Less breastfeeding, more chance of ovulation and menses

In some cultures, exclusive breastfeeding is a form of birth control. We do not recommend breastfeeding as a form of birth control, but for some exclusive breastfeeding may affect ovulation. Any number of factors may contribute to the onset of ovulation (you can become pregnant) and menses (your period). Keep in mind that ovulation can occur without menses.

Any of these activities may trigger ovulation or menses:

  • Using pacifiers or thumb/finger sucking
  • Feeding baby solid foods
  • Baby sleeping long stretches at night
  • Supplementing with feedings of formula or juice
  • Decrease in the usual number of breastfeedings or suckling time per 24-hour period

If you wish to avoid becoming pregnant, discuss with your physician the various birth control options available while breastfeeding. Hormonal forms of birth control may not be recommended for some nursing mothers, especially in the first six months before babies start solids.

Sex tips and reminders for breastfeeding moms

Stimulation of your nipples, breasts and/or uterus during sexual intercourse may result in an oxytocin response: milk letdown—and your breasts may leak. We suggest for you—preparation is key!

You may also notice a change in your response to sexual stimulation for a few months. During breastfeeding, you may have a decrease in vaginal secretions. This is a normal response but may cause some discomfort. The use of mild safe lubricants such as KY Jelly is recommended. Also, your nipples may be less or more sensitive to stimulation during sexual activity. Discuss this with your partner and discover your preferences. You may notice that your interest in sex has been decreased. All these responses are normal and will not be permanent. Everything will return to normal as time goes by.