Multicolor Milk Minute Logo.PNG

our latest episode:

Ep. 149- Is Breastfeeding Good Birth Control?

Share this episode with a friend 👇

Listen to this episode here or subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts

Transcript:

*We apologize for any typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar. Our transcript is auto-generated by software that’s trying its best, just like all of us.*

Welcome back to the Milk Minute Podcast everyone. Hey, hey. Well, we’re so happy to be back with you today. What have you been up to, Heather? Oh, I wanna tell you that I went on a girls’ trip for the first time in four years. Fancy maybe ever.

Yeah. Actually, it was my, one of my best friend’s birthdays, and we’ve known each other since kindergarten, so we have the friendship that’s like grown up, like the tree roots that are just intertwined. We don’t remember when it happened. We’ve just been friends for as long. We’ve been alive as far as we’re concerned.

So anyway, we both just turned 35. We’re born a month apart and we have another friend, Bailey, who has been friends with us since middle school. So she was with us during the goth phase of our life. You know, lots of black fingernails and Avril Levine. I feel like we should all go back there, honestly, like we are in our hearts.

I loved my like goth scene kid. you know, it was, it was the best emo my gosh, I listened to so much Sunny Day Real Estate. It’s really cool. Now, again, oh, is it? Did you know that? Oh yeah. It’s like way back in style. No, I did know that. These. Gen Zers are obsessed with our old technology. Mm-hmm. like the old digital cameras, like, oh, I’ve got a camera.

You mean the ones I used to like dislocate my arm? To take a selfie mask? Yes. The ones that you had to charge before you went out at night and had to upload all your pictures. Oh, you forgot it to charge it. Oh. Mm-hmm. , you forgot to take the card, the pictures off your SD card and then you’d be like, what will I sacrifice?

Yeah. Apparently they’re really into that now, which I think is so funny. But I love that for them. Anyway, we went to Bedford Springs. Mm-hmm. . And it was very funny, like to make a long story long, it was a five star resort that I would give three stars at best. and like every step of the way, they’re basically telling you this is five stars and your brain is going.

I understand what you’re saying, but this is uncomfortable . Like there were so many kids in the pool. Like we tried, we tried to go to the pool, an expensive hotel. I feel like I just don’t waste that money on my kids . It was crazy, like we were trying to take a quick dip before dinner and first of all they did not tell us it was like, A quarter of a mile away from where the room was.

That’s the worst. And we are wearing our Terry cloth robes on top of our bathing suits, and we stop at the front desk and we’re like, where’s the pool? And they’re like, okay, so you’re gonna go past the bar, past the front door, through the library, you’re gonna make a right and about a quarter mile on your left.

I’m like, are you? Oh my God. And so Abigail’s like, I’m catching a lot of wind under this rope. , the front door opens and like cold blustery, winter air blows in. Mm-hmm. every dirty old man at the bar is looking at us like we’re nuts. And then I asked the front desk also like, can we schedule a ghost tour like we tried to call earlier and nobody.

Mm-hmm. . , nobody picked up. And she said, oh, you have to go to Tally Ho to do that. And I’m like, what the fuck? Tally Ho. And I’m like, where’s that? She’s like, it’s past the pool . And I’m like, okay, great. I’m like, really? For $500 a night, you couldn’t, where’s the golf schedule that for me? You couldn’t call Tally Ho for me.

So we go into this Tally Ho, which is an outdoor outfitter place. Mm-hmm. . And the person working there looks like she is 15. Mm-hmm. . And she also looks like she’s been on bath salts. Sure. She’s like jerky and freaking out. And we are the most unassuming. Like vulnerable human beings at that moment, like half naked.

We just did a walk of shame through a bar, half naked. Mm-hmm. And we’re just trying to go on a ghost tour. And this girl, she turns and she’s like, oh, sorry. And that was the first thing out of her mouth. And we were like, oh no, it’s. It’s cool, you’re fine. She’s like, my manager’s calling me and I just don’t know anyway, what’s going on?

And we were like Mary, calm down. We’re just trying to go on the ghost tour. And she goes, oh God, . Oh God. Oh, it’s full. I’m so sorry. It’s full. And we were like, okay, well, she goes, are you here tomorrow? And I said, no, we’re just tonight. I said, are you sure there’s nothing you could do? And she’s like, I just got off the phone with my manager.

