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Can You Prevent Pregnancy While Breastfeeding?

Most people believe that breastfeeding prevents pregnancy. If you are reading this, you might want to know if you can effectively avoid getting pregnant while you exclusively breastfeed or if it’s causing a delay in your chances of falling pregnant again. Read on to find out if breastfeeding as a form of birth control is a myth or a fact.

Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

The short answer is yes. Even though popular myths claim that breastfeeding can prevent pregnancy, experts have provided proof that this isn’t the case. However, breastfeeding can affect your fertility for a short period after giving birth.

If you breastfeed after giving birth, it’s normal for your hormones to take a while to regulate after you give birth. The reason for the hormone imbalance is that you generally don’t ovulate while breastfeeding. Most people believe exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months can be considered a natural birth control method.

When you produce milk, your body has high levels of prolactin, a hormone that suppresses the processing of ovulation hormones. This can reduce your chances of pregnancy, but it’s not a foolproof method to rely on.

Signs of Ovulation While Breastfeeding

Getting Your Period

Your period returning after giving birth is one of the earliest signs of ovulation while breastfeeding. It indicates reduced levels of prolactin, which increases ovulation hormone production. Finding suitable birth control is necessary if you don’t want to fall pregnant postpartum.

Basal Body Temperature Changes

During ovulation, it’s normal to feel a slight increase in your resting or basal body temperature. You can keep track of random changes to your body temperature to monitor potential ovulation signs while breastfeeding. Ensure you know the difference between a minor change in your body temperature and feeling feverish.


Some signs of ovulation can take longer to return. Usually, abdominal cramps signal the start of your period or ovulation. Cramps commonly highlight the release of an egg before your menstrual cycle starts.


Libido Boost

There are unique hormonal and physiological changes that happen during pregnancy. For instance, the decreased levels of oestrogen can impact your libido. After giving birth, you can notice your body’s desire to restart the fertility cycle by boosting your libido.


Lighter Cervical Mucus

You should monitor your discharge. Before ovulation begins, you’ll notice a change from thicker, whiter mucus to a lighter and clearer consistency. Once the ovulation cycle starts, pregnancy can happen even if you are breastfeeding.

3 Safe Birth Control Options While Breastfeeding

There are various safe birth control methods that you can consider after giving birth. Breastfeeding alone shouldn’t be regarded as reliable prevention if you don’t want to fall pregnant. Here are effective alternatives that you can use after consulting with your doctor to ensure they’re safe for you and your baby:

  • Condoms are a simple, yet practical form of barrier methods used for birth control. Most importantly, they can protect you against sexually transmitted infections. Other barrier methods are a cervical cap, diaphragm, or a contraceptive sponge.
  • Your doctor can recommend various forms of prescription birth control, such as the pill or injection. However, it’s crucial to speak to your doctor to ensure they don’t reduce your milk supply, especially during the early stages of breastfeeding. You should consider non-hormonal birth control if you have any underlying health conditions like blood clotting.
  • An Intrauterine device (IUD) is an effective and safe device that can be used while breastfeeding. It requires undergoing a procedure to insert it into your uterus to help prevent pregnancy. You can choose between hormonal or non-hormonal IUDs depending on health conditions, possible side effects and how long you want yours to last.

In conclusion, while breastfeeding can minimise your chances of falling pregnant, it’s not practical to rely on it if pregnancy isn’t in your plans. With Affinity Health cover, you can consult a telehealth professional to find suitable hormonal and non-hormonal birth control options that are safe for you and your baby’s health.

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