How does breastfeeding prevent conceiving?
Over the last twenty five years, medical research has begun to shed light on how breastfeeding affects a woman’s fertility levels. It is widely documented that, in the first few months after childbirth, breastfeeding reduces chances of pregnancy by preventing ovulation and delaying the return of menstruation.
This phenomenon is called Lactational Amenorrhea, meaning the lack of periods due to breastfeeding. This happens because nursing a baby round the clock releases high levels of prolactin, the milk producing hormone, in the mother’s body. Interestingly, the high levels of prolactin interfere with the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian chain, preventing estrogen secretion and blocking ovulation. This can be seen as our body’s natural method of spacing out pregnancies to ensure the health and safety of the mother - a way for mother nature to look out for mothers!
After scientific research and clinical trials, the Lactational Amenorrhea Method, or LAM, has been developed to help women use breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy, under certain conditions. When all the conditions required by LAM are met, clinical trials have resulted in a 98% rate of success in preventing pregnancies. But what are the conditions that have to be checked off the list for LAM to work? Let’s find out!