please tell me BFing my newborn is more than enough birth control - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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please tell me that.

we DTD about 5ish weeks after ds2 was born. he is EBF. then, about a week and a half ago, maybe two weeks ago, i dunno, we DTD a 2nd time. ds2 is nursing twice at night, and throughout the day. i just had some spotting. (spotting as in - newly pregnant spotting.)

thats more than enough BFing to count as birth control right? RIGHT!?! i know its not 100% accurate, but still... i wasnt going to worry about birth control for another month or so.

i cant have three babies under three! omg the idea makes me sweat!!!

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#2 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 03:15 AM
 
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I'm one of the 2% for whom ANY amount of bfding is not enough birth control. Hopefully you aren't in this statistic, too. I was tandeming and got pregnant at 5 months postpartum because I didn't think I could get pregnant so soon...we love DD and consider her our amazing miracle baby but now we use birth control at.all.times (dd was conceived on day 27 of my returned regular 30 day cycle...go figure) unless we are planning to get pregnant.

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#3 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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No, it's not.

I was EBF Abigail, using the minipill AND condoms, and still managed to conceive Sophia when Abigail was only 20 weeks old.

Sophia, the tiny baby with a strong will to exist.

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#4 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 03:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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that is not what i wanted to hear, esp from you Purity Lake!

i literally im dizzy right now. just the IDEA of another baby. my oldest (18months) has been babbling sentences like crazy for months now and has a handful of words, but he just barely started calling me "mama."

my youngest cant even do ANYTHING yet

i think i will wait a while before testing for a hopeful BFN (lol) but this is scaring me to death!!

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#5 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 03:49 AM
 
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No, not at all. Sorry. Many women don't ovulate while BFing, but some do start up right away.

Good luck, and I hope it all works out!

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#6 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 01:32 PM
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Google Lactation Amennorhea Method. It is about 99% effective in the first 6 months. (Some places list 98% effective, but this effectiveness is based on a year of use, and it only counts for 6 months, so it takes 200 women to get 100 woman years, and 2 out of 200 women will get pregnant.) If you have been exclusively nursing (pumping does not count) on demand, day and night, not using pacifiers, and staying close to your baby, especially if you are cosleeping, it is almost impossible that you would be pregnant.

However, LAM is only that effective if you remain in amennorhea, and about 6% of women who meet all the behavioral criteria do not. If you have been spotting, you are no longer in amennorhea. You are likely not pregnant yet, but if it is important for you to not get pregnant again now, you need to take appropriate action. While nursing, especially with your baby so young, I would recommend against hormonal birth control because it may affect your milk supply, and the hormones may pass through your milk to your baby. You may consider learning to chart your fertility so that you can have the best idea what is going on with your body.

For what it's worth, I'm an anomoly on the other end of the spectrum. I spotted for no apparent reason on one day when my baby was just over 5 months old with no other fertility signs. Now, my baby is almost 19 months old, and I haven't had a true period since the cycle just before she was conceived. In fact, until the past month or so, I really didn't have any signs that my cycles were even planning on starting anytime soon. I started charting just a couple weeks ago because I finally had enough fertility signs that I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to ovulate, but I haven't yet. I've had enough infertile time just from breastfeeding that I am mainly charting so that if we do get pregnant before my first cycle (much more likely this late in the game), we'll have a correct due date.
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#7 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JMJ View Post
Google Lactation Amennorhea Method. It is about 99% effective in the first 6 months. (Some places list 98% effective, but this effectiveness is based on a year of use, and it only counts for 6 months, so it takes 200 women to get 100 woman years, and 2 out of 200 women will get pregnant.) If you have been exclusively nursing (pumping does not count) on demand, day and night, not using pacifiers, and staying close to your baby, especially if you are cosleeping, it is almost impossible that you would be pregnant.
Well, I don't buy those statistics. I don't care how many women they tested, 200 is just not that many, though. I coslept, breastfed 24/7, around the clock, on demand, no pacifier, just me and her, wore her in a sling, and my period still returned exactly 8 weeks postpartum. That was when I went on minipill. It was two months later before my husband and I had sex, twice, (with condoms) within a week, and that was all it took. I also remember Abigail waking and needing to nurse immediately after the sex. She pretty much nursed every hour, or more often, every day, every night, for 6 straight months. I was a perma-milk-machine for that half a year. By 6 months, she would actually sometimes sleep for two hours straight and what a relief that was.

