Breastfeeding and implantation

I’ve read that while breastfeeding there’s an increased chance of miscarriage because implantation may be hindered. Would this fall under the principle of double effect?

I think fertility is decreased more because of no ovulation while breastfeeding. I’m not sure of BFing’s effects on the uterine lining…

No, I dont think double effect has any role here. This is a naturally occuring bodily function.

I don’t see what your moral issue is here.

You have to be careful about the crazy things that are put out there. Where did you read this?

Surely you’re not suggesting that breastfeeding is a sin? :wink:

Breastfeeding does NOT hinder implantation. It really wouldn’t make sense for G-d to give us the ability to lactate for which to feed our children while potentially destroying fertilized eggs by preventing their implantation :slight_smile:

What breastfeeding does is hinder ovulation for a longer time that would otherwise happen with someone who is not breastfeeding. Without ovulation, there is nothing to implant. However, it doesn’t happen with everyone, and the times vary. So I wouldn’t be using it as a form of birth control :wink:

For example, I was breastfed, and my brother and I are one year and three days apart. So my mom, though breastfeeding, became pregnant three months after delivering me.

Let me say more—
If BFing does affect the uterine lining and say a mother were to ovulate and conceive but implantation was not possible- the mother would not be morally at fault because of double effect.
so the answer to your question is YES

What can happen is that breastfeeding can cause a shortened luteal phase. You need, I believe, a luteal phase of 10 or 12 days minimum in order for a fertilized egg to implant.

Actually - do some research on LAM (Lactation Ammenorrhea Method), because this is quite fascinating. Women who are carefully taught LAM’s 3 rules have something like a 98.5% actual use rate at avoiding pregnancy for the first 6 months after giving birth. Less reliable BC techniques for up to 9 and 12 months are also being developed - something like 95% and 93% actual use rates there (Note: This is all from memory, so you should probably look some of this up yourself to get current info), but that’s with no mucus checking or temp taking. In fact, there is some evidence that switching to the birth control pill as the primary BC method from LAM post-partum might INCREASE the actual use failures, because some of those women stop nursing so much (sometimes the Pill affects supply) and Pill-only actual use failures are more common than LAM-only actual use failures. Not supporting contraception use here, just using it to illustrate the effectiveness of the breastfeeding method.

But . . . like any BC, you gotta follow the rules! And most nursing mothers in the past haven’t known them. For example, it doesn’t work if you aren’t nursing every 6 hours at night - so a woman whose baby sleeps through the night at 3 weeks (like both of mine did) might need to wake her baby up to stay within the rules. Of course, women who are still nervous can cross-check w/ mucus signs, and should (in theory) get even more accurate results. I do this, because my family has a couple 10-month seperations between siblings while breastfeeding (I don’t know if the women were following the LAM rules, but suspect not - probably occasional bottles, babies that slept through the night early - but still . . .).

And back on topic - yep, I agree, double effect if BF does affect the uterine lining as well as ovulation. The intended effect is to nourish a baby. Impeding implantation is not willed.

OK. I know this is an old question, but I’m sure there’s another mother out there somewhere that’s going to google this topic like I did :slight_smile:

I am an NFP teacher and breastfeeding mom of 4 so here’s my educated guess based on personal experience, knowledge of what’s happening to your body, and research:

#1: If ovulation occurs, but the luteal phase is short and/or the lining of the uterus is thin, it is VERY likely that the woman did not produce enough estrogen in the first place to create enough mucus to allow the sperm to travel and fertilize the egg. (I’m going through this right now…waiting on pins and needles because I know I’ve just had my 1st ovulation and I’m waiting to see if my 1st luteal phase is short OR if I’m pregnant…I’m betting I’m not because I have not had mucus or other signs of estrogen (and I’m very underweight which is also a mark against me in the estrogen department).

#2: If ovulation occurs and there IS enough estrogen/mucus present to fertilize the egg, there will ALSO probably be enough lining and luteal phase to go with it. (That is actually how I conceived Baby #3 with no problem, plenty of mucus/estrogen signs and 24 months postpartum and NO warning period)

Maybe this is just what makes me feel better. I know it’s not a moral problem but I don’t like thinking that my baby will be entering a hostile environment through no fault of my own and will not live. But, alas, I realize this is also naturally occurring under other circumstances :confused:

Adding to this. When a woman nurses she produces prolactin. Prolactin inhibits the making of progesterone and estrogen, making the woman infertile, almost is if she were in a temporary menopause.

If the woman is able to produce enough estrogen and proesterone to ovulate, then the prolactin can’t inhibit implantation.

With birth control pills, on the other hand, the body is given hormones counteract the hormones naturally made by the body. So normally in a pill pack the levels of estrogen are high when the body would be making progesterone, the levels of progesterone are high when the body would be making estrogen.

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