Tips on trying to conceive while nursing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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6-7 months later (after delivery) my period finally came, and we are trying to have another baby. Even though my period has returned (and I'm still nursing now), I haven't been able to get pregnant; I wonder why. Is there anything special about conceiving while nursing that I should be working around?

I heard that the cycles & ovulation timing could be all messed up when your period returns while nursing, which tells me that the traditional/theoretical ovulation days aren't to be counted on in this case. Does that mean we should be trying to have sex every day (or every other day) if we can instead of only on days I'm theoretically predicted to be ovulating? What would help increase the chances of success here?
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#2 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Do you chart? It helps a lot if you do. When your period returns, a lot of women have anovulatory cycles for a while and than they start ovulating but have a short luteal phase which makes it almost impossible for implantation to happen. That was my problem. There are many things you can do to increase your LP so it helps if you chart so you know if that is your problem. It worked for me!
good luck
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#3 of 14 Old 02-19-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I also suggest that you chart. My AF came back at 11 mos pp and my cycles were 28-30 days long, however I was ovulating on day 20-23. I suspected this because of EWCM but charting confirmed it. I've heard that anovulatory cycles are normal when nursing, so I was relieved that I charted and could confirm ovulation. I also used OPKs to be absolutely certain.

However, ovulating that late in a 28 day cycle meant that meant that my LP was only 6-8 days long! So I tried B6 and used natural progesterone cream. My LP didn't get any longer the first month I added these but I got pregnant the very next cycle (4th cycle pp and 2nd cycle with B6 and NPC) and so far it's sticking! Thanks to the OPKs and charting our BD timing was perfect so I'm sure that helped too.

Good luck!

Just a note about B6 - I have heard that it can reduce milk supply so I was prepared to try it for just a week and go off if there was any change in milk. No change and I'm still taking it.

And a note about NPC - When I started it, I had only read that it could be beneficial to milk production. Since then, I have also read the opposite. I didn't notice any change in production but I'd suggest you do more reasearch on any supplements in case they could affect your nursing relationship with your LO.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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#4 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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I don't want to hijack to OP's question, but how effective is charting if you're up half the night with a co-sleeping baby who still night nurses? I don't often sleep for more than three hours at a stretch (and she's almost 1...sigh), and when I wake in the morning its because she's up and wants to get up Right!Now! and so laying quietly for two minutes while my temp records is actually a challenge. I charted before I had her and I've been keeping track of CM since TTC (just 2 months).

Will data from charting still be useful given temp-taking conditions aren't ideal?

Is CM indicative of ovulation?

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#5 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crayfishgirl View Post
I don't want to hijack to OP's question, but how effective is charting if you're up half the night with a co-sleeping baby who still night nurses? I don't often sleep for more than three hours at a stretch (and she's almost 1...sigh), and when I wake in the morning its because she's up and wants to get up Right!Now! and so laying quietly for two minutes while my temp records is actually a challenge. I charted before I had her and I've been keeping track of CM since TTC (just 2 months).

Will data from charting still be useful given temp-taking conditions aren't ideal?

Is CM indicative of ovulation?

As for temping when you're waking up a lot -- I'd say try it and see whether a pattern emerges. I was sure that temping would be a bust for me since we co-sleep and were still night nursing when I started charting again, but sure enough, a pattern emerged for me even with the interrupted sleep -- enough of a pattern to confirm ovulation and figure out how long my LP was (too short, working on it...). So yeah, it can't hurt to try charting with temps for a couple of months and see what patterns you get. Can DH help in the morning so you can get a temp?

CM is correlated with ovulation, but some women find it challenging to pin down ovulation exactly just using CM. In theory, you have EWCM (stretchy, clear) on O day, followed by a complete dry-up the next day. In my personal experience, though, I have EWCM for several days, and then creamy for several days post-O.

If you haven't read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, I highly recommend it. It goes into tons of detail on exactly these questions!

DD March 2007...happily nursing, EC graduated, family-bed-sharing family... expecting another in early November!
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#6 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Thanks Calihannah!

I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility a year and half ago before conceiving my daughter, but skipped over the nursing chapter. I haven't yet made it to the library to check it out again. When our daughter wakes up its like a light switch....asleep, then not asleep. My husband...not so much. So when she wakes first thing I'm the first responder so to speak. I'll start charting again and will just have to try and keep her stationary for a couple minutes when she wakes. Hopefully I'll see a pattern and confirm that I am, in fact, ovulating.

Camille~
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#7 of 14 Old 02-20-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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I had to respond to you crayfishgirl, your post could have been written by me a couple of months ago. I think it's relevant to the OP, so hopefully others will find it useful info.

I had the same concerns you have outlined regarding temping & avid night nursers. My daughter only started sleeping longer than 2 hrs between nursing at 18 mnths, and my DH sounds similar to yours in terms of response time . Calihannah has already touched on all of the main points, and I definitely also think a reread of Weschler may be really useful.
My personal approach is that I take my temp every day, whenever I wake up at or after 3 am (my DD wakes most nights but generally I get at min one 3 hr stretch). I pop the thermometer in my mouth even as I get her latched on (in bed). Ideally you're not supposed to do anything before temping, but I haven't found it to alter my readings too drastically. I still get a very definite thermal shift, etc. For me, I figure that even a slightly inaccurate temp chart is better than no temps at all. I find it to be really helpful to compare against my CM, especially since (like many) my CM is affected by breastfeeding.