I am also not a very fertile person. I was married 8.5 years to my ex husband and never used bc and never had a child with him. My husband now is not particularly fertile, either. So we're not like some lush garden of eden or anything. I've also known other women to get pregnant before they've had their first period postpartum.

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#8 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
Well, I don't buy those statistics. I don't care how many women they tested, 200 is just not that many, though. I coslept, breastfed 24/7, around the clock, on demand, no pacifier, just me and her, wore her in a sling, and my period still returned exactly 8 weeks postpartum. That was when I went on minipill. It was two months later before my husband and I had sex, twice, (with condoms) within a week, and that was all it took. I also remember Abigail waking and needing to nurse immediately after the sex. She pretty much nursed every hour, or more often, every day, every night, for 6 straight months. I was a perma-milk-machine for that half a year. By 6 months, she would actually sometimes sleep for two hours straight and what a relief that was.

I am also not a very fertile person. I was married 8.5 years to my ex husband and never used bc and never had a child with him. My husband now is not particularly fertile, either. So we're not like some lush garden of eden or anything. I've also known other women to get pregnant before they've had their first period postpartum.
Sorry, my explanation with the numbers wasn't very clear. The numbers I gave were just to explain the probabilities, not the actual study. There were actually several independent studies analyzed to form the Bellagio Consensus, which LAM is based on. Since that time, the results have been replicated in several more studies that have replicated the results with varying sample sizes.

The 6% of women whose periods return before 6 months may not be as great an estimate in all places, since there was a big difference between the number of women whose periods returned in one place vs. another, so while the world average may be 6%, it is significantly higher in some places and significantly lower in others.

As far as your own case is concerned, you were obviously one of the women whose fertility returned early. That has nothing to do with your fertility at other times, I got pregnant the first cycle I tried, and now I'm 19 months postpartum and haven't ovulated yet. If you had already had a period before you got pregnant, you did not qualify for LAM. Your surprise pregnancy was a minipill and condom failure, not a LAM failure.

As far as the other people you know who got pregnant before their first period are concerned, I don't know their situations. If they were not exclusively breastfeeding (including pumped bottles or pacifiers) or their babies were older than 6 months, this is much more likely, and they did not qualify for LAM. Hence, these are not LAM failures. If they were exclusively breastfeeding babies under 6 months and got pregnant before their first period, that is a very rare case, and just because you happen to know somebody who it happened to does not mean that it happens more frequently than numerous studies have shown.

You really can't say that LAM does not work just because things that are similar to LAM fail more frequently. That's like saying, "I took my BCP most days, so I thought I couldn't get pregnant." If you want to discredit LAM, you have to discredit it using cases that qualify.

The OP was asking about her particular situation, and she said that she is exclusively breastfeeding a baby under 6 months, and until now, she has been in amenorrhea. That means that until now (if she did not use pacifiers or expressed milk), she qualified under the conditions of LAM and is not likely pregnant. Now, she does not qualify for LAM since she is no longer in amenorrhea, so she should not count on breastfeeding to space her babies, as your case illustrates.
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#9 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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How can LAM be effective if amenorrhea ends with the first period and that will have been preceded by an ovulation? i'm not being snarky, i just don't see how it can be effective "today" since the day AF arrives you know it hasn't been effective for at least one cycle.

With DD1 i met all those requirements and still got AF at 6weeks PP and every month thereafter. With DD2 i got a very light period 2 months out but then began pumping for a friend and it's stayed away since. pumping has only increased my output though, not stimulation, as i pump once a day from one breast while feeding dd from the other, but get 7oz in that one pumping, but after my experience w/dd1 i had a coil fitted at 9weeks PP with dd2. nak.

eta - with dd1, i had very clear ovulation signs 4weeks pp, so i doubt strongly that it was an anovulatory cycle.
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#10 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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How can LAM be effective if amenorrhea ends with the first period and that will have been preceded by an ovulation? i'm not being snarky, i just don't see how it can be effective "today" since the day AF arrives you know it hasn't been effective for at least one cycle.
exactly. add to that the fact that ovulation increases sex drive. pretty good chance of failure even when using the method correctly, if only counting that one month before AF.

i was another LAM failure, no pacifiers, EBF, cosleeping. pregnant at 2 months pp.

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#11 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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Count the smilies in my signature, and that tells you how little it works.

