You’ve just had your baby, you’re breastfeeding and you wonder: is there is any chance I could get pregnant? The possibility exists. Most sources say that breastfeeding is approximately 98% effective as a contraceptive. This method of contraception, Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM), is most effective for women who are breastfeeding “full time”, in other words 9 out of 10 daily feedings. The belief is that breastfeeding triggers a hormone that stops ovulation from occurring. If you plan to breastfeed full time for six months to a year you may remain period free the entire time.
That said, every women’s body is different and if you are lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps through the night, ovulation may resume more quickly for you. And here’s the tricky part: you may even release an egg before you begin bleeding again. The simple answer is the following: if you are not breastfeeding full time and are sure you don’t want to get pregnant, it’s always safest to use a barrier method (condoms and diaphragms) as back-up.