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-   -   Lactational Amenorrhea Method (http://www.mothering.com/forum/517-october-2009/1169509-lactational-amenorrhea-method.html)

Charlize 12-05-2009 04:05 AM

Has anyone tried this for birth control post-partum?

My periods haven't returned. There has been no bleeding past the 56 day period. (I just crossed the 56 day period Tuesday.) DD3 sleeps for five to six hour stretches some nights, but not every night. Myabe once a week she sleeps for long stretches, twice tops. Sometimes during the day she may go for long periods without nursing, but not often. We're doing on-demand nursing sessions and I have not introduced any solids to her or even let her taste anything off my fingertips.

I'm nervous about trying this method of birth control, but it has come down to either being this or the withdrawal method. (A friend of mine was exclusively breastfeeding her nine month old daughter and became pregnant. I know that clearly surpasses the age restriction in the LAM guidelines, but still...) I'm not comfortable using the mini pill because I REALLY want to breastfeed DD3 until she's at least one year old and I don't want to chance sacrificing my supply since it's doing so well this time around. I also have a latex allergy. Spermicides are doing me no favors, either.

I considered charting, but all sources state this can be difficult to do until your period returns.

Ugh. This is all so confusing for me.

jacie87 12-05-2009 04:11 AM

That is what we relied on. I exclusively breastfed DD until 14 months, and it was the week after we started giving her solids every day that I got pg.

firewoman 12-05-2009 08:41 AM

My midwife has given the rules you've stated with the addition of saying baby should be sleeping with you and no artificial nipples should be used (paci's and bottles). I have followed all of the rules including nursing every two to three hours and still gotten my period back at 8 weeks and 4 months respectively for my 3rd and 4th pregnancy. I'm eight weeks out from this pregnancy and haven't gotten it back yet. Since usually ovulation preceeds menstruation, if I had been having unprotected sex, I could have easily gotten pregnant. Same goes for the withdrawal method. I don't feel that either method is particularly reliable because I know far too many people that got pregnant using both.

If you REALLY don't want another baby I would get a hormone free IUD (paraguard) or use Naturalamb condoms. I have a latex sensitivity as well and the Naturalamb worked well for us. They are also quite expensive. The cheapest deals for them can be found online.

Therese's Mommy 12-05-2009 08:49 AM

We used it to space our kids. With my first my period came back at 19mos pp. I got pg at about 22mos pp. I do not think I was fertile the first couple of months after my period came back. After dd#2 I got my period back at 15mos pp (she was not a comfort nurser at all) and got pg at 19mos pp. I could tell I was going to get my period after dd#2, I was all crampy and icky feeling. I tried to chart when I got my period back after dd#2 but she had me up every hour so my temps were all over the place. I successfully charted after my cycle return after dd#1. I would just pay close attention to cervical mucus. Also, if you are using pacis, or giving any bottles I would watch your signs very closely. Also, I don't think either of my girls were sleeping for 6hrs when my period came back, that seems like a long time to me. From what I have heard, it is the nighttime nursing that really keeps your fertility at bay, something about nighttime feedings really ramping up the prolactin.

Norasmomma 12-05-2009 03:40 PM

Honestly -I think LAM is a scam. I did all the rules with DD and I got my PPAF back at 9 weeks. It works for some and not for me. I'd be looking for something more reliable.

BlueEyedLady 12-05-2009 05:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlize View Post
I also have a latex allergy. Spermicides are doing me no favors, either.
I have a latex sensitivity too. I don't have the allergy, per se, but it does make me itch something fierce and that's not a good feeling in that particular region.

We tried the Naturalamb condoms, but they are super expensive, and the smell of them is TERRIBLE, IMO. Honestly it was a mood killer for us. I don't do well with hormonal birth control, and I'm uncomfortable with the idea of an IUD. We use the Skyn condoms made by Lifestyles, I think it is. Much, much cheaper than the Naturalamb and still not latex. That's what we're using until we make a permanent decision one way or the other.

I personally would be really really careful with the LAM method. I just don't think it's reliable. DD is FF and I got my period back this time at 7 weeks, but DS was EBF and my period came back then at 7 weeks also. I just personally wouldn't trust LAM.

pastrygirl 12-05-2009 06:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
It works for some and not for me.
LAM isn't something that "works" or "doesn't work." It's a statistic that says that if you meet all 3 criteria, the likelihood of pregnancy is 2% (or less?). It has nothing to do with how long the baby sleeps, etc.

The criteria are:
1) Baby is under six months of age
2) Mother has not experienced any bleeding past day 56 postpartum
3) Baby must be totally or nearly totally breastfed from the breast

So, if you make it to 6 months, aren't pregnant, haven't abstained, and haven't used artificial methods of birth control -- congratulations! LAM "worked" for you.

LAM is not the same as not getting a period until you wean. I also got my cycles back early, 4 months pp last time and 3 months pp this time, despite nursing like a crazy person. I don't know for sure, but LAM might've "worked" for me given that in my first cycle, my post-ovulatory phase only lasted 3 days. Certainly not long enough to sustain a pregnancy. Then once my period appeared at 4 months, I was no longer able to rely on LAM anymore, since rule #2 was no longer met. But, I didn't rely on LAM and I charted using NFP instead.

ETA: Sorry! I am DDC crashing... I saw this thread on "New Posts" and didn't realize it was in a DDC...

StephM76 12-05-2009 10:24 PM

This method has failed me-twice. I was quite shocked when I ended up pregnant when my DD was only 4 months old.

