Can Increased Nursing Suppress Fertility?

Question

If you are still breastfeeding but your baby is over six months old and your cycle has resumed, can you lose your fertility again if your baby suddenly starts to nurse more frequently? I’m wondering if it is possible for your estrogen levels to go back down. I’m especially concerned about this as my estrogen levels were extremely low when my baby was under six months old. She reduced her feeds at one time, but is now increasing them again.
Dee

Answer

Last Updated: November 18, 2021
Dear Dee,

When menstruation first returns postpartum, cycles may be longer, but fertility eventually returns. Menstruation by itself doesn’t indicate the return of fertility, and it is normal for your hormones to be low during the baby’s early months.

It is also normal for the baby’s nursing needs to fluctuate with her growth and development. These differences don’t usually affect your fertility once it has returned.

Monitoring your fertility signs will give you more confidence, as will personal consultation with an NFP instructor.

Andrea and Ron Gronsky

Answered By:

Andrea and Ron Gronsky
Andrea and Ron Gronsky, PhD, Professional Members of CANFP,now retired, taught the Sympto Thermal Method through the Couple to Couple League, in the Oakland Region.

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