One way to naturally prevent pregnancy is by practicing ecological breastfeeding. The likelihood of becoming pregnant during the first three months is almost zero and very unlikely throughout the entire first year. Since the apostolic era, the Catholic Church has encouraged parents to use natural family planning for child spacing using this method instead of contraception.
Common Characteristics of this Method
The key to the natural child spacing aspect of breastfeeding is frequent and unrestricted nursing:
• Mom and baby are together full-time
• Frequent suckling is necessary
• Breastfeeding on cue (day and night)
• The baby is naturally pacified at the breast
• Co-sleeping is strongly encouraged
• Breastfeeding in a lying-down position for naps and at night
• Utilizing no bottles or pacifiers
Return of Menstruation
The average time for the return of menstrual periods is 14.6 months. Only 7% of moms menstruate within the first 6 months of their baby’s life when practicing this method. 37% start again within the second half of baby’s first year. The rest usually see their period again sometime in their baby’s second year.
Breast feeding moms whose periods return are still unable to get pregnant in the first few menstrual cycles. Those whose periods return later usually ovulate before their first visible cycle.
Can You Trust it?
Exclusive breastfeeding is 98-99.5% effective in preventing pregnancy as long as your baby is under 6 months only, is not eating other food and your period has not returned. However, because that number is not 100%, you may still want to use a backup method of birth control if you want to be absolutely sure.
Still Interesting in Giving Ecological Breastfeeding a Try?
A great resource to guide you in choosing this natural family planning method is “Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing: How Ecological Breastfeeding Spaces Babies” by Sheila K. Kippley available through Amazon.com.
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