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Can I Become Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

Yes, you can become pregnant even if you have not had your menstrual period since your baby was born. If you are breastfeeding it may take several months for your menstrual periods to start again. You may become pregnant before your first period if you are not using birth control.

Birth control methods that use hormones, such as 'the pill', 'the patch' or Depo-Provera may decrease your milk supply. Condoms, spermicidal jelly and diaphragms will not affect breastfeeding.

The Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is another kind of birth control.

Please read the following very carefully if you plan to prevent a pregnancy using this method.

You must be able to say 'Yes' to all of the following statements to prevent a pregnancy using LAM:

  • [  ] My baby is less than 6 months old.
  • [  ] My baby is fully or almost fully breastfed.
         He has no more than 1 to 2 mouthfuls of
         fluid or food other than breastmilk a day.
  • [  ] I am breastfeeding at least every 4 hours
         during the day and at least every 6 hours
         at night.
  • [  ] My monthly period has not returned.
         Please Note: Bleeding or  spotting in the first
         2 months after your baby is born is normal.
         Bleeding after the baby is 2 months old may
         mean that you are fertile and could
         become pregnant.

If you answer 'Yes' to all of these statements, you have only a 1 to 2% chance of getting pregnant.

If you answer 'No' to any of these statements, you will need to use another birth control method.

For more information about birth control while breastfeeding speak to:

  • A lactation consultant
  • Your midwife
  • A La Leche League member
  • Your local Public Health Office
  • Your family doctor