I just got two more people on the tour. She told me No more people. And we were like, oh my God. So I. Mary and I, of course, I’m fucking with her, and I was like, Mary, where does the ghost horse start? She looked terrified and I was like, I’m just kidding. I’m not gonna crash the ghost tour. I’m just trying to go to the pool.

Then we go to the pool and it’s like kids splashing everywhere. There’s no seats. I was like, okay, this is too much. This is too much. We get to dinner. It was like, . Okay. It was not that good. Ah, I know, I know. The kind of meal you mean where you’re like, it looks nice and the plates are nice and the tablecloths nice, and then you eat it and you’re like, this is, it’s Menza menza.

But we laughed our faces off. I mean, I laughed so hard. My jaw is still sore today and I. Loved, loved being in a hotel room with my two girlfriends. That’s awesome. It was just like we were 16 again, we were using our little witch oracle cards, like figure out which witch you are and like , you know, what’s gonna be in the year to come and ask the deck a question.

Oh my gosh. If we were like one step away from a oui board. So it was, it was great. It was. Great. And I feel like I should have done that a long time ago. That’s wonderful. Yeah. Well, good job. What’s up with you? You just reminded me. So, you know, I live in the middle of nowhere, right? Mm-hmm. But there is like a Dollar General 15 minutes away.

So Sweet. It is some symbolization, but there used to be a diner. Like five minutes from my house. It was like in the middle of nowhere, you know? And of course it closed down, but it used to be the place we’d go to get like pancakes on Sunday. A new restaurant just opened up there now I can’t remember the name now that I’m telling you.

Great. . And I was like, we went with my kid kids cuz I was assuming it was gonna be like another, like back country diner. It was. , it was like halfway to fancy. What? And there were no booths, only like tables with chairs, which, you know, with kids you’re like, shit, I can’t trap them in the booth now. Mm-hmm.

And it’s like a really small restaurant and they obviously it was like opening night or something that were really close to it, and they were making a lot of effort to make it like, Country fancy. And my kids were just destroying it. And I was like, this was a bad choice. And it was taking forever to get our food cuz they like just opened.

And I was like, oh man. Oh no. But it was really good food. That’s good. So I’m just gonna go back again without my kids. No doubt. Absolutely. And by the way, the booth trap never works anyway cuz my kids always melt like fondu and they end up on the floor, it’s floor. It’s amazing. They just turn to jelly and then you’re like, now.

Stuck to the floor under this table. I’m like, what are you eating down there? Whatever adhesive, someone spit out last meal, disgusting. And in the winter everyone’s wet boots are down there. And I’m like, what is wrong with you? No, you animal get the mud. Mud slush and you try to lift them up, but you can’t.

No. Their bodies are like dead, but at least they’re not running around the restaurant. So it’s like, you know, trade. My son once went around to every table at IHOP and demanded that people give him their creamers so he could stack them up as high as, you know what? It’s IHOP. I just let it happen there. I did

I did. I was like, I’m trying to eat this pancake right now. Yes, . Anyway the point is go get some good food, spend some good time with your friends. If you haven’t called a buddy in a while, call and have a good chuckle. It’s gonna brighten your day. But you know what we’re actually gonna talk about today? We are going to ask the question, is breastfeeding birth control?

Oh, yes. We field this question all the time about like daily, whether or not it’s possible to conceive while breastfeeding. . So today we’re gonna tackle that big question is breastfeeding birth control, and we’re gonna dig into what it’s actually called, which is the lactation a Amen. And of course, some research and statistics behind it.

And you know, before we get deep into it, just a reminder that we both offer in-person and virtual consultation. You can find that those links in the show notes and we’ll be so happy to help you. All right, let’s take a quick minute to thank one of our sponsors and when we come back we are going to answer a question from a listener who sent us an email.

Imagine a. Where you seek lactation care and it’s easy and someone greets you at the door and they’re nice to you and they give you a hot cup of tea and let you sit on the couch and talk about all the issues, not just the breastfeeding issues. What a cozy fantasy is there anywhere that’s real? Oh, it’s real girl.

