Is breast-feeding helpful in preventing pregnancy

All couples will have to decide on some or other means of birth control, during some stage of their life. Many factors will have to be considered before sticking on to a contraceptive device that best suits a particular couple.

Women who have just delivered a baby often use continuous breast-feeding as their means of birth control. Many women opt breast-feeding since it is safe, simple, and convenient.
It can be employed as a birth control method if only the mother breastfeeds her baby exclusively.

This means that the baby should not be exposed to any other external food source, other than his mother’s milk. The act of breastfeeding results in certain natural changes in a woman’s body and as a result of these changes, pregnancy is prevented.

The hormonal changes that occur within the body of a lactating mother interfere with the release of the egg from the ovary and ovulation is hindered. In the absence of fertilized egg, pregnancy is simply out of question.

Effectiveness is the most important concern of couples as they choose a particular birth control method. Studies indicate that two out of every hundred women who use exclusive breast-feeding as their contraceptive weapon fall pregnant within the first six months after delivery. This method is found to be more effective in those women in whom the menstrual cycles have not resumed after delivery.

It should be ensured that women who are using lactation as a contraceptive means does not substitute breast milk for any other food item. It is also advisable to breast feed the baby once in every four hours during the day and once in every six hours during night.

However, breastfeeding will not provide any sort of protection from sexually transmitted infections. It is better to use latex or female condoms in order to reduce the risk of falling prey to such infections. By the time your baby is six months old, it is advisable that you start using some other artificial method of contraception.

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