fertility and nursing - Mothering Forums
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Fertility > fertility and nursing
hlkm2e's Avatar hlkm2e 01:22 PM 11-23-2004
If you are ovulating while you are nursing, are you just as fertile as if you were ovulating and not nursing. In other words, besides not ovulating, does nursing affect your fertility? Is there anywhere I can read up on this?

rgarlough's Avatar rgarlough 04:06 PM 11-23-2004
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~*~HAPPY*MAMA~*~'s Avatar ~*~HAPPY*MAMA~*~ 08:22 PM 11-27-2004
(nak)

if you are ovlulating and nursing, you are NOT necessarily AS FERTILE as before. Allow me to explain... fertility returns in stages while nursing- kind of like a 2 steps forward 3 steps back thing. once you work enough enough hormone to get that lil eggie out, it can still take a bit for your leutal phase (the time between ovulation and period) to lengthen to the 10+days ideal for implantation to take place. For me personally, I got first pp af at 16mos pp and yet didn't ge tback up to my norm 11 day lp until 2mos later. It still took 5 MORE months of perfect timing and conditions to get my bfp with ds#3! (23 at time, great health, dh 25 great health!) Although my sis in law hasn't had a periof in almost 4 years now since keeps getting pg every 18mos while nursing- lucky gal is nursing 10mos dd jsut pg with #4. Exceptions to every rule- right? charting you rtemps will show you length of lp- you can tell the pther factors on your own (cm). hth
rgarlough's Avatar rgarlough 12:13 PM 11-29-2004
Even with my first PP AF, my LP was 10+ days. My longest so far has been 16! That was a rough cycle...

I'm 11 DPO today so we'll see if this is THE one
Defenestrator's Avatar Defenestrator 12:29 PM 11-29-2004
Besides the shortened luteal phase, some mamas will also have a lack of good quality cervical mucus while nursing. That was the case with me (though I didn't have a shortened luteal phase). Good timing can help overcome that problem as can some of the home remedies for increasing cervical mucus.

Lots of mamas are able to get pregnant while nursing, though. I did, and one mama I was planning to work with (I am just starting to do some fertility education) got pregnant the first month she tried, without even charting.

Good luck!
Quirky's Avatar Quirky 01:17 PM 11-29-2004
I started charting when I got AF back when ds was 16 or 17 months and still nursing up a storm. I also used an ovulation monitor so I was able to tell that I wasn't ovulating the first couple of cycles. Even when I did start ovulating I definitely had very poor and very scanty EWCM. We were TTC and tried Robitussin....didn't really improve the EWCM. Also used egg white as a lubricant - ick! The cycle I got pregnant we used Pre-seed personal lubricant to make up for not having any EWCM to speak of.
~*~HAPPY*MAMA~*~'s Avatar ~*~HAPPY*MAMA~*~ 11:10 PM 12-03-2004
decaf green tea really helped me w/ ewcm.
loomweaver's Avatar loomweaver 12:31 AM 12-07-2004
What I am wondering is: Does lactation affect the results of a Pregnancy test?
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Meaning: If I'm breastfeeding, will a negative test show up positive? or vice versa?
Boobiemama's Avatar Boobiemama 12:59 AM 12-07-2004
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musicmaj's Avatar musicmaj 09:32 PM 12-10-2004
I got pregnant with second period while nursing 7 month old dd.
mags's Avatar mags 09:45 PM 12-10-2004
I second the short luteal phase as being a possible issue while BFing. I was lucky (not), to get AF back 4 mo postpartum while exclusively BFing. I could feel it when I was ovulating it was much more obvious than before I had a baby. One of my friends who almost never ovulated on her own, said she also noticed how strong her ovulation pain was after having her baby, and surprisingly her cycles went from completely unpredicatable, to exactly 28 days. Now, I had short LP problems while trying to get pregnant with my son, I had to take bromocriptine for elevated prolactin (I was obviously not nursing). The bromocriptine did help increase my LP, but since I am nursing, I cannot take bromocriptine again, and I also had to take clomid/progesterone last time too, b/c I don't think my egg quality was that great, and I had consistently low progesterone levels. I have suspected for the past few months that I have been having a short LP again. Whether it has been due just to nursing, or it is a combo of my pre-existing tendancy towards short LPs and the nursing, I am not sure. Anyway, my suspicions were verified, when I started using OPKs last month, and it turns out my LP is only 4-5 days long. There is no way I would be able to sustain implantation with such a low LP. So, even though I am ttc #2 (joshua is 10 mo old), I pretty much have the feeling that there will be no way that I will be able to get pg again until joshua is weaned or at least weaned down to much fewer feedings a day. I am hoping that the second time around I won't need to take any clomid or anything else to get and stay pg.