It’s real, and I’ve been building it for quite a long time. My business is called breastfeeding for busy moms, and me and every member of my team are trained in our three major tenants, which is accessibility. Kindness and personalization. If you wanna book a consult with Heather or anyone else on her team, you should head over to breastfeeding for busy moms.com.

We do accept some limited insurance and we’d be happy to walk you through it if you wanna give us a call. And that number’s on Google. So go sit on the cozy couch with Heather at breastfeeding for busy Moms. Love you guys.

Alright, welcome back. I’m ready for this email. I know I love it when people email us. Me too. So this is an email from Tara. Tara says, hi ladies. I discovered your podcast around four months into my breastfeeding journey and I wish I had found you sooner. Love your educational and fun approach to breastfeeding podcasting.

my daughter is now eight months old. I have heard many moms switch their babies to cow’s milk at some point or supplement. We don’t drink cow’s milk in our household for what we believe are ethical reasons. Do I have to give my daughter cow’s milk? Are there alternatives? Yeah, so we, we’ve talked about this a few times.

Cow’s milk is not obligatory. Cow’s milk is simply a convenient way to get some, like good nutrition into a toddler. , basically. Mm-hmm. . And it is an acceptable replacement for human milk after one year of age. Yeah. Not at eight months, but after a year of age. Right. So if you want to give something similar, you could give a plant milk and that’s fine.

However, just giving your baby like a well-rounded diet where you’re giving them the nutrients that they would be getting in milk is fine too. . Yep. If you live in a food desert and you don’t have access to fresh produce and you know, you don’t, or can’t afford vitamin D drops mm-hmm. that you would put in almond milk or something like that, then cow’s milk.

The whole cow’s milk is actually a decent whole food because the government kind of put in these mandates to sneak vitamins into it. So vitamin. Vitamin D H A. So, you know, it’s a good way to kind of get some easy calories and vitamins into kiddos, right? So, you know, either way is totally fine. You’re not gonna harm your kid by either giving them or not giving them cow’s milk.

It just kind of requires a little bit more like nutritional planning without it. Yep. Okay. So let’s dive right in. Why would breastfeeding prevent conception? Yeah, so if you’ve ever. Like been on social media in a mom group in your entire life you’ll see a million posts about like, oh my God, I can’t believe I got pregnant while breastfeeding them.

People be like, you’re an idiot. Of course you can get pregnant while breastfeeding and no you can’t. My doctor said this, so we’re just gonna like clear the air of that BS. Can’t clear this. I know why I wave my hands cuz you guys can’t see, but I’m waving out. She’s waving like a furious bird, , and let’s just say breastfeeding can prevent conception.

I’m going to tell you. Today is the why. Okay? Next week is the how. No Next week, . Next week we’re gonna get a little bit more detailed into infertility and some of the recommendations about breastfeeding while actually trying to get pregnant. So today we’re talking about why you might not get pregnant, and then next week we’re gonna talk about.

You would fix that if you want to get pregnant while breastfeeding. I can smell the brownies baking next door. Oh guys, it’s bad. Okay, so why on earth would lactation stop you from making a new baby? Here’s the thing, breastfeeding for many people causes a men or a pause in getting your periods, and in the case of breastfeeding, it’s a temporary cessation.

Why? Why does this happen? So, Here’s the thing, suckling induces a reduction lowering the gonadotropin, releasing hormone, lutin hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone release. So if you can think perhaps back to any education you’ve had, those are. Hormones in your menstrual cycle, right? So when you have a reduction in those hormones that results in a mere or not getting your period, in other words, your ovaries are asleep.

Yes, . And so here’s the thing also. Then we have this pathway where these beta endorphins are inhibiting that gonadotropin releasing hormone, and in turn, that actually stimulates prolactin secretion and milk production. kind of cool. Right. Wait, say it for me cuz I just blacked out. So we have the suckling and then we have this interesting intracerebral pathway that these beta endorphins from suckling travel through those inhibit gonadotropin releasing hormone.

Right. and at the same time stimulate prolactin secretion. Oh yeah. Yeah. So it’s like an in and out in the pituitary glance. It is. We got one thing going in and the other thing coming out and the thing coming out is pro breastfeeding, not pro make another baby. Yeah. And I’m just gonna run down what those hormones are again, because most of us like maybe learn this one time in school and then we.

