I could get a divacup or mooncup....

ooh and maybe some nice mamapads

no more tampax here, thank you very much
post #4 of 8
First are you able to follow the rules of LAM? It's in the book.

If not then you can start to chart your cm. If you have any changes at all don't take a chance. It is tricky to do while nursing and she even says is not the optimal time to start. You could use condoms or a diaphram until AF and you feel comfortable relying on NFP. HTH
post #5 of 8
I tried to start using it when dd was probably 6-8 mnths. (IUD didn't work for me, and I was on the mini-pill for a few months, and didn't want either - so I got TCOYF)

I just temped for get used to it, and watched for cm - she has rules in the book on that. I can't remember exactly right now (and my sister loaned the book from me) But depending on your cm/discharge you should know whether that night is "safe" or not.

I got my period when dd was 14 mnths old, in January, and after the first few weird cycles I've been mostly regular. DD still nurses at night, and I rarely get 3 solid hours. But if you cosleep and nurse, and don't get up, I think it's fine. At least it's been working for me.

best of luck!!! (and yeah, get the mooncup! I got my keeper a little early, two months before getting af.. but I'm glad I had it.. I'll never use a tampon again! sorry for OT )
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you mama_kass and Chi-Chi Mama
I'm trying to convince dh that this is worth a try and is much better than going for an IUD. Knowing that other people are managing it makes it that much easier to present to him

I was just thinking that I ought to post more here--since I had some more time to sit and read (I get to read in about 10 minute spurts...)

As I was reading through the appendix, I saw that #1--she recommends you start taking your temp again when the baby is 5 or 6 months old, even if you are exclusively breastfeeding and #2--she totally recommends the better safe than sorry approach. That is, check fluids for 2 weeks and see what, in theory, your infertile times are like--but that if you are wet, not dry or sticky, in that time...you have to consider yourself fertile.

So...from what I got...it looks like I can indeed start charting my temps and recording fluid changes, but I should consider myself fertile anytime the fluid changes to wet. Does that sound about right?
post #7 of 8
yeah, that sounds right.

to be honest, I've had two pregnancy scares since January. One because I just just being dumb (I knew we probably weren't too safe, but neither one of us cared at the time ) The other is because I took too many breaks in temping and that cycle ended up being a lot longer than my previous few, and so I got scared. Really irrational looking back, and I got some encouragement here - I posted my chart and asked for help. Turned out just a long cycle - pretty common for a nursing mama.

anyway, my point here is that I wholeheartedly believe in NFP.. but it only goes as far as you take it. The "better safe than sorry " approach is good. Taking the temp/charting other signs is pretty important The only time I thought I might have had possible problems was when I didn't do what I was supposed to.
post #8 of 8
I don't do the temp taking but have used NFP since before my first child was born.

I just check for fertile mucus and for a LONG time after the babe is born, we are VERY careful. It helps that I ahve no sex drive for a year postpartum. For me, it was always easy to tell when I was fertile. And when in doubt, we abstain!

Also, though, I get my flows back really early....around 3-4 months PP. So I know I"ve got to be on my toes from the get-go. Although it does make it easier, since I"m very regular, once they start to know what's going on.
HTH and good luck.
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