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#12 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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No, it's not enough. Generally the first 56 days post partum are considered infertile if you're exclusively breastfeeding, but beyond that you can't rely on bfing if you're not also tracking fertility signs.
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#13 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 06:16 PM
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In the first 6 months, with exclusive breastfeeding (at the breast), there are 3 things that can happen to keep you infertile before your first bleeding beyond 56 days:
-You may remain in anovulatory amenorrhea.
-You may not ovulate before your first postpartum bleeding.
-Your luteal phase may not be long enough to sustain a pregnancy. (This is really an early miscarriage rather than a prevention of pregnancy.)
Those 3 together give women who remain in amenorrhea for the first 6 months while exclusively breastfeeding 98% effectiveness in preventing viable pregnancy before their first postpartum bleeding past 56 days.

GoBecGo, you may have had fertility signs without actually ovulating, or you may have ovulated and for whatever reason, did not end up pregnant. Just because your period came back early does not mean that LAM failed. It means that you were not able to use it as long as some other mothers. When you get your period, you don't know that it hasn't been effective for at least one cycle because it may not have been a true period with ovulation preceeding, or you may not have had a long enough luteal phase to sustain a pregnancy.

la mamita and multimamma, I don't know your situations exactly, but if you actually got pregnant before your first postpartum bleeding while breastfeeding exclusively a baby under 6 months, you are the only people I know. Please do clarify if you had any postpartum bleeding before you got pregnant.
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#14 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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When you say 'postpartum bleed', you aren't talking about bleeding right after birth, right? That's postpartum bleeding. If you are referring to menses, my #3, #4, and #5 were conceived without signs of menses or any other fertility sign. The others My cousin became pregnant with her second when her first was five weeks old. My SIL's five children are all thirteen months apart, without any menses between. I have three other SILs who all conceived while EBF before the infant was six months, although they did all have their first postpartum menses.

It is not as rare as the quoted sources here claim.

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#15 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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Uhm, yeah. I got my period back at 7 weeks this time. Very grumpy making.

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#16 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 06:50 PM
 
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In the first 6 months, with exclusive breastfeeding (at the breast), there are 3 things that can happen to keep you infertile before your first bleeding beyond 56 days:
-You may remain in anovulatory amenorrhea.
-You may not ovulate before your first postpartum bleeding.
-Your luteal phase may not be long enough to sustain a pregnancy. (This is really an early miscarriage rather than a prevention of pregnancy.)
Those 3 together give women who remain in amenorrhea for the first 6 months while exclusively breastfeeding 98% effectiveness in preventing viable pregnancy before their first postpartum bleeding past 56 days.

GoBecGo, you may have had fertility signs without actually ovulating, or you may have ovulated and for whatever reason, did not end up pregnant. Just because your period came back early does not mean that LAM failed. It means that you were not able to use it as long as some other mothers. When you get your period, you don't know that it hasn't been effective for at least one cycle because it may not have been a true period with ovulation preceeding, or you may not have had a long enough luteal phase to sustain a pregnancy.

la mamita and multimamma, I don't know your situations exactly, but if you actually got pregnant before your first postpartum bleeding while breastfeeding exclusively a baby under 6 months, you are the only people I know. Please do clarify if you had any postpartum bleeding before you got pregnant.
Sorry, i wasn't clear. I didn't get pregnant because i didn't have any sex at all. We split up when she was 8 weeks old and were not getting along for about 2 years before that. That we had her at all is almost a miracle! When i was about to reach menarche i was warned by all the books, all the teachers and my blushing parents that i could fall pregnant even before my first period came, and i know someone that happened to...so is it generally NOT the case? I would assume fertility would be more likely in people who are already fertile (i.e. postpartum) than those who haven't become fertile yet...?
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#17 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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If you had already had a period before you got pregnant, you did not qualify for LAM. Your surprise pregnancy was a minipill and condom failure, not a LAM failure.
I wouldn't have called it a LAM failure anyhow, because I can't even imagine being without a menses if not pregnant, as mine returned 8 weeks post partum after both births. I would guess the term LAM failure means trying to not have your period, and then having it, but I can't think that is healthy.