Cool. Don’t need that information. Bye . Okay. So gonadotropin releasing hormone, or you might see this abbreviated as like Big G, little N, big R, big H. It causes the pituitary gland to make and secrete the luteinizing hormone and the follicle stimulating hormone. Those are considered gonadotropins.

They do stuff to your gonads. . Your gonads are your ovaries. Yeah. And boys gonads are their testicles. So our L eight H and F s H together cause the ovaries to make estrogen and progesterone and control ovulation. So the follicle stimulating hormone is what kind of starts maturing the egg as the egg moves closer.

Down the line of being the chosen egg. The chosen one, the chosen one, that FSH just makes it a big juicy future baby egg. That’s like waiting to, and then it explodes, shout out, and then the LH is this huge surge that shoots that egg out of your ovary like a rocket. It really does though. It literally sucks.

It’s so violent. If you see it under a microscope, not really a microscope, but if you see it, you know. Closeup with that crazy little camera that they have. Yeah. It literally looks like, yeah, it’s leaving orbit, just pound pounding through the ovary. And no wonder it shoots into these little like phalanges that your fallopian tubes have.

Jesus Christ, BA Cecilia. Yeah. Celia got layers, little fingers. They’re like, come here. A big juicy egg. Get into my tube. And some people, by the way, when that explosion happens mm-hmm. , they can feel it on one side and it’s called middle schmertz. And I swear to God, if I ever have a dog, I am naming it Middle schmertz.

Yeah. Some people describe it as like they feel like somebody took a really big pin and just like quick stabbed him. Like . Yeah. You can be like uhoh. And you’re like, ow ooh. What was. Anyway. Fun fact, men have all these hormones too. The gonadotropin releasing hormone, LH and Fs h even though they don’t have ovaries, and they affect how much testosterone and androgens are made and they control sperm production.

Cool. Isn’t it really cool? I mean, that’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard about a penis usually. I think they’re pretty boring . I know. It’s great. Okay, so now you kind of have a brief. Overview of why like feeding an infant from your body might cause your periods to stop, but that’s not exactly birth control in itself, right?

So when people talk about breastfeeding being birth control, what they’re really referring to is called the lactation method or l a m. and it’s not just, oh, breastfeed and you won’t have babies. It, it, it has a couple of really strict requirements. . Yeah. You have to adhere to the schedule. Otherwise it is not going to work.

Because our biological imperative, whether your brain wants it or not, is that our bodies want to make babies , and our ovaries sole job is to do. The baby making thing. So what you’re basically doing with breastfeeding is keeping those ovaries asleep going, no, no, not yet. Shh. Quiet . No. No, not yet. Not yet.

Not yet. Shh. But if you give it space to break through, if the cloud’s part for even a moment and you veer from the plan, the ovaries are like, I’m awake, and it can bust out an egg at any point in time. Yes.

I tell all my patients who are brand new parents to put a list of soothing techniques on the refrigerator so they can both remember what they’ve already tried for soothing. I like to put a happy tummy on that list. It’s a natural herbal wrap that soothes and relieves pain instantly, and it’s so fuzzy.

It’s so great. It helps baby sleep at night, resolves colic gas or constipation, and it’s great because it has a little cute animal on the front for when they’re doing tummy time, which provides gentle pressure to help them get their toots out. And you know what? They’re not just for babies. They have them for teens and adults.

So if you’re struggling with those period pains, get your herbal warm, happy tummy wrap today by going to happy tummy.com. And if you love us, enter promo code milk minute 10 for 10% off. That’s Milk Minute 10 for 10% off your happy tummy. Thank you so much for supporting the show. Heather, when you were nursing Heidi, did you get thirsty every single time?

Every single time I sat down to nurse, it was like the Sahara Desert had taken up residents in my mouth. Same. And my go-to drink right now is Liquid iv. Oh, me too. Liquid IV makes your water work harder cuz it has a hydration multiplier in it. That’s great tasting. Non gmo. And it actually has cellular transport technology that delivers hydration to the bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water.

You can also get their immune support blend, energy blend, or even one that helps with your sleep health. My personal favorite is Lemon Lime, and I think it actually makes me drink water two times faster, which is always handy when you have a screaming baby in the room. I really like the Tangerine and if you wanna try that today, you can go to the link in our show notes and use our discount code milk underscore minute for 15% off your order.

