Breast Feeding


Some women start menstruating as early as six weeks after delivery. But in some women who breast-feed, menstruation is usually delayed longer than that – sometimes for as much as 18 months. Menstruation stops because ovulation (egg production) stops. And a woman who does not ovulate does not get pregnant.

So, breast-feeding, because it delays ovulation, helps to space children. But this effect wears off, and menstruation often starts again, long before you stop breast-feeding. Once menstruation starts after the delivery, you are as fertile as before. But the first ovulation occurs two weeks before the periods start – so you can conceive before menstruation reappears. So breast-feeding is not a reliable way for you to prevent pregnancy – even if you haven't started menstruating. There is no way of knowing exactly when you will begin to ovulate again – whether it will be two, six, twelve, or eighteen months. You should therefore use some form of contraception unless you want another child in a year’s time.

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