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Old Oct 13, '08, 10:43 am
joseph123 joseph123 is offline
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Default Help with NFP: Breastfeeding and Fertility.

Will pumping breast milk and giving the baby a bottle instead of breastfeeding help with a quicker return to fertility? My wife and I have a breastfed 7 month old that my wife would like to continue to breastfeed until a year. We know from experience that NFP is not reliable while she is breastfeeding so we are looking at maybe 5-6 months of abstinence. It has been about 6 weeks and the lack of any contact is really starting to stress us both out. We have moved into separate bedrooms and really donít have any kind of physical contact so we are really looking for ways to hurry the return to normal fertility.
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Old Oct 13, '08, 10:50 am
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Truly Beloved Truly Beloved is offline
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Default Re: Help with NFP: Breastfeeding and Fertility.

Welcome to the forums, Joseph!

From what I recall in my NFP book, culturally breastfeeding (using bottles, pumps, pacifiers, etc.) usually does bring fertility back sooner.

Now, the downside to that, is that even during cultural breastfeeding, "normal" fertility may not return for awhile. A woman's basal body temperatures, cervical position, and cervical mucus patterns can continue to be difficult to interpret.

So, no guarantees, but as I understand it, cultural breastfeeding usually brings fertility back sooner. I only have experience with ecological breastfeeding, so I'm sorry I can't offer anything more. I'm sure lots of other moms on here can help you out, and correct me if I'm wrong.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
~ Mother Teresa

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Old Oct 13, '08, 11:22 am
Em_in_FL Em_in_FL is offline
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Default Re: Help with NFP: Breastfeeding and Fertility.

Hi and welcome to the forums!

NFP while breastfeeding is DEFINITELY possible, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise! I was able to do it after my first 2 kids, and now practicing it again after our 3rd!

I'm BF'ing my 3rd child... and we use the sympto-thermal method of NFP. It IS possible to use NFP while breastfeeding, and it can be completely reliable... it's just a little trickier while BF'ing.

My advice is to READ and take additional NFP classes... contact your diocese for local classes, or look into these great resources... - has a take home course and also may have local teachers in your area... - has a free online manual - wonderful book on the sympto-thermal method.

The key to NFP while breastfeeding is to look for the onset of returning fertility... by watching the mucous and cervical position signs. Tracking these religiously can help you determine when the fertile or non-fertile days are and can help find days when you can be intimate. The secondary sign of taking your temperature is helpful in knowing that ovulation has indeed returned... after seeing the fertile mucous and cervical position.

I don't think it's possible to force your body back into normal cycles simply by pumping... some people may have an early return of fertility that way, but others may not... so there's no way to tell for sure.

Look into some local classes and be sure to READ as much as you can on the subject...
Good luck!
Happy wife and mom to 2 boys and 2 girls!

Tailgate in style! -
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Old Oct 13, '08, 11:30 am
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SMHW SMHW is offline
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Default Re: Help with NFP: Breastfeeding and Fertility.

A woman can expect "normal" fertility to return sooner if she is not ecologically breastfeeding but "sooner" is a highly individual thing. One woman who is ecologically breastfeeding could have her fertility return sooner than another woman who uses bottles (formula and/or pumping) in addition to breastfeeding.

Even once fertility returns, continued breastfeeding can result in confusing signs.

Last edited by SMHW; Oct 13, '08 at 11:50 am.
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Old Oct 13, '08, 11:48 am
joseph123 joseph123 is offline
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Join Date: October 13, 2008
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Default Re: Help with NFP: Breastfeeding and Fertility.

Hi everyone and thanks for the responses. There is really nowhere else to go with questions like this.
My wife and I were trying to use the symptom thermal method for our previous two children so I donít have a lot of confidence in NFP while breastfeeding. We will just have to wait. On the bright side I have been getting a lot of reading done lately and have had time to start studying French. I also have my saltwater aquarium looking mighty impressive. I never realized how essential a good hobby was for practicing NFP.
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