That’s milk underscore minute for 15% off your Liquid iv. Happy drinking.

So we’ve used this method throughout history as a natural way to space pregnancies. Right? But the methodology of it wasn’t actually like published in scientific journals until the 1980s. , wasn’t it Aristotle who first found, like, speculated on the connection? Oh yeah. And there have definitely been like ancient texts where we see writings about this.

But we didn’t actually have like what we would consider quote like scientific evidence until like 1988 or nine or something. And one of the problems we have with this is . It’s really hard to design a study for. And have like uniform exclusion criteria and like . But so most of the studies are kind of small.

However they have shown efficacy of upwards of 98%. So, , in order for this method to be that effective, what do we have to do? Let’s tell ’em. Okay. So first of all, it has to be in the first six months of life. Mm-hmm. . So if your baby is seven months old girl, your ovaries could waken at any moment. At any moment.

And it may be now middle schmertz. Yes. So first of all, your period has not returned at all. Yes. So if you haven’t had a period at all, . That’s good. That means you could still be in the game. Yeah. And if you’re in that first six months and more specifically, amen, or lack of a period is defined as no vaginal bleeding for at least 10 days since postpartum bleeding has stopped.

Yeah. And we field a lot of questions of like, is this my period? I’m. Five weeks postpartum, six weeks postpartum, eight weeks postpartum. , it’s a really tricky question to answer, but if we’re using this criteria if it’s been at least 10 days since you fully stop bleeding and you bleed again, that is likely to be a period now.

you are experiencing. Amen. Your baby is less than six months old and you must also be breastfeeding on demand both day and night, and baby has to be exclusively breastfeeding. No other source of nutrition and pumping and bottle feeding have not been included in these studies. We don’t know how it affects this.

I will say. That I wouldn’t trust that shit if I was pumping and bottle feeding at all. I would not be like, we’re probably good unless you definitely want a baby. Yeah. Now, if you are one of the lucky few whose baby sleeps through the nights at four months, you cannot use this method. Yep. So it’s, it’s tricky.

Now you might be thinking, wow, 98%, that’s great. It is great. However, there are some problems with it. . Mm-hmm. . One of the reasons you’ll almost never have a healthcare provider being like, absolutely use it, it’s very effective, is because any of these factors can just change. Like randomly. Your baby could randomly sleep through the night.

You might have to start pumping one day and you’re just not thinking about it, you know, or, or your period returns. But guess what happens? First you ovulate. First. You ovulate before you men straight folks. Facts. also l a m is not effective for infants who are not considered like healthy and waking themselves to feed particularly infants with metabolic disorders that might interrupt their natural feeding method.

It is considered not affected for people who use mood altering drugs. , like mental health support, drugs. That’s everyone, basically. Yes. It’s also not effective for a handful of other things like radioactive drugs and anticoagulants and let’s see. Repar, Retin. Ergotamine. Anti-metabolites.

Cyclosporine. Cyclosporine. Cycl. Cyclosporine. Thank you. Bromo, crypt, lithium. , you know? Yeah. So you might have been on, you know, like people who say they got pregnant with this method, could, they could have been on this, one of these drugs, maybe they’re on Zoloft and they didn’t know that it might not work if you’re using those medications.

So that’s a tricky one. . And also, let’s just say that 98. Leaves room for 2%. Yes. And those 2% are very vocal. Very vocal. Yes. As they should be. And yes. And also your i u D is not. A hundred percent, pretty much nothing except for total two removal. No, it’s, oh, well, total two removal. That’s pretty much it.

Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, I don’t know. I still heard a creepy story once . I did hear a story once. But yeah, so I, I would say the Nexplanon is more effective. It’s the most effective on the market. It’s more effective than IUDs percentage wise, but 98% is pretty good. It is pretty good, but you never know when it’s gonna end, right?

It’s good until it’s not, and that’s, that’s one of the reasons people don’t recommend it. Now, I did find a more up to date c review from 2015 that looked at. 500 studies about l e m, but they decided only about 16 of them met, like strict inclusion criteria. Hmm. Right. Because there are just so many factors that can influence your fertility.

