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Does Fertility Increase After Childbirth?



For breastfeeding mothers fertility decreases after childbirth.

More Info: Mothers who choose to breastfeed exclusively generally do not ovulate or have menstrual cycles during this time, many of whom use this knowledge in place of birth control.  Researchers and family planners call this method of natural child spacing the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM).

Research indicates that a new mother’s chances of becoming pregnant with the LAM birth control method are less than two percent if she is exclusively breastfeeding without supplementation, her infant is under six months old, and has not had a menstrual cycle.

Non-Breastfeeding Women

There are no hard-fast timeframes that a woman who is not breastfeeding may become pregnant after childbirth.  A woman’s fertility is based upon her menstrual cycle, which can be erratic after giving birth.  Many women who opt not to use birth control become pregnant within the first ninety days.  Some doctors suggest waiting at least six to twelve weeks to give your body time to heal.



Howie , PW,, AS, McNeilly , MJ, Houston , A, Cook , and H. Boyle . “Fertility after childbirth: infant feeding patterns, basal PRL levels and post-partum ovulation..” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology 17.4 (1982): 315-322. Print.

“BREASTFEEDING AND FERTILITY – NATURAL CHILDSPACING.” Dr. Sears Official Website | Parenting Advice, Parenting Books & more. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2010.

“LLLI | The lactational amenorrhea method.” LLLI | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2010.

Benson, Michael D, and MD. “How soon after pregnancy and delivery can a woman get pregnant again? – General Concerns and Questions – Preconception.” Preconception Channel – trying to conceive, fertility calendar, fertility calculator, fertility cycle, fertility drugs – . N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2010.

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