Charting your signs postpartum (and the Lactational Amenorrhea Method of birth control)

Follow

Comments

23 comments

  • Avatar
    colwixx

    I'm back at work so I cannot breast feed my little guy every four hours. I have relegated to the pump. Can I still use LAM?

  • Avatar
    ashleymessick

    Same question - I am either pumping or breastfeeding every 4 hours - does that count?

  • Avatar
    Courtney

    Hi colwixx and ashleymessick, 

    Unfortunately, the effectiveness of LAM is lowered if you're pumping. One study indicated that the effectiveness of LAM for women who were pumping was still quite high (about 95%), but further research may be needed. 

  • Avatar
    chantalle.fiscus

    Will bbt show ovulation before first pp period if tracking that and cm?

  • Avatar
    Courtney

    Hey there,

    It depends. Some women will ovulate before getting their first postpartum period, whereas others may experience bleeding without having ovulated. You might ovulate right away, or it may take a few months for your cycles to return. But if you do ovulate, you should still notice a temperature shift and a biphasic BBT pattern.

  • Avatar
    emkugel

    I breastfeed and pump now that im back to work, and we also use a pacifier. I'm 6 weeks postpartum and started bleeding. It was very light and only lasted two days, is that my first period or is that still considered anovulatory?

  • Avatar
    wedwithbabies0507

    At five weeks PP I'm pretty sure it was my period that arrived! I am EBF and stopped PP bleeding and no more discharge at 4 weeks.

    I thought maybe that first period was a fluke but pretty sure I just ovulated yesterday. =\

  • Avatar
    Lauren

    Hi emkugel, if you saw any red bleeding (as opposed to a small amount of brown spotting) then you may have actually menstruated.  If you only saw spotting (bleeding so light that it doesn't require a tampon or pad) then you were probably only experiencing spotting, not true menstruation.

     

    Hi Wed With Babies, thanks for contacting us!  Hm, it does sound like maybe you've resumed cycling if you've already ovulated and had your first post-partum period.  You can still use fertility awareness as birth control, but once you've resumed cycling and you're not breastfeeding regularly, you won't be able to use Lactational Amenorrhea (LAM) for birth control any more.

  • Avatar
    wedwithbabies0507

    That's the thing! I am exclusively breastfeeding. It's weird. With the other two births I didn't get a period for almost a year...but now have recieved one so early after the 3rd. Third times the charm apparently ;)

  • Avatar
    srah.denn

    I'm still breastfeeding my 14 month old during the day but she sleeps overnight, about 11 or 12 hours and doesn't take any milk. My period has returned and I'm on my third cycle, do I need to reduce nursing her during the day if we want to try for our second? It's less than every 4 hours during the day for the most part.

  • Avatar
    Lauren

    Hi there, for breastfeeding to reliably stop ovulation, you need to breastfeed every four hours during the day and every six hours at night, so since you're breastfeeding at longer intervals at night the breastfeeding probably won't interfere with your fertility.  If your period has returned, then it's likely you're ovulating again and can get pregnant.  I hope that helps :)

  • Avatar
    chelseadelanie

    I gave birth on 2.19.15 and have not stopped bleeding (currently 4.28.15). I have seen an OB who determined that I had retained a blood clot and that is why I am still spotting...

    I am exclusively breastfeeding and co-sleeping so I definately feed every 4 hours, but I'm nervous about trusting LAM. How do I go about charting? Should I just start taking my Temps and go from there?

    My cycles used to be exactly 28 days.

  • Avatar
    Lauren

    Hi Chelsea, LAM is very effective if you're breastfeeding regularly.  But to practice LAM as safely as possible, it's best to monitor your cervical fluid daily.  If you notice any changes in your typical cervical fluid pattern (especially if your cervical fluid starts getting wet and slippery), abstain from sex or use protection until you're completely certain that ovulation has occurred through observing a sustained temperature shift AND observing at least four days of non-slippery, non-wet cervical fluid. 

  • Avatar
    adriana.atencio

    I am exclusively breastfeeding my 3 month old baby, during day 3-4hours but she already sleeps 8-9 hours through the night... I havent had my period back but I do have vaginal mucus everyday since I gave birth (vaginal delivery) I found difficult to check my cervix (I have no idea how far should I introduce my finger) and my temperatures are around 96.2 - 97.5 so it's been really hard for my to know which symptoms are fertile for me. This is my second baby (they are 16 months apart) and we are trying to wait at least 2 years to start looking for 3rd baby... (With my first baby my period resumed when my baby was 6 months old and I introduce food to him even though he started sleeping through the night when he was 4 months)

  • Avatar
    Melissa Ardelean

    I have the same question as Adriana

  • Avatar
    ellajakovickas

    I am 8 months postpartum and my period has returned, however I don't get 3 hours of sleep in a row. Does this mean my morning tempura ture won't be accurate for the charts?

  • Avatar
    Lauren

    Hi Adriana, thanks for your question!  I totally understand your confusion - it can be really tricky to chart your signs when you're not sure if and when your fertility is returning.  You can still practice fertility awareness as birth control during this time, but you do need to follow some extra rules.  This article guides you through the process:

     

    http://blog.kindara.com/blog/using-fam-as-birth-control-during-anovulatory-cycles

     

    I hope this helps!

  • Avatar
    Lauren

    Hi Ella, your BBT is generally most accurate after at least 3 hours of sleep, so it's possible you won't be able to track your BBT right now.  However, I'd encourage you to give it a try anyway - some women's bodies return to their basal rate more quickly than others and with practice you may find a system that works for you.  Good luck!

  • Avatar
    Melissa Mudd

    I just gave birth to baby #7 eight weeks ago. I have EBF as well as co-sleep with all of my children. My fertility still returns within 6-8 weeks of delivery. I am nursing every 2-3 hours around the clock. Since our last two babies are just over a year apart I would like to avoid another pregnancy for a while longer. I need to figure out how to accurately track my fertility when I am only sleeping for 1-2 hours at a time.

  • Avatar
    patiernofamily

    Same as Melissa above ..trying to figure out what to track first thing when I wake up when I'm waking up all night ..I have a 4am feeding and then 6am then 8:30 to 9 feeding ..my dd is 13 months .. I EBF and my period always comes back 3-4 months ..any feedback on why and how to delay for future babies would be great :) I didn't use pacifiers co slept and followed all the rules lol ..

  • Avatar
    ashleycapri

    I'm 13 months pp. about a month and a half ago I got a very light period that only last 3 days! I'm stressing out because I haven't gotten another period yet. Is it normal to have irregular cycle when you first get your period back?

  • Avatar
    mezgy.m

    Hi, I'm just curious if temperature charting will be accurate post-partum, mostly breastfeeding. He doesn't eat much food, and breastfeeds very often day and night. But, with my previous babies, all breastfeeding regularly, I've fallen pregnant 10 months post-partum before getting a period, and with 4 babies in 6 years I'm done and want to make sure it doesn't happen again 😀 so just wondering if temperature and cervical fluid charting will still be accurate for me. Thanks

  • Avatar
    Morgan Gauby

    If my baby is 8 weeks old and sleeping more than 6 hours at night, can I start now pumping in the middle of the night so as not to surpass the 6 hour mark to accomplish LAM if I have already started going stretches of 8 or 10 hours throughout the night without feeding? Or, is it too late to start that now?

Please sign in to leave a comment.