And so out of this, they had some like kinda, you know all over the place results. A couple studies set at six months, their rates of pregnancy were between zero and 5%. , you know, and then they had some less controlled studies that of l e m users reported pregnancy rates of zero to 8%. Other studies that had different criteria had much lower percentages of pregnancy, like 0.8 to one point a half percent, so kind of all over the place.

right now. An interesting one for all the studies, the menstruation rate at six months. So those who got a period at six months was between 11 and 39%. So I thought that was interesting. , we still have a lot of people experiencing amenorrhea past that six month point. Mm-hmm. . . Yeah. And I would say that lines up with our in unofficial Yeah.

Facebook post that we did where people, you know, submitted their answers in a poll. Mm-hmm. and what episode did we really set in? I don’t know. I don’t, but it was about a third of the people said they got their period back before six months. Yeah. And, and that kind of lines up with this. Yeah. And there were, there were several that were like beyond a year.

They still hadn’t had a. . Absolutely. I really would love to have some more comprehensive study about that. There just isn’t. And here’s the thing, the, for these studies, there were several challenges to getting good data. One of the issues is that the definition of menstruation was not clear. Was it spotting?

Was it bleeding for a certain amount of days? Are we taking hormonal panels? Like what’s going on? Hmm. . Other thing to note is a lot of people who said, yes, I am using l a m, actually didn’t meet the criteria. , actually, they’re not. They just thought they. Oh yeah. Their baby’s like eating a hamburger cuz they’re nine months old and they’re like, I’m definitely using Lactational method.

And you’re like, because they didn’t have their period back yet. You’re not. And pretty much all the studies lacked a control group. A couple of them used a control group with IUDs. As a very, and are these people that are trying to get pregnant? Right? And that’s thing of how often are we having sex?

Are we blowing a load inside? Like what did it land in your belly button this time and now you can’t get it out? Yeah. So you can just imagine if you were designing a study about this, like you would just have to think of a lot of questions to ask these people. and you’re probably gonna miss a couple, a lot of very personal questions.

Right. And people are generally kind of poor historians about their own body. Absolutely. When it comes to like cervical mucus, are you getting into that from basal? I wasn’t gonna talk about that in this episode because, well, let me just mention it really quick. . So I will say though, that a lot of my patients that are like, you know what, I’ve tried hormonal stuff before.

Mm-hmm. , I haven’t had my period back. I realize it’s a risk I’m, but I don’t want a baby right now. I will say, okay, so some of the other things you can put in place, Are your basal body temperature. Yeah. So you can get your basal body temperature and your cervical mucus. Yes. So really you have to really know your body though.

You do. And thankfully now there’s apps you can use to track this mm-hmm. and they like prompt you with a notification like, what was your mucus like? And you’re like, oh, like egg whites. Yeah. Oh no, I’m ovulating. And, and the thing with that, If you have never used like natural family planning methods before, it’s really hard to start while you’re breastfeeding.

Hmm, that is a very good point. Yes. Because things, you don’t have a good baseline. You don’t, and typically what we recommend, if you’re using those kind of temperature and mucus charting to chart your fertility, usually the books are like, Hey, do that for three months before you rely on it. Mm. because you not only need to understand the patterns of your body like on paper, but you also have to like feel the mucus and get a feel for like how to assess that and what you’re writing down.

Right? That’s true. And also it, you know, when you’re breastfeeding, it’s a very dry time in your vagina. So if one day. You know, you take your temperature and you’re like, oh, weird. My temperature was spiked yesterday and today it’s back down so long and my cervical mucus is like egg whites and God, I’m so horny.

Don’t have sex day. Don’t have sex that day. You’re and, and your husband’s like, oh my God, you look beautiful today. It’s always then, it’s always, always, then stop smelling the pheromones. . Yeah. Oh my God. You’re ovulating. Even if you haven’t menstruated yet. No, you’re probably ovulating. wear a condom.

Mm-hmm. , enjoy yourself. By all means, go for it. But just know that’s probably what’s happening. Yeah. And really to, to be able to rely. more on l a m for birth control. You know, we need more research. We need studies that have better definitions, better inclusion criteria. We need better descriptions of the populations included.

Well, and let’s be honest, the medical field doesn’t want this to work. No, I, I mean, you can’t make money off of this unless you develop like an app that asks you every day, like, is your baby still under six months? Mm-hmm. , and are they still not having a bottle? You know, but, but you know, the, the review that we were just talking about did conclude that fully breastfeeding people who remain Amen, have a very small risk of pregnancy in the first six months.

