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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it true that breastfeeding exclusively (and at least every 3-4 hours) is a 99% effective form of birth control? (As effective as other methods, such as condoms and birth control pill)

Both my midwife and my baby's ped have told me that, but I'm still scared to rely on it.

Any insights?

Thanks!
 

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I wouldn't rely on bfing alone...I know too many people that have been surprised that they were expecting again even though they were still bfing...One woman was exclusively bfing and found out that when her new baby was 7 weeks (1 week after given the ok to start having sex again) that she was due in 9 months...a little sooner than she would have liked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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One woman was exclusively bfing and found out that when her new baby was 7 weeks (1 week after given the ok to start having sex again) that she was due in 9 months
 

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I didn't get af back until dd was 14 mo old and went on a little strike in the afternoons - for me, having a 5 hr gap during the day in btwn nursing did it. She had been going 6-8 hrs at night not nursing since 4 mo, and that was not enough to make me ovulate.

we just used the withdrawal method and that worked. you could always chart and pay attention to cervical fluid and position to see if you are ovulating.
 

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NOT EFFECTIVE AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I exclusively breastfed ds every 2 hours round the clock!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got AF back at 6 weeks pp and pg at 7 months!
7 months meaning we had unprotected sex for the first time!
 

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You should read Sheila Kippley's Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing. There's kind of a set of rules to follow, like no supplkementing, no longer than 4 hrs between feeds, no pacis I think, and co-sleeping is encouraged. I got af at 9 mos w/ AJ and he was supplemented from day 1. We're using bfing as bc b/c we don't really care when #3 comes, though I'd like it later right now than sooner.
 

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The figure you mentioned is accurate, but applies only for the first 6 months or until you get your first AF, whichever comes first. After 6 months, the likelihood of ovulating before AF gradually increases, so it is recommended that you start charting (or using bc) at that point.

To further decrease your personal likelihood of pregnancy, it is helpful to co-sleep, avoid pacifiers, bottles, and separations, and encourage more frequent nursing. Night nursing is most efficient at suppressing fertility.

Re: the horror stories which always come up with this discussion, I know people who have gotten pg while on the pill or using a condom, too. That's what 99% effective means.
 

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For at least 6 months I nursed a big hungry boy exclusively. At least every 4 hours, co-sleeping, followed every rule perfectly (not that he gave me much choice!) Had lochia for about 7 weeks. Started my cycles about 3 weeks after that. Clockwork ever since. He's 12 months now and just starting to really actually eat much table foods. Certainly it's possible I've got cycles but not the fertility, but I'm not taking htat chance. And I've known so many who were pregnant before their cycles returned. I just wouldn't chance it.
 

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Like a pp said, the 99% is accurate but there are a few rules to follow. You must nurse exclusively and on demand around the clock with no more than a 5 hour stretch at night with no nursing, your baby must be younger than 6 months old, not take a pacifier and you can't have gotten AF back yet. So, JesiLyne, while your screaming caps are very attention getting
, your experience actually supports the "rules" for using bf as bc, not the other way around!

Edited to add this link with info about breastfeeding and fertility:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/fe...y.html#prevent
 

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What Milkfacemama and eminer said.

Ecological bf includes: *nursing on demand with exclusive nursing through 6 months*, *cosleeeping* with frequent night nursing, not being separated from baby, *nursing through naps* (either cosleep for naps or hold and nurse, I believe), no pacifiers, supplements, bottles.
 

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JesiLynne, you got your menses back at 6 weeks, and you were 7 months postpartum, so you no longer met the requirements for lactation amennhorea.

LA is 98% effective (according to Taking Charge of Your Fertility) if you follow the rules:
- You are exclusively breastfeeding (no bottles, pacis, or solids) around the clock, with stretches of no more than 4 hours during the day and 6 hours at night,
- Your baby is less than 6 months old, and
- Your menses have not returned.

If any of these conditions are not met, then you are not practicing LA and thus it is not 98% effective. Ideally, you should be nursing on demand, as well as sleeping near your baby, etc. for it to be the most effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
(nak - pls excuse typos!)

thanks for the info, everyone!

we are:
- 8 wks pp
- exclusively nursing
- using no bottles or pacis
- nursing at least every 4 hours, even at night (unfortunately) - normally it's at least every 2 hours (night & day)
- nursing on demand

i'm also nursing my 21.5 month old several times a day.

so i theoretically should be okay.

it just makes me so nervous!
 

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Quote:
it just makes me so nervous!


For me, it all comes down to if you can accept the statistical odds.

Many people "know" that homebirth is statistically safer, but just can't bring themselves to have a homebirth--- they feel safer in a hospital.

Same way, no matter how sure you are it is just as effective as the mini-pill it is really scary. I guess it might be because it would be your body "betraying" you rather than the pill, kwim?

Good luck deciding!

Kay
 

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Here goes my 2 "sense" on it:

Elijah is my first baby that I've nursed as long as I have, and this is my experience with bc in a nutshell!
The hospital gave me the Depo shot BEFORE I left, had a terrible time with my milk supply, increased it with Fenugreek and Mother's milk tea...then no problem. I had a period 3-4 wks.pp, then, what apparently seemed like a cycle of regular periods started, stopped after I quit putting man made chemicals in my body and LAM began in my life!

As of now, I haven't had a period since 9-7-04. I nurse throughout the day, I'd say anywhere between 5-6 times, then he nurses ALL night long. Meaning his numnum is in his mouth all night! No baby bed here!!

He'll be 11 months on the 16th/January and just recently started eating the solids...mashed taters, bananas, peas, etc. Rice cereal, but nothing that will keep him from wanting is numnum milk! So, I'm not so sure if ovulation has delayed in my old ovaries or not, I just know that I'm NOT pg...and won't be for a good while!
It seems like every woman that I've come across, or read about thus far on this subject, is dramatically different. Physically speaking. Every woman will know what's the best situation for them and execute the right plan of action!

I hope that you figure out what's best for you and have all the support of carrying it out!!
 

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Quote:
LA is 98% effective (according to Taking Charge of Your Fertility) if you follow the rules:
- You are exclusively breastfeeding (no bottles, pacis, or solids) around the clock, with stretches of no more than 4 hours during the day and 6 hours at night,
- Your baby is less than 6 months old, and
- Your menses have not returned.
i followed all of this and still got af at 5 months...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thekuhlkens
i followed all of this and still got af at 5 months...
But the point is that there was a less-than-2% chance that you would get pregnant before that first period. The period was your signal to start charting or using birth control if you wanted to avoid pregnancy.
 
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