Most new mothers get asked by their obstetrician a couple of months after birth about their plans on contraception. Breastfeeding used to have the reputation of avoiding getting pregnant. By now we know though that it doesn’t necessarily prevent pregnancy and everybody seems to know somebody who has gotten pregnant while breastfeeding.
That’s why most obstetricians recommend to use conventional prevention methods unless another child is planned. As often with doctors, this is the easiest solution that works with the highest percentage of women.
BUT… much less known (since no money is made with it, there is no money for publicity or doctors either)… exclusive breastfeeding is 98% to 99% (!!!) effective in postponing pregnancy when three conditions are present:
• The baby is not yet six months old
• The mother has had no menstrual bleeding after the 56th day postpartum.
• The breastfeeding is truly “exclusive” breastfeeding.
Sheila Kippley has written a whole book about natural child spacing.
The following are the Seven Standards of ecological breastfeeding:
1. Do exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life; don’t use other liquids and solids.
2. Pacify your baby at your breasts.
3. Don’t use bottles and pacifiers.
4. Sleep with your baby for night feedings.
5. Sleep with your baby for a daily-nap feeding.
6. Nurse frequently day and night, and avoid schedules.
7. Avoid any practice that restricts nursing or separates you from your baby.