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As far as the other people you know who got pregnant before their first period are concerned, I don't know their situations. If they were not exclusively breastfeeding (including pumped bottles or pacifiers) or their babies were older than 6 months, this is much more likely, and they did not qualify for LAM. Hence, these are not LAM failures. If they were exclusively breastfeeding babies under 6 months and got pregnant before their first period, that is a very rare case, and just because you happen to know somebody who it happened to does not mean that it happens more frequently than numerous studies have shown.
One was my sister-in-law, ebf, no pacis, under 6 month baby, no menses, and she was pregnant with her second. In fact, her two boys are closer in age than my two girls are. I do understand it is 'andecdotal', but I also do not believe in or rely on 'studies' or 'statistics' because IME, they never seem to apply to me or anyone I know, from BMI averages, to school aptitude, to any other mass populations generic study/statistic. They've just never proven true for me or anyone I know. I do know how misleading anecdotal evidence is, but I believe the same can be said for studies and statistics. They're all just guesses toward potential outcomes. Neither or right or wrong.

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You really can't say that LAM does not work just because things that are similar to LAM fail more frequently.
I never said LAM doesn't work, because I don't even get what it is and I don't really care anyway. If it works for someone, great, but that's got nothing to do with what I was posting about.

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#18 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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it strikes me now that my 2nd and 3rd eldest brothers were conceived 4 or 5 weeks PP, there's 21 months between #1 and #3. and mum ebf until her supply dipped in 2nd tri, both times she was pg by her "6 week check" though she was 8 or 9 weeks pp w/#2 when she went for it and found out #3 might be on the way...she always warned me not to rely on bf for contraception.
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#19 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 07:50 PM
 
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Yeah, I no longer 'buy' LAM myself. Between DS1 and Ds2 my period returend at 9 months and was like clockwork every 28 days till I got pregnant w/ ds2. at exactly 8wks pp after ds2 I had a period. And then nothing for a couple months (during which I was freaking out) and then a period. And then nothing for months (freaking out). Then 3 or 4 35 (5wk) cycles. And then a couple of 28day cycles. And then a 27 day cycle. And I'm now on day... 32 or 33. And no, I am not pregnant. (keep repeating that w/ me, k?). We've used condoms religiously this whole time. And I just do not freaking get it. And yes, DS2 is EBF, no pacifiers, co-sleeping, etc. Just like ds1 was. Only my period is 'fing ridiculous.
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#20 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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GoBecGo, you may have had fertility signs without actually ovulating, or you may have ovulated and for whatever reason, did not end up pregnant. Just because your period came back early does not mean that LAM failed. It means that you were not able to use it as long as some other mothers. When you get your period, you don't know that it hasn't been effective for at least one cycle because it may not have been a true period with ovulation preceeding, or you may not have had a long enough luteal phase to sustain a pregnancy.
Yes, but at some point its semantics. A better way to describe LAM might be: *for some women*. However, if there's no definitive way to figure out how long *you* as an individual can use it, it's pretty much a moot point and I wouldn't recommend ANYONE rely on it exclusively.

It's nice that everyone is particular about comparing apples to apples, but the bottom line is this: there are lots of women who try to rely on it and who end up pregnant. THEREFORE, it shouldn't be relied upon exclusively.

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#21 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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I know someone who was EBFing TWINS and got pregnant by 2 months PP! She didn't even find out she was pregnant again until she was 5 months along.

Personally, I'm just impressed that she was having sex with 2 month old twins. I think I'd be too exhausted to do anything...

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#22 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 08:20 PM
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Multimamma, that is interesting. Were your children also under 6 months when you got pregnant before your first postpartum menses? There are a number of other factors involved as well such as diet, genetics, stress levels, sufficient sleep, etc, but they have been studied less well, so it is hard to make stastical statements about them. It would make it more likely to occur multiple times with the same person or in the same families, though. Your individual experience and that of others in your family is validly the reality that you are living with, but it is not necessarily a reflection of what others will experience.

GoBecGo, abstinence is the most effective form of birth control. It's hard to say if you would or would not have gotten pregnant. I'm not sure, but I believe that menarche is almost always preceded by ovulation and in a healthy young girl, usually has an adequate luteal phase to support pregnancy. This is not the case in a woman returning to fertility after childbirth while exclusively breastfeeding in the first 6 months. Yes, a girl can get pregnant before her menarche but most do not because they are not having sex frequently before their menarche. It would be hard to study because it's unethical to put together an experiment that might involve teenage (or pre-teenage) pregnancy.
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#23 of 53 Old 10-28-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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lach:

JMJ: #2 was six months old, #3 was three months old, #4 was four months old.

