If you are currently breastfeeding and already dreaming about getting pregnant again, you are not alone! Many women think about adding to their family before they’ve finished breastfeeding.
While it is true that breastfeeding can delay the return of your fertility - especially if you are nursing a lot – it is not necessary for you to wean when you are trying to get pregnant while breastfeeding. If your period has returned with regular frequency it is likely that you are fertile again; however, if you experience short or sporadic periods, it is possible that your fertility has not returned yet. There are tools available, like a family planning chart, which can help you figure out your cycle and fertility while breastfeeding.
If and when you do become pregnant while nursing, be assured that research shows it is safe to breastfeed when you are pregnant. Many moms continue to nurse throughout their pregnancy and go on to nurse both their newborn and their older child (also known as tandem nursing).
Because the taste of breastmilk changes when you are pregnant as your body is preparing to nourish your newborn, it can sometimes happen that your current baby will reduce nursing sessions or self-wean.
If you do not want to get pregnant, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about what birth controls are the best for you while you’re still breastfeeding.
UP NEXT: Breastfeeding older infants