TTC and Breastfeeding

Hello All,

I’ve talked about this in the TTC 2019 group, but thought I’d start a new thread for two reasons: Firstly, lots of those in the TTC thread haven’t had their longed for children yet and so I don’t want to harp on about the difficulties of conceiving a second while breastfeeding as I know I’m super lucky to have been blessed with my son. Secondly, I imagine there are others with experience of this who aren’t necessarily TTC right now and so might not look at the regular TTC thread!

I am wondering if anyone else conceived, or tried to, while still breastfeeding another child? [name_m]How[/name_m] long did it take? Was it easier or harder that your previous experience/s TTC? Did you use OPKs, take supplements etc. I would love to hear your experiences if your able to share them!

I am currently breastfeeding my DS 2 x daily (dropped the third feed this week) first and last thing. My AF came back when he was 7 months and he’s now just over 13 months. We’ve left nature in charge since day one so to speak and I stated trying to track my ovulation after a couple of months. I used to have a 31 day cycle and ovulate on cd17, fairly reliably. My cycles so far, other than an initial longer one, have gone back to being 31 most of the time, but I’m ovulating as late as cd 25. As much as I’ve felt a bit torn about it, this is why I’ve dropped DS third breastfeed. I’ve also ordered some Vitex today… fingers crossed it will work for me!

[name_f]Hope[/name_f] to hear from others soon!

E x

I conceived our second and third baby while breastfeeding. My doctors were surprised especially since I had fertility treatment to have my first baby. There are multiple factors that make it harder to conceive while breastfeeding. Your cycles can take a while to return and once they do it can take a while for them to become regular and for ovulation to start up again.

It sounds like while your cycles have returned, they haven’t quite regulated yet. Are you using opks to track ovulation? I used opks, temped, and I was checking my cervical position when I conceived my last 2 babies which really helped me understand when my cycles we’re back on track.

I’m no doctor but if you’re ovulating that late in your cycle now I don’t think a baby even has a chance to implant. I’m pretty sure that prolactin, the hormone that is raised while breastfeeding, can counteract progesterone, the hormone needed after ovulation to help baby implant. You might be struggling because of this and you may need to wean your baby completely to regain the proper hormone balance to conceive. Again, I’m not a doctor, so you should talk to yours about this if you’re concerned.

I had an “infertility consult” with my doctor at about 9 months pp with my first because I was worried about my cycles and she told me this info. She pretty much said I’d have to choose to stop breastfeeding or wait to TTC. I didn’t stop and we conceived the next month so it’s always possible! I wish you lots of luck and I’m sending baby dust your way!

Hello! My partner and I have not conceived our baby #2 yet, and our 1st is still breastfed. My cycle came back at 6 months postpartum but wasn’t super regular. We wanted to start trying right away but decided to wait until last [name_f]September[/name_f]. My cycle was pretty regular by then, so I thought I would conceive no problem! But after a few of months of trying we had had no luck. We felt kind of discouraged so have been taking a break for a while. I have been taking red clover which really helped my cycle become extremely regular, and tracking my cycle closely (i use Ovia fertility app) which sort of puts my mind at ease because I feel like I have a good idea of when my fertile window is. Our son is also 16 months postpartum and nurses less frequently now. I feel pretty hopeful that when we resume ttc we will have better odds of conceiving! We did also use opk for a little bit but I felt that it was stressful and made me feel anxious and I spent too much time worrying about missing my positive etc so I personally will not use them again. Good luck !!

First off I agree with everything cyoung325 said.

Secondly, we conceived our 2nd while still breastfeeding our first, she was 18 months when we found out we were expecting. We were unable to get pregnant with our 3rd until we completely weaned our second.

The return of periods doesn’t equal the return of fertility. You typically need a minimum of 10 days for your luteal phase to sustain pregnancy, so even if you are ovulating and those eggs are getting fertilized there isn’t enough time for the egg to implant if you are ovulating after cd 21 with 31 day cycles.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by [name_f]Toni[/name_f] Weschler is a great resource for all things reproductive health related and I have found it particularly useful in the very confusing breastfeeding period.

I conceived the first month while still breastfeeding, though my daughter was older – 2.5. We were just nursing before nap and bedtime at that stage, and nap was a “sometimes” thing. My cycle returned at 10 months with her, and while I wasn’t tracking, I’d say it wasn’t back to 100% normal for ages after - nearly a year or so. I don’t have anything to add to the excellent advice you have above, just wanted to say it is possible, but your cycles just might need a bit more time to get back to your normal first.

I had to completely wean and then wait two months to get my cycle back, but I know a lot of people who didn’t have that problem! Good luck!

Thank you for sharing your experiences and the helpful advice and recommendations, they are much appreciated :slight_smile:

E x