breastfeeding and fertilityThere is a theory that the female human body will naturally space pregnancies, only allowing conception when the body is ready for another fetus. The theory depends heavily on cessation of ovulation and lactation amenorrhea while breastfeeding. If a woman actively breastfeeds often, allows no alternative feeding methods and does not pump breast milk, anovulation can last until she stops breastfeeding or weans the baby down to only a few feedings a day. When she begins ovulating again, the body is ready to conceive. This can take from 12 to 18 months, for some women, thus naturally spacing children about two years apart.

The idea of natural spacing is based on the body’s reaction to lactation hormones. Not all women experience lactation amenorrhea; in some cases, women ovulate soon after giving birth. Breastfeeding should not be considered a form of birth control if you are not ready to conceive another child soon after giving birth.

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