Breastfeeding doesn’t prevent pregnancy all the time!!

by - Monday, October 09, 2017


"Breastfeeding doesn’t prevent pregnancy all the time" is a guest post by Dr Abiodun Omonori

It is widely accepted that once a woman puts her baby to breast frequently, the chances of her becoming pregnant drops to almost zero, and there’s a scientific basis for this. The suckling stimulus disrupts the cyclical pattern of the release of some hormones from the brain (Hypothalamus), which in turn leads to cessation of menses and temporary inability to conceive.

Generally, the efficacy of this natural family planning method reduces significantly after 6 months, largely due to a reduction in the frequency of breastfeeding. For this to continue to work, you have to breastfeed at least every 4 hours during the day, and 6-hourly at night; the longer the child sucks, the better the chances of preventing pregnancy. Don’t ask me if the child can be assisted by someone else in this duty. Lol!

I can hardly forget the interaction I had with a woman few months ago, who came with complaints of tummy aches and nausea. She delivered about 8 months earlier and her baby boy was still being breastfed, only for her to discover that she had become pregnant again. The look on her face was that of despair and intense sadness, as she innocently asked me if I could help her remove it.

In fact let’s not go far, I’m a practical example of this. My elder brother is 19 months (1 year and 7 months) older than me, because my mum took in while he was 10 months old.

It might be dangerous to assume that since you are breastfeeding your baby exclusively, then you can allow daddy in all the time without a gate pass. I have seen quite a number of breastfeeding mothers become pregnant recently, with a few attempting to halt the process by all means, leading to some complications.

My advice is simple, even if you believe you can’t take in while breastfeeding, at least use condom so as to avoid telling stories that touch the heart.

Photo via: Naij

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