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Can Breastfeeding Prevent Pregnancy?

For mothers who breastfeed after giving birth, the possibility of menstrual delays is likely. This is because nursing mothers have the hormone prolactin. The hormone that makes Mother's Milk also plays a role in suppressing the release of hormones that are responsible for ripening and fertilizing the eggs and forming a lining of the uterus to nourish fertile eggs. This delay in natural menstruation is called lactational amenorrhea (lactational amenorrhea - LAM). In this way, during the Mother's breastfeeding for a few months, the mother may not become pregnant or in other words, the mother is not fertile. This is probably the body's natural way of telling that all of the body's capacity is only able to handle a newborn and is not ready to have another baby. LAM is known to be effective in preventing pregnancy if you meet several conditions.

Here are some conditions that can make breastfeeding prevent future pregnancies.

Can Breastfeeding Prevent Pregnancy

Mother has not menstruated after giving birth or after childbirth

If the mother has menstruation, it means that she can no longer rely on the breastfeeding period as natural contraception and can get pregnant at any time. However, there are also around five percent of breastfeeding mothers who can get pregnant before they have postpartum menstruation. This is because the fertile phase of women is around the time of ovulation, which is 12-16 days before menstruation.

Babies must be a maximum of six months old

You need to use another contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy after a six-month-old baby. At this time, Mother has become more likely to get pregnant again.

Mother must give mother's milk exclusively

This means the baby only receives milk directly and not from the bottle. Give breast milk every 2-3 hours during the day or as often as the baby's needs. In addition, give also milk at night with a time interval between breastfeeding for no more than six hours. This is because Mother fertility hormone levels tend to be highest during sleep hours, so you need to breastfeed at night so that the hormone prolactin suppresses fertility hormones. If the baby has started to sleep all night without asking for milk, fertility hormones can return to work, as usual, meaning the mother is not in the LAM phase.

As for the introduction of solid foods, wait until the baby is at least six months old. Arrange for giving solid food in addition, not substitute for breast milk. If babies fed solid foods begin to reduce breastmilk consumption, this means that you have to reduce solid food intake so that you can increase your milk intake again. Research has shown that nursing mothers who practice this step can have an average LAM period of 14 months before menstruation and are fertile again.

But LAM can be ineffective if the baby is able to sleep longer at night and naturally gives a distance to the milk, aside from the Mother increasing the delivery of solid food as the baby develops. Then, what happens if Mother is not in the LAM period and has been tested positive for being pregnant again?

Mother Is Declared Safe for Breastfeeding while Pregnant

Mother can continue breastfeeding while pregnant. No need to worry about lacking nutrients to produce enough milk while at the same time nourishing babies growing in the womb. By eating healthy and balanced and consistent foods in meeting fluid intake, you can fulfill all those needs. However, breastfeeding during pregnancy is different from the condition of breastfeeding when not pregnant. Mother will find the following changes.

  • Breastfeeding becomes less comfortable. During pregnancy, nipple and breast pain is common, coupled with fatigue associated with pregnancy hormones, making the discomfort of pregnant women breastfeeding more pronounced.
  • Toddlers become less tasteful about consuming breast milk. When the baby is able to speak, he or she may reveal that the milk is different. In fact, the taste of breast milk will be different because, near the end of pregnancy, Mother produces colostrum, which is yellowish condensed milk.
  • Mild contractions occur. Sometimes you experience some mild contractions, but you don't need to worry because this is normal as a result of stimulation in the breast that triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin. But under normal pregnancy conditions, these hormone levels do not trigger early labor. Although this contraction is not a concern during an uncomplicated pregnancy, the doctor is likely to continue to prevent breastfeeding during pregnancy if you risk premature labor.

Basically, the duration of LAM varies among women and is unpredictable. Therefore, to prevent pregnancy after giving birth to a baby, you can use contraceptives in the form of condoms, birth control pills that only contain progestins, Depo-Provera injections, or contraception implanted in the womb (IUD).

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