One myth that has been around for a long time is the fact that breastfeeding mothers can’t get pregnant, even with having regular sex, but how true is it?
Well, if you’re breastfeeding your baby, chances are you will experience a condition known as lactational amenorrhoea. This means you don’t get your period because you’re breastfeeding. Your body produces the hormone prolactin to allow you to nurse and that hormone suppresses oestrogen, which is why women experience this.
However, if you’re having sex, getting pregnant is always a possibility—and that’s something a lot of women don’t realize. Many women are under the impression that breastfeeding will protect them from getting pregnant again but this isn’t always the case.
A woman can ovulate while she is breastfeeding, but sometimes it’s difficult to detect, especially if she doesn’t have a normal period.
Since most women tend to look at their period as a monthly reminder that they’re not pregnant, an infrequent one, a light one due to breastfeeding or a complete absence of one can really mess with you. But even if your period isn’t regular while you’re breastfeeding, you can still get pregnant because you ovulate.
Bottom line: You can get pregnant while you’re breastfeeding, and it’s crucial to be aware of that fact. So how would you even know if you were expecting? There are a few signs that can tip you off when your period isn’t in play, but it’s a little harder than when you’re not breastfeeding. Here’s what you should look out for.
You Feel Wiped Out
Pregnancy is naturally tough on your body and it can make you feel tired. However, it can be hard to know the difference between pregnancy-related fatigue and new mom tiredness. As such, be mindful if you feel overly tired, in addition to other potential pregnancy symptoms.
You Pee Often
Extra blood flow to the developing foetus produces more urine in your kidneys. You shouldn’t however think of this as the only pregnancy symptom. Breastfeeding often makes women thirsty because you tend to drink (and pee more) to replace the fluids you lose by feeding your baby.
You Feel Nauseous
When you get pregnant, there is an increase in the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and that can make you feel nauseous and sick.
Your Boobs Feel Sore
Hormonal fluctuations of oestrogen and progesterone can cause your breasts to feel tender. However, this symptom is tricky given that you can also experience it with breastfeeding.
The good news however is that there are several birth control methods that are considered safe to use while you’re nursing a child, including condoms, IUDs, the mini-pill, and the shot.
While you can get pregnant while you’re breastfeeding, there is no need to be fearful over the risk. Just be smart about using a backup. While it’s not common, know that it can happen. If you are having sex while breastfeeding, it’s important to use contraception.