Easy Ways of Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding

Pregnancy brings visible as well as hidden changes to a woman's body. The hormonal system especially adapts to the new body state by increasing or decreasing levels of particular hormones. Hormone prolactin helps the female body prepare for sustaining the baby outside the womb by engorging the breasts and milk production. The wonder doesn't end here. Once the baby is born, mother's brain senses the latest signals of baby's eating habit, gradually increasing the amount of milk as the infant grows older. With lactation comes the state of amenorrhea, which is the absence of menstrual period, or irregularity. Because of such inconsistency getting pregnant while breastfeeding becomes unpredictable.

Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex when breastfeeding, just with a smaller chance as the fertility during breastfeeding is decreased. But how does breastfeeding interfere with ovulation? During the lactation state, woman's body produces high levels of prolactin hormone (milk hormone) that restraints other ovulation-triggering hormones; therefore the more often your baby nurses, the longer it may take for you to become fertile once again.

  • The levels of prolactin reduce when newborn sleeps through the night, giving your body some rest. The fertility also returns when mother supplements breast milk with formula. It usually takes three to eight months to get on primary ovulation track.
  • If you are nursing your baby often, the levels of milk hormone naturally increase. Although the levels of this hormone naturally drop with the course of time, it sometimes takes a whole year for the period to return.

Signs of Ovulating While Breastfeeding

Getting pregnant while breastfeeding may seem an uncertain process because without menstruation how else can we know if we are ovulating? Usually you won't have your period for months after delivery. However, the absence of period doesn't mean that you're infertile. In fact, your body would release egg before your first period after giving birth. So it's important to discover early signs of fertility:

  • An increase in vaginal mucus is the first sign that indicates the ovulation. If you notice your vaginal discharge has changed from thick and white to the clear and elastic consistency you are probably gaining your fertility back.
  • Temperature spikes are significant for ovulation. If you monitor your temperature and notice the non-ailment related increase, there is a chance of you ovulating.
  • Discolored discharge is another indicator of fertility. For many women, the fist postnatal menstruation comes in a form of brown or pink discharge instead of red blood. The discoloration is a sign of your uterus embracing the regular menstrual cycle once again.

Tips to Increase Your Chance of Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding

  • If your baby is a bit older, start introducing him or her to solid foods to decrease the demand for your milk. After your body notices the lack of nursing, the prolactin levels will lower and fertility will increase. In the midst of weaning process, try to remain stress-free to lower the negative impacts on your ovulation cycle.
  • Try to develop at least 6 hours night-free nursing period to give your body some relief from milk hormone production.
  • Try to trick your body into thinking that you are no longer breastfeeding. When the time is right, supplement breast milk with the formula.
  • Eating more food can also increase your fertility. Nutritious foods can raise the insulin levels in your body. Increased insulin encourages ovarian steroid production, causing the estrogen levels to rise. The whole circle balances itself when raised estrogen stimulates the fat cells to bring the increased insulin back into the normal state. See this process as a jump-start technique that temporarily overshadows the milk production, which instantly stimulated the ovulation.

Don't Forget to Prep Your Body for the Coming Pregnancy

  • Parental vitamins help nourish the expanding body that prepares for milk production while still performing regular functions. Your system also needs the folic acid (800mcg/day or 0.8mg/day) that prevents neural tube complications.
  • Hydration is essential for the robust health. When pregnant while breastfeeding a person has to drink minimum 2-3 liters of fluid for the milk production and 3-4 liters to create a beneficent environment for the new baby.
  • A healthy lifestyle is not only important for getting pregnant while breastfeeding in the first place but also during the whole gestation. Healthy balanced diet, appropriate exercise, and stress-free life will make your pregnancy more comfortable.
  • Yearly breast exam and pap smear are important to keep your health status monitored and up to date. Make sure you are not in risk of breast cancer before conceiving another baby.
  • Natural herbs such as vitex, Shatavari, milk thistle seed, red raspberry leaf and milky oats can help prepare you for the new pregnancy. Before giving any new herb a try, make sure to exchange the word with your practitioner to ensure the herb is safe for use during the lactation. Keep in mind that some herbs increase milk supply and may intervene with the process of weaning.

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