Concieving and Breastfeeding; Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding

My children have all been planned and I conceived successfully while breastfeeding three times. For my first pregnancy, I used a basal body thermometer and inexpensive ovulation test strips to track ovulation. I woke up every morning and took my temperature under my tongue before I even spoke (as per the thermometers instructions) and used the strips. It worked! We were expecting our first baby in no time. However, I learned that conceiving and breastfeeding was harder.

When it came time to plan for baby #2 it wasn’t as easy. I couldn’t track a temperature pattern. I called my OB. She said that my temperature wasn’t reliable due to breastfeeding and my hormone levels. Getting pregnant while breastfeeding was a bit trickier. The thermometer was no longer an option and it was time to move on. I started researching other ways to determine ovulation in what could be unpredictable cycles. I was told by a Doula that there are certain ways to read your cervical mucus, which I don’t have time or interest in. The search for an answer was on!

I certainly wasn’t going to wean my son. I knew that there had to be another way. I found myself in the disposable pads-condoms-pregnancy tests at Target. I picked up inexpensive ovulation test strips the first time which were reliable with my first son. I purchased these again and discovered that I had 2 lines signalling Folicle stimulating hormone (FSH) for almost a week! Despite this inaccuracy, we were able to conceive baby 2 and 3, but it certainly wasn’t a pin-point ovulation.

getting pregnant while breastfeeding

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Getting pregnant while breastfeeding. My experience conceiving and breastfeeding. Tips, tools and how we did it.

When it came time for baby 4…I noticed that my cycle returned later. Breastfeeding can naturally delay your period, and while tandem nursing babies #2 and #3 it took almost 1 year for my cycle to return. Yay if I wasn’t planning on another baby…but the delay made conceiving seem more urgent. It’s important for me to have my babies close together, so I got to work. I started using the inexpensive test strips again and after 3 months I was confused. I would get 2 lines regularly and they were vague, I couldn’t pinpoint ovulation. I knew it was time to pull out the professional tools and I purchased digital Ovulation Tests from the store. The kind that look like pregnancy tests. These worked in 1 month! Instead of getting a vague 2 lines like I did on the test strips, I didn’t get 2 lines until I had a definite FSH surge. Bingo!

If you’re trying to conceive while breastfeeding, I definitely recommend using the higher quality ovulation tests. In my experience, they are more reliable, accurate and alleviate stress and confusion other methods may have.

I have been asked about being romantic while breastfeeding and getting pregnant. I value being romantic but there were times when ovulation time was right, we were in a rush and needed to get to work! I could have waited an extra month for more time but we wanted another baby and I do admit to conceiving baby #2 at around 4 AM before my husband went to work when we were barely awake. I heard his alarm go off and knew that he wouldn’t be home until very late!

When it’s time it’s time!

What has your experience been conceiving while breastfeeding?


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Disclosure; This is not a sponsored post, it does contain a few affiliate links and I earn a very small percentage if you use them. So thank you if you do! This post makes no attempt to diagnose, treat any condition or make medical recommendations. Please consult your OB or Midwife for individual conception info. This worked for me but may not work for others. Have a great day!


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4 years ago

Hi! Did your cycle return prior to conceiving your 2nd and subsequent babies? We are TTC baby #3 and my daughter is almost one year old (January 11th). My cycle has not returned. With my son, my cycle returned around this time and I conceived my daughter shortly there after. We would like to have another baby without weaning our daughter. She still nurses frequently at night with no end in sight.

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