BTW, good luck ttc!
kavamamakava's Avatar kavamamakava 10:09 PM 12-10-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by loomweaver
What I am wondering is: Does lactation affect the results of a Pregnancy test?
:

Meaning: If I'm breastfeeding, will a negative test show up positive? or vice versa?
It shouldn't. In fact, your breastmilk will have higher concentrations of the pregnancy hormone than your urine. You can squirt on a stick instead of pee on one
mags's Avatar mags 04:59 PM 12-14-2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavamamakava
It shouldn't. In fact, your breastmilk will have higher concentrations of the pregnancy hormone than your urine. You can squirt on a stick instead of pee on one
Really??? That's pretty cool, and you won't have to use FMU!
Boobiemama's Avatar Boobiemama 05:04 PM 12-14-2004
No way! Really??? I'll have to look that up...
LylasMom's Avatar LylasMom 01:53 PM 12-29-2004
Okay, so my question is what if you have enough EWCM, ARE ovulating and have a long enough LP?? Then what are your chances of conceiving while bfding?

We got pg with DD the 3rd month of trying, but it was the 2nd month where intercourse was really right on time. This time, we've been TTC about 5 months, and 3 of them the timing was right on, but still no BFP here!! I nurse about 2x a day, more when DD was sick. I don't want to wean right away, since she doesn't seem ready and it's hard work to wean, BUT, I also don't want to be nursing way into my pregnancy or be nursing 2.

Are my chances still high?
Mommay's Avatar Mommay 02:28 AM 01-03-2005
I found the info. here interesting. I wish I saw this before. I was wondering the same things. My ds is 18 months old, and I had not gotten my period back. I tried to convince myself that it was just not time yet. But I did notice that I was ovulating because I would get discharge at certain times of the month, etc. I could tell when I was ovulating just from that. I must have timed it right, because I got it right with just one try around that time.
Minnesota Mom's Avatar Minnesota Mom 08:52 PM 01-10-2005
What if you haven't gotten AF back yet? I know its still POSSIBLE to get pregnant, but it isn't very likely is it? I just went off the mini-pill and have a seven month old who for the most part is exclusively BF. He gets a few solids here and there, but not many. He still nurses up a storm at night too. Anyway, DH and I decided to go off the pill and just let God and nature decide when we have another baby...but chances aren't good right now until AF comes back are they? I can't be ovulating if I am not menstrating right?

I'm pretty clueless about this stuff. DS was a blessing! We weren't 'trying', but we weren't doing anything to prevent it either, ya know?

What do all the abbreviations mean also...I know AF, and O, but the rest are totally beyond me..

Is that really true about the breastmilk on the pregnancy test too? I've NEVER heard of that before!!
pachitomama's Avatar pachitomama 08:58 PM 01-10-2005
I just read that there is a 41% less chance of conceiving while nursing if your period HAS RETURNED. As I understand it there is a 25% chance of conceiving while not nursing and otherwise healthy. In other words you have a better chance of conceiving while nursing (and ovulating) if your period has not come back. The book could not explain why, they seemed to be surprised as well, but that is what their statistics showed. Sucks for me because I have my period and i'm still nursing my 20mos day/night.
gotmilkmama's Avatar gotmilkmama 09:09 PM 01-10-2005
Wow I didn't know about using breastmilk instead of pee!!! Interesting!

I got preg while nursing 9 mos ds. I had had 2 periods prior. One when he was about 6.5 mos and one when he was 8.5 months. Needless to say I now have identical twins from that second pregnancy!!

My twin girls are now 6.5 mos old. And I have a very loud voice in my head that says "BE CAREFUL"!!!! :LOL
~Megan~'s Avatar ~Megan~ 09:27 PM 01-10-2005
I got my first af when dd was 11 months and then another when she was 13 months.

We started ttc when she was 16 or 17 months old. We ttced for 13 months. The last 8 months of that I know I was ovulating and had 13 day LPs.