Norasmomma 12-06-2009 01:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrygirl View Post
LAM isn't something that "works" or "doesn't work." It's a statistic that says that if you meet all 3 criteria, the likelihood of pregnancy is 2% (or less?). It has nothing to do with how long the baby sleeps, etc.

The criteria are:
1) Baby is under six months of age
2) Mother has not experienced any bleeding past day 56 postpartum
3) Baby must be totally or nearly totally breastfed from the breast

Yeah that's exactly it-I did all the things that should makes this happen. I still think that LAM is a bit of a crock, but of course that's because my body isn't in agreement. I guess my point is if you don't want to get pg either don't have sex(which isn't that difficult if you are bfing all the time) or get some back up protection.

zjande 12-07-2009 06:10 PM

The only reason I personally don't worry about BC before 6mos PP or so is because after my years of charting & several kids, I've learned that I don't tend to ovulate until I've had at least a few periods, & I don't get my 1st PPAFs until past the first 6 mos. But, some women ovulate before even their very 1st PPAF! So, if I were unsure about whether my body would do that or not, & *really* didn't want to become pg again soon, I'd use some sorta BC even before my 1st PPAF.

ZoraP 12-08-2009 01:01 PM

I used LAM after my first two girls, and of course we started using condoms at the 6 month mark. Both times I got my period back at 8 months and then I resumed charting. This time I've already had a copper IUD placed because I really want more spontaneity and I'm hoping this will get me all the way to menopause. (I'm 41.) We'll see how it goes when my periods return (probably around 8 months again).

fyrebloom 12-08-2009 10:22 PM

I didn't follow the rules with DS1 (I pused pacis and pumped for the first month) and got PPAF back at 5 months. I DID follow the rules (mostly) with the twins although they did take pacis too. PPAF at 6 months... NURSING TWINS WTF! I don't trust it and I don't use it because I can't get pregnant again, so we're using a back up until the big V.

kjs 12-09-2009 04:07 PM

I would not try this method unless you are okay with pregnancy!!!!!
You can ovulate before you get your period!!!!

sunnygir1 12-10-2009 11:22 PM

I wouldn't count on it. My mama got her last two babies 11 months apart this way, and my sister didn't sleep well at night; she nursed frequently. My sister also got her period 2 months post partum with both her babes (exclusively breastfeeding).

Pookietooth 12-12-2009 09:31 PM

I didn't get my period back with ds until I was 20 months pp. But I have PCOS, and ended up needing IVF.

eclipse 12-12-2009 09:41 PM

I think what a lot of people miss with LAM is that something like 99% of first pp periods that occur during the first 6 months pp are anovulatory if you are using LAM. What this means is that you can use LAM until you get that first period (assuming it is under 6 months since birth and you are following the "rules"). Not everyone makes it the whole six months, but it's an effective method until you get the first pp period. For the people who get pregnant using LAM under 6 months pp, and following the "rules," it's just like any other BC failure.

sunnygir1 01-02-2010 09:06 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I think what a lot of people miss with LAM is that something like 99% of first pp periods that occur during the first 6 months pp are anovulatory if you are using LAM. What this means is that you can use LAM until you get that first period (assuming it is under 6 months since birth and you are following the "rules"). Not everyone makes it the whole six months, but it's an effective method until you get the first pp period. For the people who get pregnant using LAM under 6 months pp, and following the "rules," it's just like any other BC failure.
Wow, based on anecdotal evidence I'd say this isn't 99% effective. I know a number of women who have gotten pregnant before their first period and before 6 months postpartum. I still wouldn't do it.

pastrygirl 01-02-2010 10:00 PM

ETA: shoot, I did it again! I forgot this was in a DDC folder. I'll unsubscribe now so that I stop barging in!

Serenyd 01-04-2010 12:45 PM

NO sign of my period yet and I am 2 1/2 months postpartum.

My experiences with my first two were good, my period came back @ 9 months with DS1 (started pumping and going to school @ 6 month mark) and with DS2, it was really around the same time, although I had spotting and a couple very short periods, about every other month starting @ about 8 months. The cycle I concieved DD was when DS2 was 12 months and I wasn't even sure I was ovulating until that cycle. And I didn't notice the signs until after dtd! Last time I was pumping and going to work two days a week, spread apart, and this time I'm pumping and going to work weekends, and spending the night (over an hour's drive and 12 hour shifts make it much more convient and less exhausting to stay the night where I work).

I guess my point is I haven't followed the "rules" exactly and it has worked pretty well for me, at least for the first 6 months.

DS1 also took a pacifer and I supplemented with formula when the first two were newborns. (Gasp!)

Spiralshell 01-13-2010 12:30 AM

Well Crap! What do I see on the TP tonight but a tinge of pink! Blast!! I did NOT want to get my period back so soon.
I'm only 11 weeks postpartum. We nurse every three hours at the longest -- usually every two. Many afternoons every one hour! We have never gone longer than 4 hours since we got home from the hospital when he was 4 days old, and that 4 hour stretch happened only once. (That's the most sleep I've gotten in 6 months. Sigh!) He gets a bottle of EBM maybe once per week or every two weeks if I need to be away for a few hours, and even on those days it's still never more than three hours between feedings at the breast. (Apparently even on a full belly, my hungry little critter will suck down a bottle quite happily an hour after I leave him!) Even at night we nurse every 2-3 hours, never longer. He spits out the pacifier if I try to give it to him, though he does LOVE to suck on my finger and will happily do so for long stretches. (This is only ever after he has nursed -- he likes to hang out on the breast for extended periods which starts to hurt after a while! I transfer him to my finger when my nipples start to hurt more than I can take)

Looks like it's time to fill that minipill prescription. Dangblastit!


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