Will breastfeeding stop me ovulating/fertility?

I am only 32 weeks pregnant at the moment with my first baby and so we might change our minds but at the moment we have plans to try for a second as soon as possible after the first. However, I can see it's very clear that most of the professionals I have seen (midwives, GPs, consultants, NCT...) that it's recommended to breastfeed but I have also heard that this can stop your periods. Does anyone know if breastfeeding stops you ovulating/reduces your fertility? Anyone managed to have two very close together?

Generally I'm in good health and physically fit. Just quite keen to have two siblings close together in age.

Thanks for any advice.

:)

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20 Replies

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  • I breastfed my son until he was 22 months and my periods didn't return until he was over a year. Then I had two periods and was pregnant again! So for me it was quite a while before they returned but friends have had them return sooner.

  • Thanks Kelly

  • Everyone is different, some women start having periods straight away, while others don't. I have a friend who is breastfeeding and her periods came straight back. I mixed fed my first and my periods came back when she was 6 months old. Another breastfeeding friend didn't get hers back until baby was over a year. You can't rush it, your body will decide for you.

    I have two years and two weeks between my babies and that was perfect for me. Personally, I had an episiotomy with my first and didn't want to have sex for about two months after giving birth. If you have a c section doctors recommend you wait 12 months before trying for a second to allow your body to recover. Pregnancy and birth take a toll on your body, so listen to your body and wait until you've had one before working out when to have your second.

    Breastfeeding is wonderful, it creates an amazing bond between you and your baby. It has lots of health benefits for both of you as well. It also cuts out loads of washing up and sterilising of bottles! Having children is a journey, it has many challenges and many rewards, enjoy getting to know your baby and when you're ready to have a second. Xx

  • Thanks for your reply Winnie. Lots of useful tips in there.

  • I heard that although your periods may not come back straight away you are still very fertile... but just a heads up if you do get pregnant straight away it is not advised to breastfeed at the same time I think maybe until you're 12 weeks is ok

  • I don't know the science behind the not breastfeeding at the same time? My health visitor advised my friend who was still breastfeeding to continue when she fell pregnant with her second and I know lots of mums who have continued breastfeeding throughout pregnancy and have tandem fed their toddler and newborn - the body is amazing and has been feeding babies for centuries before formula was invented. Xx

  • Thanks baby24. Do you know why it's not good to breastfeed until 12 weeks if you do get pregnant? Good to know fertility might still be there even if periods aren't.

  • Not good to breastfeed whilst pregnant (if this is even possible) as the unborn foetus need energy from mother too.

  • Ah, okay. This does make sense... Thanks for replying Georgina

  • I breastfed for the first few months of this pregnancy and I have a friend who did the same. The only concern would be the hormones is releases causing miscarriage but as the level released is so low it's deemed as completely safe. My son stopped feeding a few months ago and I am now 36 weeks pregnant.

  • Ah, okay. Thanks for clarifying that. I think it's something i will definitely ask the midwives and health visitors about after the birth.

  • Mine were really keen for me to continue but it happened thst my son weaned himself which unexpected! Good luck.

  • I just heard that they prefer you to stop feeding around then because that's approx when your body starts nourishing the featus through the placenta therefore they get scared it would take too much of a toll/too much nutrients from your body having to provide for 2..

  • If you are exclusively breastfeeding you're unlikely to get pregnant (aka for first 6months). After that it depends on the individual... I didn't get a period for 14 months till

    I stopped feeding my daughter. However is it not worth seeing how you cope with baby 1 before deciding on baby 2?

  • Hi roxannacar. Definitely, we are going to wait 6 months we think to see how I and my husband are coping with the new routine and with the baby generally before trying to get pregnant again. That should give me time to see if my periods are going to return or not, too. I might also use clear blue ovulation tests just to see if my body is open to the idea of another pregnancy. And of course, it might be that either my fertility doesn't come back, or we just change our minds on the idea of trying for another so soon after.

  • You can always wean breastfeeding at 6 months. I my case I was have unprotected sex (although admittedly not that often) and only fell pregnant once my. Period returned at 14months. Then I fell straight away...

  • we got pregnant twice, drop if a hat, tried for 3rd, took 6 years! You just don't know. I think physically on your body, post partum, give it 6 months. Especially - like us we ended up with emergency c section and in that case the recommended wait is 2 years. Xx

  • Thanks for reply :)

  • It is reccomended that you wait 2 years well thats what was reccommended to me and they pretty much forced me to make an appointment to go straight back on contraception lol its to allow time for your body to heal i think if you concieve close to giving birth it can lead to complications as your body is put through a little too much in a short period of time but then again i do know of alot of parents who have chosen to do this and all has been fine but for me the thought of even having sex after the first was just off putting i had to have a c section though so had alot more physical healing to do i would think breastfeeding whilst growing a little one would be exhausting more than anything. Good luck hun xx

  • Thanks for your reply Clairelouise91. :)

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