You asked

How effective is the Breastfeeding Method of birth control?

Using breastfeeding as a means of contraception is known as the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). When you breastfeed, your body releases a hormone that suppresses oestrogen production, thereby interfering with your menstruation cycle. The effectiveness of this ovulation suppression is very much related to how much you nurse your baby. As soon as you start supplementing your baby's diet with solid food, or feeding formula, your body senses the change in milk demand and compensates for this. That means less milk gets produced, and less suppressing hormones released. It is therefore a good idea to use other methods of contraception in addition to LAM after the first couple of months.
LAM is fairly effective for the first six months, with less than two percent of breastfeeding mothers becoming pregnant during the first six months following delivery. Barrier methods and the progestin-only pill are completely compatible with breastfeeding.
To make LAM as reliable as you can, the following conditions must be met: There is no more than a four hour gap between feeding; your period has not started again; your baby was delivered less than six months ago. Remember that your body can release an egg without there being signs of menstruation returning, thereby making you potentially fertile.
Do not use LAM if you express your milk, or use formula feeding as well as breastfeeding. LAM depends on long, regular feeding sessions, so substituting even one feed with a bottle can be risky.

More questions

There are some very good reasons that you would want to avoid sexual intercourse.
Your vagina will naturally shrink after delivery, as your body heals, but whether it returns to its original size, depends on a number of factors.
Your menstrual cycle usually starts towards the end of your breastfeeding phase, but how regular it is once it is back varies from woman to woman.
It is not uncommon for women to experience pain and discomfort during sex, for the first couple of months after having a baby.
The delaying effect that breastfeeding has on the return of normal menstruation has an effect on fertility and can be considered as a method of contraception – although it is not a very reliable one.
The Intrauterine System, or IUS, is an effective method of birth control that is safe to use while breastfeeding.
It is true that some women experience a drop in their sex drive while breastfeeding, however, this isn’t always the case.
The return to your normal cycle is not a hard and fast rule and it can take anything from a month to a year before your first post baby period happens.
It is entirely up to you and your husband as to when you want to start having sex after the birth of your baby. The best thing to do is to have patience and wait until your body is ready for sex after your baby is born.
As very often happens, if you are just too tired to have sex after a long day, then tell your husband. If he is understanding and clever, he will help you as much as he can. After all, you will both benefit from this.



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