I don't know if it was because I was nursing or if there were other factors but it could be.
Different women respond differently to hormones than others. Some can get pregnant with round the clock bf at 4 or 6 months postpartum with out a period. Others have to wait several months after weaning to get normal cycles.
LylasMom's Avatar LylasMom 12:32 AM 01-11-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by pachitomama
I just read that there is a 41% less chance of conceiving while nursing if your period HAS RETURNED. As I understand it there is a 25% chance of conceiving while not nursing and otherwise healthy. In other words you have a better chance of conceiving while nursing (and ovulating) if your period has not come back. The book could not explain why, they seemed to be surprised as well, but that is what their statistics showed. Sucks for me because I have my period and i'm still nursing my 20mos day/night.
what book is this? this worries me as DD is not ready to wean (I am) but we want to have another baby.

does this 41% less chance include other factors such as LP, CM, etc.?
xenomama's Avatar xenomama 06:02 PM 01-11-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags
The bromocriptine did help increase my LP, but since I am nursing, I cannot take bromocriptine again, and I also had to take clomid/progesterone last time too, b/c I don't think my egg quality was that great, and I had consistently low progesterone levels. I have suspected for the past few months that I have been having a short LP again. Whether it has been due just to nursing, or it is a combo of my pre-existing tendancy towards short LPs and the nursing, I am not sure. Anyway, my suspicions were verified, when I started using OPKs last month, and it turns out my LP is only 4-5 days long. There is no way I would be able to sustain implantation with such a low LP. So, even though I am ttc #2 (joshua is 10 mo old), I pretty much have the feeling that there will be no way that I will be able to get pg again until joshua is weaned or at least weaned down to much fewer feedings a day. I am hoping that the second time around I won't need to take any clomid or anything else to get and stay pg.
I haven't read the entire thread, so I'm sorry if I'm duplicating something. A few questions:

1) Why do you think you have "low-quality" eggs?

2) Are you charting? Do you have something to confirm your short LP suspicions other than OPKs? OPKs are notoriously unreliable, because you can have LH surges throughout your cycle.

Just curious...
xenomama's Avatar xenomama 06:25 PM 01-11-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by pachitomama
I just read that there is a 41% less chance of conceiving while nursing if your period HAS RETURNED. As I understand it there is a 25% chance of conceiving while not nursing and otherwise healthy. In other words you have a better chance of conceiving while nursing (and ovulating) if your period has not come back. The book could not explain why, they seemed to be surprised as well, but that is what their statistics showed. Sucks for me because I have my period and i'm still nursing my 20mos day/night.

Just curious, but what book was this? I'm trying to find something other than TCOYF that addresses this.

TIA!
xenomama's Avatar xenomama 06:28 PM 01-11-2005
2 suggestions for everyone:

1) If you haven't read TCOYF, do so ASAP.

2) If you're TTC, join the Nursing Moms Getting Pregnant thread in the TTC forum. See you there!
Mother Mel's Avatar Mother Mel 04:07 AM 01-12-2005
All of these abbreviations are making my head spin! I'm trying to keep up with y'all, but can't 'cuz I have no clue what PP, BFP, AF, DPO, EWCM, and the book TCOYF??? And who's the author, I might want to check this out. My DD just turned 2 and I'd like to start TTC #2, but she's still nursing often, day and night and I'm sleeping with her, so I doubt that will happen anytime soon. I'm caught between what my DD wants/needs and the DC that may never be. I will hop over to the nursing moms TTC thread and see what's what! thanks!
xenomama's Avatar xenomama 08:10 PM 01-12-2005
PP - postpartum
BFP - big, fat positive (pregnancy test)
AF - Aunt Flo (your period)
DPO - Days past ovulation
EWCM - egg-white cervical mucus/ fluid
TCOYF - Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler (THE book to have)
Mother Mel's Avatar Mother Mel 01:33 AM 01-13-2005
Thank you tomsgirl!! You really cleared things up!
wildfarmsmama's Avatar wildfarmsmama 02:44 AM 01-14-2005
From what I read in the Breastfeeding Answer Book:

Chances of concieving are very low if the baby nurses more than every 4 hrs. in the day and more than every 6 hours at night.

I see this as Mother Nature's way of making you concentrate on the "baby" that's still nursing, no matter what the age...

I have always gotten my period back around 18 mos and was preg after 1 or 2 cycles, but I'm a baby machine I guess (never any fertility problems) I wouldn't even know how to keep track of this stuff...They also say that some women may not get preg again until the last baby is weaned...It all depends on the mama but don't forget that stress can be a factor! It usually happens like weight loss--when you stop thinking about it...Good Luck
xenomama's Avatar xenomama 07:56 PM 01-14-2005
Actually, I'm not sure if that's completely accurate. Check out the section on Getting Pregnant on www.kellymom.com.

Also, stress does not lead to infertility. Stress can delay ovulation, however,
xenomama's Avatar xenomama 07:57 PM 01-14-2005
Actually, I'm not sure if that's completely accurate. Check out the section on Getting Pregnant on www.kellymom.com.

Also, stress does not lead to infertility. Stress can delay ovulation, however,

Oh, and I found the study the mentions the 41%. It does not say that chances of conception are 41% lower.
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