Monday, March 17, 2008

TTC While Nursing

I asked about this on a breastfeeding forum this weekend and didn't get any replies. I had a little extra time so I looked it up on Kellymom.

Breastfeeding and Fertility -

It looks like there are a few factors to consider.

Does your nursing pattern match the conditions for ecological breastfeeding(using nursing for natural birth control? )

* keeping baby close
* breastfeeding on cue (day and night)
* using breastfeeding to comfort your baby
* breastfeeding in a lying-down position for naps and at night
* using no bottles or pacifiers

Are you away from your baby at all during the day?

Does your baby sleep with you? Does your baby sleep for long stretches through the night?

Have you had a return of AF? How regular is it?

Is your baby eating solids? More solids than nursing?

Have you lost too much weight while nursing?

Make sure you have enough body fat and are getting the right nutrients so your body is able to nurse and return to full fertility.

My baby is 13 months old and I've had AF four times now. My flow has been scant and my ovulation signs look to me like my body is struggling to get over that hormonal hill -- waves of EWCM but not quite ovulating (I can kinda tell). I had to bump up how many calories I eat and the frequency, plus adding in extra calcium -- a hormonal building block. The biggest gap between cycles seemed to be related to when I lost the most weight from nursing.

A couple strategies I'm thinking of employing are:

Increasing his intake of solids. While he loves nursing, I'm trying to make the extra effort to offer solids (snacks and meals) and make sure he eats as much food as he wants.

Night-weaning -- trying to eliminate the 3AM feeding seems to be the key definition of night-weaning from what I've read.

If that doesn't work I'm going to see if acupuncture might help.