Can Breastfeeding Be Used As a Birth Control Method?

breastfeeding as a birth control

Yes, it can! Frequent and regular breastfeeding is known to highly reduce chances of pregnancy in the post-partum period. This method has a considerable efficacy when practiced with complete knowledge.

Is it scientifically proven?

Breastfeeding as a contraception technique has been proven and is referred to as the lactation-amenorrhea method (LAM) in scientific terms. Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual periods. The terms thus effectively describe the stall of the regular menses in the lactating period. The underlying mechanisms for this have been widely studied in the recent years. LAM functions on a hormonal basis much like the birth control and abortion pills. Rhythmic patterns of the female hormones that govern ovulation are disturbed by frequent suckling of the breast.

There are two hormones crucial for a healthy and regular ovulation; the luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The two combined are referred to as the gonadotrophins. The secretion of these gonadotrophins is further regulated by GnRH or the Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. It is the secretion of this hormone that is altered by the frequent suckling thus resulting in an anovulation (No release of eggs). High prolactin levels caused by the constant nervous stimulation of the nipples also suppress ovulation. No ovulation would thus mean no egg for the sperm to fertilize and thus no conception.

How effective is it?

LAM, as previously mentioned, has an appreciably high efficacy. But one must duly consider the following points to ensure the continued effectiveness of the method.

  • You must be within 6 months in the post-partum period
  • You must not provide your baby any supplements in addition to breastfeeding
  • You must not extend feeding intervals over 4 hours
  • You must not have received a period since the time of labor

If any of the aforementioned is a contraindication for you, you must not rely on this method of contraception. You must choose other alternatives. For instance, you can visit a local pharmacy or buy contraceptives like Ovral L online. Even while using LAM, it is preferable to use wearable contraceptives like male and female condoms for protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

The benefits of LAM

Breastfeeding as a birth control method has many benefits, the first and most important being encouraging an optimal breastfeeding behavior aiding the maintenance of good health for the mother and the child. External food sources might at times challenge the child’s digestive capabilities and that can be avoided using this method. There are no strict regimens to follow and there are no abstinence demands either.

However, it is essential to remember that the menstrual cycle does not function in a coordinated manner in all women, neither do two cycles in the same woman follow the exact timings necessarily. It is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional for advice specific to your case. If you face an unplanned pregnancy during the early post-partum period and choose to buy abortion pills to end it, it is strictly advised to consult an expert for advice on continuing breastfeeding.

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