Right? Like we’ve established that most of the studies. Agree that it is pretty effective and as effective as many other forms of birth control. However, because of the lack of influence we have over some of these very key elements that make it work, it’s unpredictable. So. You know, we usually recommend that you use another method of birth control with it, like Heather was talking about.

We can use ones that do not involve medication, or you could use an I U D. You could use condoms. So here’s one of the problems we have and why. You’re almost never gonna have a baby in the hospital, and they’re gonna be like, you’re fine for six months. people fall through the cracks in six months and we don’t have a lot of people coming in for regular preventative healthcare, and when we cannot guarantee that you’re gonna come back before that six months is up to get another form of birth control, then l a m is probably gonna fail.

Right. And as you know, yours and your midwives don’t want that to happen if you don’t want a baby . And also there is something to be said for baby spacing and your health. Absolutely. So, I mean, ideal baby spacing, they. Say is 18 months, you know, that gives your body a little bit of a chance to recover. It gives the baby a chance to be a baby.

Mm-hmm. and it allows you to breastfeed. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , you know, and really kind of recover your mental health, adjust to your new family. There’s a lot of reasons why baby spacing is not a bad thing. Nothing wrong with, you know, banging ’em out if your. Totally ready for it. And you’re like, and there are some circumstances Yeah.

That that is appropriate. Right, exactly. And we can’t make that choice for you. Right. But I’m gonna say, if you don’t want a baby and you know you wanna wait, but you would like to defer using other forms of birth control until after that six month mark, right before you leave your birthing place , or before your last visit with your midwife, put that visit on the calendar.

right at five months postpartum. Mm-hmm. that you’re gonna go back, you’re gonna discuss birth control again, and you’re gonna get it now. I just told you all the problems, , why it’s not good. But it’s still important and let’s talk about that. I think it’s important also because we need to learn about it so we can teach our daughters.

Yeah. And honestly, birth control is not universally available. , even in a first world country, , right? Mm-hmm. , we have had. unsurprising, but kind of scary changes in our laws in the past year that make me question whether or not birth control will always be available here. We have had interruption in supply chains, right where we are having trouble getting medications, and that is in a country where we assume we have very ready access to this.

There are billions of people who have zero access to birth control, so, . Educating people on methods that they can practically use is very important. And it just, it brings that generational wisdom back into our culture that we lost so long ago. Right. And it gives us power over our own fertility. You know, and, and that is really important.

And the reality is this is a method that is available to people regardless of race and economic status and location, you know, all of that. As long as you are breastfeeding, you’re a baby, you can probably make this work for six months. . So yeah, I think it is an option that everybody should be educated on fully.

Yeah. Starting young, you know? And actually, I don’t mean to just say educate your daughters cuz I educate my son too. Yes. On this, because I’ll be honest with you guys, my husband knows everything about my menstrual cycle. He is on point as he should, and he should. It is not just my responsibility to make sure I don’t get pregnant.

Mm-hmm. , like he is very aware of what is going on. It’s, it’s not my responsibility at all anymore. We got a vasectomy. Yes. Yeah. I don’t know, I just, I think that it’s important for the family Yeah. To understand what’s happening. Mm-hmm. , you know, maybe not in real time. Your kids don’t need to be like, oh, are you ovulating today?

Like, that would be so annoying, but No, but you know, like, I mean we have books about it. Griffin goes through phases where he gets interested in and not, you know, and whatever. But it’s important for him to know and yeah. Does he retain the information between, not right now, but when he’s a teenager, when he is an adult.

if he ends up with a partner who has periods, you know he’s gonna understand them. Yeah. And he’s also gonna correct any misinformation his partner has. Yeah. Like I, I don’t, I can’t get pregnant because I squeeze it out after I heard that once and I was like, sorry, what did you say? And she’s like, oh yeah, teach your sons and daughters.

She’s like, yeah, afterwards I just go to the bathroom and I just push it out. And I was like, oh my. , are you pregnant right now? Yeah. You’re like, geez. You know, and so like that guy should know like mm-hmm, that’s not gonna work. That’s not a good method. Yeah. So like educate yourselves. Yeah. I think they should always have respect and awe for your body and what it’s doing and the cyclical nature of females and I think just like building that respect back in Yeah.

