Official science considers this method of contraception to be quite young, but since ancient times, women have known that pregnancy will not occur during breastfeeding, well, if it does, then in extremely rare cases. In modern times, many young mothers are interested in why some nursing mothers become pregnant, while others do not? It should be noted right away that no method of contraception will give a 100% guarantee against pregnancy, with the exception, of course, of sterilization. However, according to statistics, the lactational amenorrhea method guarantees 98% protection against pregnancy. However, in order for this method to work, a nursing mother must comply with some prerequisites.
Why doesn’t pregnancy occur during breastfeeding?
After childbirth, the woman’s body begins to actively produce a hubbub that promotes milk production – prolactin. The increased content of this hormone in the body inhibits ovulation, as a result of which menstruation is absent for a long time. As a result, the menstrual cycle is not restored and pregnancy does not occur.
It should be noted that the more often a woman applies a baby to the breast, the more this hormone is produced by the body, since during feeding, the nerve endings located in the woman’s nipple are stimulated, which affects the production of the hormone. Prolactin production peaks at night. Therefore, it is very important to feed the baby at night as well.
What is needed for this method to be effective?
Many women, believing in this method and breastfeeding, are confident that they will not get pregnant and are very surprised if this does happen. But the fact is that for the reliability of this method, it is imperative to observe certain conditions, otherwise pregnancy may occur.
First, it is necessary that there are at least 6-10 feedings per day, including at night. The interval between feedings should be no more than 6 hours – with a long break, the content of prolactin in the body decreases, triggering the mechanism for restoring fertility. It is recommended to put the baby to each breast in turn during one feeding.
Secondly, the baby must be breastfed only. If the mother occasionally starts giving the child a mixture or introducing complementary foods, then the baby will no longer need as much milk as before and a gradual restoration of the menstrual cycle will begin. That is why this method is effective in the first six months of a baby’s life, before the introduction of complementary foods.
Thirdly, half a year after the birth of the baby, even regardless of whether the child receives complementary foods or is completely breastfed, the woman’s body gradually begins to recover the reproductive function. Consequently, pregnancy can occur already at the first ovulation, although menstruation may be absent for a long time. It should be noted that fertility can be restored both after 6 and 8-9 months after childbirth, since everything is individual, however, after half a year, it is recommended to start using an additional method of contraception.
In addition, the recovery period depends on the living conditions and nutritional quality of the nursing mother – the more nutritious the nutrition, the faster the reproductive function will recover.
It should also be remembered that the method of lactational amenorrhea will not protect a woman from penetrating a sexually transmitted infection, therefore, in the absence of a permanent partner, it is recommended to use condoms.