Getting pregnant while breastfeeding

Patient

Q: I have been off birth control for 8 months, and I am still breastfeeding my 21 month old son. Should I be concerned I'm not getting pregnant? I have also had 3 normal cycle periods

Symptoms:  None
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for contacting askthedoctor.com
As you have been breast feeding your child since last 21 months, i would sincerely like to advise you to stop breast feeding if you are planning pregnancy again. It is seen that you have regained your regular monthly menstrual pattern again and have not been on contraception for last 8 months to allow conception.
The possible reason is breast feeding which produces a hormone called Prolactin during suckling and is responsible for suppression of ovulation as long as the mother continues breast feeding. The mother may regain menses as in your case but the cycles are anovulatory, i.e. Ovulation is not occurring due to inadequate follicular recruitment and thereafter formation of a dominant follicle.
So , the chances of conception can be increased if breast feeding is stopped hereafter . You may consult your physician and may get a hormonal profile done to appreciate the hormonal changes and seek further advice. However , it is recommended by WHO as well that essential breast feeding should last exclusively for 6 months post delivery and thereafter weaning should be initiated over next 6-8months.

I hope i have answered your queries in detail .
Wishing you best of health,
Regards

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