There was a thread started just yesterday discussing this… here is a link to my post, which I’ll copy/paste here below… HTH!
Same experience here - times 3 kids (another on the way, so I’ll be in your shoes shortly!)…
I can’t “Ecologically BF” (we use pacifiers, I pump at work and send breastmilk in bottles to daycare, etc)… so I have to chart.
But, I’ve done it successfully all 3 times… it’s HARD in these postpartum months - I’m not gonna lie. There are times when we go LONG periods of time between being together. BUT - this “transition” phase doesn’t last forever - and it WILL get better. It’s just trying for a while.
BTW - my fertility returned at 5.5, 7.5, and 10.5 months postpartum after all three of my kids… and I DID OVULATE BEFORE my first postpartum period all 3 times. So it’s definitely important to track your fertility and chart if you need to avoid conception.
(Also, I was breastfeeding until at least 13+ months for all 3 kids - so this happened while breastfeeding).
Okay - on to the nitty gritty…
- Continue taking your temperature… but don’t pay much attention to it.
- FOCUS on the mucous and cervical position signs. THESE are going to be your bread & butter during these postpartum months.
I was never really comfortable with the cervical position sign prior to having kids, but postpartum it was my FAVORITE sign for helping to discern fertility. REALLY concentrate on trying to understand that sign. I highly recommend reading as much as possible - there is some great sympto-thermal material out there, so get as educated as possible:
tcoyf.com/ - GREAT book from a medical perspective. Of course, ignore the parts where it suggests using barrier contraception during the fertile signs - this isn’t a Catholic resource.
ccli.org/ - If you learned from CCLI then be sure to refresh your studies and reread your book!
nfpandmore.org/ - another great resource. They have an online guide that you can download for a donation.
My philosophy is to CONSTANTLY stay educated… and it certainly helps.
So, with your charting - focus on the mucous and cervical position signs. They will be pretty sketchy and you’ll have lots of questionable days… but if you follow the “+3 days” rule (where you are showing dry/closed/infertile signs for a total of 4 days) then you can assume you are safely infertile.
Your body will certainly go through waves of “trying” to ovulate… very sporadic for a while.
When I did eventually ovulate it was OBVIOUS. LOTS of mucous, WIDE open cervix - shocking… and then, as if one cue - my basal temperature went up and stayed up (see, it’s just there as a post-ovulation confirmation… ignore the “mountains” as you go along)… then again, as if on cue - my first postpartum period would come after a semi-normal luteal phase. AMAZING.
Now, my first SEVERAL cycles are usually whacky… ranging from 20 days to 60 days… back and forth… so there is certainly a little frustration.
But things DO eventually regulate out… then it’s cake.