Many women worry that if they are breastfeeding they cannot become pregnant because lactation acts as a natural birth control method. And, while this is true to some degree, breastfeeding is not 100% effective at preventing pregnancy and there are many ways to improve your chances if you are indeed trying to conceive another child.
If you are interested in increasing your fertility while breastfeeding you will need to eliminate feeding during the night, or at least reduce them sufficiently so that there is a minimum of a six hour period in the day that you are not breastfeeding. You will also want to make breastfeeding sessions shorter to encourage fertility to return. Add solids to your baby’s diet, as much as 25 percent, and you will breastfeed less and become increasingly fertile.
The less frequently you breastfeed, the more likely your menstrual period is to return. When this occurs, your fertility is returning and so are your chances for getting pregnant. Remember, though, that babies should be breastfed for at least the first year of life If you are trying to become pregnant during this time you will need to supplement these missed feedings with formula. If you are exclusively breastfeeding and want to get pregnant, gradually reduce the amount of time and frequency of each breastfeeding session so your child is not negatively impacted.
After your menstrual period has returned you should check your basal body temperature and cervical mucus regularly to determine your most fertile days. Once you have determined those days you should have intercourse every day or on alternating days during your peak fertile times. This will help you improve your chances of conception while you are still breastfeeding.
Remember, it takes time to get pregnant and you may not get pregnant the first time you try. Just be patient and keep in mind that as your child reduces the amount of time spent at the breast your fertility will continue to increase as will your odds of conceiving again.