Absolutely. Is really important. . Awesome. Well, let’s take a little break. We’re gonna chat about a sponsor and we will be back with awards and reviews.

If you’re pumping milk away from your baby at all at work or wherever you go, you deserve a bougie product. To make that easier for you, you deserve a series chiller and frankly, I could not live without one right now. The series Chiller is an excellent way to store your breast milk safely, and it keeps your breast milk cold for 24 hours.

It is the only thing I use to transport my breast milk to and from work while I’m working. It’s got a sleek and beautiful design. Lots of great colors, high quality materials and manufacturing. Sir Chill also has other products that you might wanna check out too. My personal favorite is the milk stash.

They have a great nipple shield that actually changes colors and it’s not clear like all the other ones . And you know how we feel about that . If you want to have your very own series chiller, please go to the link, our show notes and use. Minute 15 at checkout. That’s Milk Minute 15 for 15% off your series Chill products.

Enjoy.

Welcome back. I hope you’re not mad at us about this episode, , it’s a very controversial topic. I don’t feel like it should be. I know, I just, I think what happens is that for those who do follow this method and still either get pregnant before six months is up, or get their period back, just feel really invalidated by it.

Mm-hmm like, and I get that. Am I doing breastfeeding wrong because my brain woke up, my ovaries? Totally get it. Yeah. It’s not your fault, you know, it, it, it’s not a hundred percent effective. So on that note, Let’s take an upswing and give an award. Yes. Do you wanna read it? Yeah, why not? All right. This award goes to Haley Trick, 9.5 months and counting of breastfeeding, my baby girl.

I’ve loved the journey of highs and lows, tongue tie, and distracted. Nursing have been hurdles for sure, but the daily cuddles are so worth it all. I recently found out that I’m expecting baby number two. Congratulations. And hope that we can make it to her first birthday and well beyond already making plans and setting expectations for what Tandem Feeding may look like.

Love that. Hey Haley, I know this girl . I’m very excited for you. We’re gonna give you the Sweet Intentions Award. Oh, that suits her. It really does. Congratulations, Haley. I’m really excited. Call me . Yay. Another milk Minute, baby. . Oh my God. All right, so I’m gonna read you an Apple review before we get out of here and reminder that we read them every single week.

So thank you so much for everybody that’s taken the time to do that. It really does help support the show. Yeah. This is from Slacker Grocery Shopper, which same? I love that same, I love that so much. She says, thank you. I only started listening to the podcast a couple months ago, and wow. I am always skeptical of websites, et cetera, that give new parents advice.

As a lactation consultant, I hold myself to the highest standards possible. Maureen and Heather did not disappoint all of the information they share is truly evidence-based and delivered in an awesome way, mixed with a good amount of common sense humor and strong compassion for new mothers. I have been singing their praises and recommending the milk.

all the moms I work with and other lactation professionals and will continue to do so, so proud of these West Virginia women. Killing it. Thanks girl. Yes. Love that. I would say let’s go grocery shopping together, but we don’t want to. We’re slackers, . . Oh my goodness. Thank you so much. I, yeah. And, and I hope you guys really enjoyed the episode today.

We’re actually gonna come back next week kind of with a related topic where we’re gonna talk. Folks who have trouble conceiving while breastfeeding infertility during lactation. So definitely come back for that one. Mm-hmm. . Yep. We are excited about that one. And thank you for listening to another episode of the Milk Minute podcast.

The way we change this big old system that is not made to support us is by educating ourselves, our friends and family, and sometimes our healthcare providers. Yeah. Sometimes, and sometimes our. Our partners that need to know more about our periods. Absolutely. All right. Well, if you wanna join us on Patreon, you can find us at patreon.com/milk minute podcast and support us for as little as 25 cents an episode, which we’ll go to helping build our new studio in the new office, which is very exciting.

We’re so excited for it. All right, guys. We’ll talk to you next week. Bye-bye.

Sources: Postpartum contraception: the lactational amenorrhea method – PubMed (nih.gov)

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action : WABA

Lactational amenorrhoea method for family planning – PMC (nih.gov)

patreon_logo

Get behind the scenes access and exclusive perks when you support us on Patreon!