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#24 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 12:22 AM
 
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I think for my sister it LAM didn't work because she started then stopped bc, which would have thrown off her natural hormone levels.

LAM worked for me for exactly the first 6 months. This LO was conceived when DS was 7 1/2 months, or 7 months if you go by "LMP"

I have not had a period since Dec '08, so periods have nothing to do with possibility.

I think it work for some women, but it depends on each individual.

Quote:
Chance of pregnancy is practically zero during the first three months, less than 2% between 3 and 6 months, and about 6% after 6 months (assuming mom's menstrual periods have not yet returned)
from kellymom

I like the practically zero...

Quote:
While it is possible for a nursing mom to become pregnant while she is breastfeeding and before she has her first menstrual period, it is rare
and I'm rare

Oh and the one thing some people forget (which I didn't follow) is that you need to feed between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m because that's highest time for prolactin to be produced and suppress fertility. Once the baby sleeps through the night LAM isn't considered effective.

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#25 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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holy cow mamas!

there is so much info in this thread i have to keep rereading it to just get a handle on it! ive never even heard of LAM so im going to keep looking into that and still hope i have a BFN. im too chicken too test now

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CherryBombMama is offline  
#26 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post
Oh and the one thing some people forget (which I didn't follow) is that you need to feed between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m because that's highest time for prolactin to be produced and suppress fertility. Once the baby sleeps through the night LAM isn't considered effective.
My babies didn't sttn *which is 5 straight hours in my book* until well over 18 months of age. Between 2 and 6 am, Abigail was practically nursing nonstop her first 6 months. She was pretty much permanently attached during that stage.

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#27 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by elisheva View Post
Yes, but at some point its semantics. A better way to describe LAM might be: *for some women*. However, if there's no definitive way to figure out how long *you* as an individual can use it, it's pretty much a moot point and I wouldn't recommend ANYONE rely on it exclusively.

It's nice that everyone is particular about comparing apples to apples, but the bottom line is this: there are lots of women who try to rely on it and who end up pregnant. THEREFORE, it shouldn't be relied upon exclusively.
The whole point of the Bellagio Conference was to determine when lactation amenorrhea could effectively be used to prevent pregnancy. They determined that for an effectiveness comparable to other modern methods of birth control, it could be used for 6 months as long as a woman remains in amenorrhea. As with many methods of birth control, it works better for some women than others, many women get pregnant while using it, and most of the failures are "user" failures rather than "method" failures (in this case, people relying on it for longer than 6 months, ignoring bleeding, relying on it after their baby sleeps more than 4 hours at night, relying on it after introducing solids, etc).

LAM is a method of birth control, not necessarily a method of not getting your period back. Ecological Breastfeeding is a method of baby care that usually involves not getting your period back and can be combined with Natural Family Planning (fertility awareness) if needed to raise its effectiveness as a family planning method.

Summary for the OP: Feel free to learn about LAM, but please know that since you have experienced spotting already, you can no longer use it to space your babies. The reason for bringing up LAM is not to encourage you to use it right now but to put your mind at ease by knowing that there are multiple studies that have shown that the statistically average woman is unlikely to get pregnant before her first postpartum period or spotting. The effectiveness of LAM is under debate, so your statistical chance of being pregnant is under debate. It is unlikely but possible that your are pregnant yet, the only question is how unlikely. I don't know if your statistical debate helps you much or not. You either are or are not pregnant, regardless of the statistics. I wish you the best, whatever that is.
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#28 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post
Oh and the one thing some people forget (which I didn't follow) is that you need to feed between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m because that's highest time for prolactin to be produced and suppress fertility. Once the baby sleeps through the night LAM isn't considered effective.
That's hilarious - DD1 (PP AF at 6weeks PP) fed CONTINUOUSLY between 2am and 5am and DD2 (AF still not really back) has literally NEVER had a feed between 2am and 6am, because she slept 5-6hours every night from birth.
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#29 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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Some of this is making me laugh! When I read the thread title, I starting screaming "Nooooooo".

If I truly didn't want any chance of pregnancy (other than practicing abstinence) I would not risk having un-protected sex.

nak

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#30 of 53 Old 10-29-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post
If I truly didn't want any chance of pregnancy (other than practicing abstinence) I would not risk having un-protected sex.
Abstinence is the only 100% safe method if you don't want another right now. Anything else, there's a risk of failure, no matter how careful you are.

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