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  • breastfeeding and fertility

    I have a 15-month-old baby breastfeeding around the clock. She doesn't eat much solids even though we offer all the time. She's thriving though, healthy and active. She's just not interested in food.

    We really want to have a second baby soon, but my period hasn't returned yet. I don't want to wean my daughter until she's ready, so I am wondering whether there's anything I can do on my part to boost my fertility. I still have legumes and raw dairy in my diet, but no processed food or oils. Is nutrition relevant? I keep hoping there's something I can do for my body to be able to handle both pregnancy and breastfeeding.

    Any primal mamas out there experienced a change in fertility by changing their diet? Would love to hear your experience!

    TIA!

  • #2
    I'm honestly not sure if it's possible to boost fertility while still breastfeeding around the clock. After all, this was our ancestor's way of helping to space babies out as much as possible . Ideally, women don't return to normal fertility until breastfeeding diminishes (usually when the baby starts relying more on solid food).

    So, while you don't have to wean your daughter, you may want to consider offering her more solid food, and thus breastfeeding less. I know women who have managed to conceive while they're breastfeeding, but only after the frequency of feeds has gone down.

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    • #3
      I had a friend get pregnant while breastfeeding. She had no idea until she was 2nd Trimester b/c she wasn't having periods to begin with, lol.
      --Trish (Bork)
      TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
      http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
      FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        It is possible to have fertility while breastfeeding (and no menstruation), and fertility charting can help you determine whether that is the case.

        But, probably your best option is to contain breastfeeding. This isn't weaning, it's simply containing it to specific times throughout the day or what have you. My son was reliant on breastfeeding for primary nutrition until 14 months (so about the same age as your kiddo), and then naturally started eating more solids then. and the breastfeeding cut back to a few times day/night (perhaps a lot more than I remember, but less than when he was breast feeding full time). He didn't wean (though, honestly, I didn't wean him), until he was 3.

        So, see how you feel about it, but your option might be to simple cut back the number of feeds to only a few during the day and then at night. Offer foods if she seems hungry, and then follow a meal with breastmilk if she wants it. She may, she may not.

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        • #5
          Check out kellymom.com for detailed advice, but I think it's probably the night feeds that are doing it. When I night weaned my three year old my periods returned.
          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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          • #6
            mine wasn't night weaned when my period came back. we are all so different.

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            • #7
              Definitely check out kellymom.com recommended by badgergirl, but there's lots of data on the hormonal impact of night feeding. We deliberately co-slept with our 2nd after supply issues with our 1st and it made a huge difference. However, I started pushing night weaning at 15-18 mos. DD could understand that mama's breasts "needed to sleep" to make more milk for the morning. It went much faster than I expected. Sometimes a little nudge is easier than you think.
              50yo, 5'3"
              SW-195
              CW-125, part calorie counting, part transition to primal
              GW- Goals are no longer weight-related

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              • #8
                Ladies, thank you for your replies! I'm off to check kellymom.com now.

                We co-sleep, and my daughter still nurses every 3 hours at night. During the day, she often refuses food and opts to nurse instead. I'm trying to get as creative as I can with getting her to eat! Luckily, she's thriving, because I get a lot of grief for how little she eats. When she was younger, I was glad she was nursing so much, but now it seems like she should be able to eat more solid foods than just a few spoons per 'meal'.

                She can usually be distracted for hours during the daytime to avoid nursing though. I can get away for a whole afternoon and she wouldn't notice if she's having fun.

                Is it useful to start monitoring fertility before getting the first post-partum cycle?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iron Fireling View Post
                  I'm honestly not sure if it's possible to boost fertility while still breastfeeding around the clock. After all, this was our ancestor's way of helping to space babies out as much as possible . Ideally, women don't return to normal fertility until breastfeeding diminishes (usually when the baby starts relying more on solid food).

                  So, while you don't have to wean your daughter, you may want to consider offering her more solid food, and thus breastfeeding less. I know women who have managed to conceive while they're breastfeeding, but only after the frequency of feeds has gone down.

                  I've heard of many women getting pregnant while breastfeeding, even when their babies are still very young. I wonder what the factors are. Maybe they were supplementing with formula, or not co-sleeping, or simply something about their health and bodies that lets their bodies handle both.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
                    I had a friend get pregnant while breastfeeding. She had no idea until she was 2nd Trimester b/c she wasn't having periods to begin with, lol.
                    Wow!

                    Actually, I wouldn't mind if that happened to me....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I will put more effort into this. My default strategy in dealing with her is nursing her. It solves 99% of all issues. So have to think of new ways. I found it easy to distract her during the day, and she can easily go 4 hours without nursing or even noticing that I'm gone.

                      Nights are different though. So far, I've not been able to soothe her any other way except by nursing.

                      Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                      It is possible to have fertility while breastfeeding (and no menstruation), and fertility charting can help you determine whether that is the case.

                      But, probably your best option is to contain breastfeeding. This isn't weaning, it's simply containing it to specific times throughout the day or what have you. My son was reliant on breastfeeding for primary nutrition until 14 months (so about the same age as your kiddo), and then naturally started eating more solids then. and the breastfeeding cut back to a few times day/night (perhaps a lot more than I remember, but less than when he was breast feeding full time). He didn't wean (though, honestly, I didn't wean him), until he was 3.

                      So, see how you feel about it, but your option might be to simple cut back the number of feeds to only a few during the day and then at night. Offer foods if she seems hungry, and then follow a meal with breastmilk if she wants it. She may, she may not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have a friend who has girls almost exactly 1 yr apart...
                        She was just a bit shocked!
                        She hadn't had a period at all.

                        Yep.
                        She got pregnant 3 months post while breastfeeding a newborn around the clock with no supplements and no breaks.
                        It happens.

                        She breast fed through the pregnancy, gave birth to a healthy baby, and continued to co-nurse.
                        It was hard on her... real WORK.
                        But she did it.
                        “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                        ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                        And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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                        • #13
                          I was totally breast feeding my son and was pregnant again in three months...Irish twins i think it's called. Your friend is super woman!! I'm glad she was able to do it. I had a different ending.
                          A Woman's Place Is In The Revolution.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by meeme View Post
                            I was totally breast feeding my son and was pregnant again in three months...Irish twins i think it's called. Your friend is super woman!! I'm glad she was able to do it. I had a different ending.
                            Yes, it was VERY hard on her physically... they basically ATE her.
                            Maybe that's terrible to say... but that's kind of how it worked.
                            She had to just eat and eat and eat... and they TOOK and TOOK.
                            It wasn't an easy pregnancy.

                            Doctors very strict orders... DO NOT get pregnant again for AT LEAST 3 years!
                            She took better precautions after the birth of #2.
                            “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                            ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                            And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lack of fertility wasn't my problem...I had a three month old baby and an IUD that totally failed. Serious problems but that IUD was taken off the market.

                              I know how that works and your poor friend....pregnancy and nursing take a lot out of you and I agree with the 3 year rule. Wow! How is she doing?
                              A Woman's Place Is In The Revolution.

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