If you have just given birth, your doctor may ask about your next pregnancy plan and what method of birth control you will use. In general, women who have just given birth will indeed become infertile when breastfeeding. However, that does not mean they become infertile. If you want to use exclusive breastfeeding as a family planning method, you might want to find out the following information.
How to breastfeed so it can be a KB method at the same time
The hormone that makes your body take out milk can help suppress the release of your reproductive hormones. Using ASI as a KB is known as the lactation amenorrhea method (MAL) or lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). There are three rules for MAL to be effective as a KB method, namely:
- Mothers should exclusively breastfeed without giving other supplementary foods. Breastfeeding must be done at least every 3 hours during the day and every six hours at night.
- Babies must be less than 6 months old.
- Menstrual cycle You must not return at all since giving birth.
If all three of these conditions are met, it is very possible for women who breastfeed to not be able to get pregnant for 6 months or even more.
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Is breastfeeding an effective family planning method?
Less than 1 in 100 women who apply exclusive breastfeeding without additional food can become pregnant. About 2 out of 100 women can become pregnant in the first 6 months if they do not apply exclusive breastfeeding.
If you want to delay ovulation by breastfeeding, then do the following:
- Follow your baby according to his needs. Don't worry about the schedule. Usually, breastfeeding a baby six to eight times a day is enough to prevent ovulation.
- Avoid training your baby to sleep. Nighttime breastfeeding is very important to suppress fertility.
- Don't give a bottle or pacifier to your baby.
- Don't give solid food before your baby's age reaches 6 months.
- Continue to continue breastfeeding after you introduce solid food to your baby.
- If you want to introduce solid foods, give them in addition to breast milk, not as a substitute for breast milk.
How often you breastfeed is the most important thing in using breast milk as a family planning method. The prolactin hormone released during breastfeeding will help suppress ovulation. If you breastfeed frequently, the prolactin levels in your body will remain high. However, once this prolactin hormone decreases, the reproductive hormones will increase. This will cause you to be fertile again.
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If you are still breastfeeding but still pregnant again, what is the cause?
The frequency of breastfeeding does play an important role in suppressing reproductive hormones. However, your body's response personally will also determine the success of this method.
Some women who exclusively breastfeed claim to experience earlier menstruation, which is about several months after giving birth. Some other women give breast milk accompanied by formula milk, and still have no menstruation for one year or more. These possibilities cause using the breastfeeding method as a family planning tool that is quite risky.
When your menstrual cycle returns after giving birth, the body usually doesn't release the ovum, which means you experience anovulation. This removes the possibility of pregnancy. However, a small percentage of women ovulate before their first menstruation after giving birth. The chances will increase the longer you have not menstruated since giving birth.
Because the body's response is unpredictable, it is very important for you to use other methods of birth control besides breastfeeding. Moreover, if you don't breastfeed exclusively, your menstrual cycle has returned, or if your baby is more than 6 months old.
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Other KB options that you can try
If you are breastfeeding and are not ready to get pregnant again, non-hormonal birth control is the safest choice. This method of birth control will not cause a decrease in the production and quality of your milk. Some non-hormonal birth control options include:
If you and your partner decide not to have more children, then strong contraception such as tubal ligation (sterilization) can be an option. This birth control method will also not affect your breast milk.
If you plan to prevent pregnancy by breastfeeding, then you need to know that the possibility of pregnancy persists. Through this knowledge, it is expected that you can choose the steps that are best for you and your family.