New Moms

Control Your Postpartum Fertility

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Many women mistakenly believe that they are not capable of getting pregnant soon after having a baby. According to a review in Obstetrics & Gynecology, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Birth control should be used as soon as three weeks after giving birth if sexual activity is even remotely possible. Alternatively, if you want another baby as soon as possible, you should talk to your doctor about rapid successive pregnancies and when the best time is to conceive again for your particular body.

It is true that women who breastfeed regularly do not ovulate regularly. Women who skip breastfeeding will usually start ovulating about six weeks after giving birth. But women should keep in mind that ovulation is still possible and prepare accordingly.

“It is really important that people who provide care to postpartum women bring up the subject of contraceptives, alert women to the fact that the may become fertile soon after having a baby, and make sure that women have their chosen method before they become fertile again,” said Dr. Emily Jackson one of the study’s authors and a family doctor in Los Angeles.

Birth control pills should be avoided, though, because until estrogen levels out, there is an increased risk of blood clotting. If breastfeeding, hormones could pass to the baby slowing his or her growth.

Most women, non-breastfeeding, will ovulate as early as 25 to 27 days after giving birth; the average was between 45 and 95. “It would be great if we could make sure that all women were prepared in advance to address their return to fertility postpartum,” Dr. Jackson concluded.

Source: Reuters