Loving Mama to Sparklesviolin.gif(05) and Doodle modifiedartist.gif(08), dog2.gif & cat.gif. Eagerly expecting a new little firecracker 11/2011!
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#8 of 14 Old 02-21-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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I also agree that charting would be incredibly helpful! Knowing when you ovulate (if at all) is key in figuring out what's going on.

I didn't chart, I just used Dollar Tree OPK's. I realized that I ovulate VERY late in my cycle (days 24 and then 21) and my luteal phase was too short to sustain a pregnancy.

Once I knew the issue, I was able to address it. I not only could perfectly time sex...but I also was able to start using my progesterone cream right when I ovulated and that extended my luteal phase and I got pregnant right away!

This place is a wealth of info on charting, OPK's etc. You'll probably be preggers again before you know it!

Super crunchy Mama to DS1, DS2, DD and wanting a bunch more!  We homeschool, bed share, homebirth and baby wear. We're attached, we only cloth diaper and we don't vax. There's a lot more to us than that, but it won't all fit. 

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#9 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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Thanks everyone...I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility again and it has been helpful. To be honest, now I'm worried that I've been having anovulatory bleeding every month because its a lighter flow than it was pre-baby. Hopefully temping will help determine that (although in 2 days I've seen a pretty wide range [0.5 degree]).

Peache's Mom: this nearly made me weep: My daughter only started sleeping longer than 2 hrs between nursing at 18 mnths

Waaaaah!!!

Camille~
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#10 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your responses.
I'm totally new to the whole fertility topic and need a lot of help now that conceiving doesn't seem that easy. Just so you know how clueless I am about fertility concerns, my first and only baby was conceived at a blink of eye - first and only time I ever had unprotected sex. Never timed, never charted (don't even know what it is and how to)... So now I need a lot of help, I don't even know any of these acronyms used here - LP, OPK, NPC, B6, what are all these?

I think I will go find the "taking charge of your fertility" book to read, but it'll take a while before I get my hands on them and have enough time to finish reading it. To get some quick tips from you, what are some things I need to get myself started on (while getting around to that book) besides charting?

Couple of you started that discussion here, with nursing and waking at night, would it be ok if I just made it a point to take temp every night at baby's first waking, WHENEVER he wakes, (be it 12am, 1am, or 3am)? And would it be ok to stick the therm into my mouth while I get out of bed and walk 10 steps to pick him up, walk another 4 steps to sit myself in a char and start nursing? (or maybe just having therm in my mouth while I walk 10 steps to go see him and comfort him back to sleep)?

This process of charting seems frustrating, doesn't it? It seems like it'll be at least another 3 months (to observe any pattern) before I even FIND OUT what's going on, let alone actually conceiving..... right? And what do I do in the mean time? Nothing but charting and waiting (if I can even get good enough data to read it) to find out what's happening with me? There must be something I can do before I'm able to get some data that is actually readable.... isn't there?

And where is a good place to get instructions on how to chart by the way?
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#11 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess my general question here is, where do I start?

I'm getting overwhelmed just trying to read this forum and getting lost....then there are all these "February" threads that I don't know what they are....plus I only have a few minutes of internet/sitting down time in a day. I don't have all the time in the world to poke around on the internet and learn (like I normally would before I had a baby in my life). Where do I start here?
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#12 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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Hi Mamaluu,

I would come over to the Nursing Mama's TTC thread. Lots of great info and support there. Also, for really good, simple info about charting, I would check out fertilityfriend.com. They have a charting tutorial that is a great place to get started, and with a basic membership you can chart online for free. You may start to see a pattern after only a month of charting, or it might take longer.

As far as night waking and charting, everyone is different. For me, I just temp when I wake for the day, even though I've woken several times during the night and never have had the three hours unbroken sleep recommended. I still show a very clear pattern and temp rise after ovulation.

I hope this helps!

lucky mom to Oliver, 8/6/07, and Finn, 11/28/10, and wife to DH
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#13 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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LP, OPK, NPC, B6

LP: luteal phase. It is the time from ovulation to the day before your period starts. It usually lasts 14 days in a normal cycle. It should be at least 10 days long for implantation to happen but 12 days would be better. You can see if you have a short LP by charting and it usually only takes a month to see.

OPK: Ovulation predictor. It tells you if you are about to ovulate. You can buy them at the pharmacy or online

NPC: ?

B6: vitamin B6 helps lengthen your LP
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#14 of 14 Old 02-23-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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There are things you can do to lengthen your LP but it's most likely short b/c your babe is drinking too much milk to allow your body to conceive right now. If you do get pg your supply will drop and you may have to supplement. 7 months is actually pretty short for absence of menstruation while nursing, and fertility doesn't "usually" return for a year.

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