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Helpful Hints: Breastfeeding and Natural Family Planning

Fact: Fertility Awareness = Natural Family Planning, it involves paying close attention to the menstrual cycle by using methods that include:

  1. Basal Body temperature Method (BBT)
  2. Cervical Mucus Method
  3. Computation of Standard Days

Tips: If a mother has not learned to use NFP before becoming pregnant, it may be more difficult to gauge her return to fertility if she starts using this method while breastfeeding.

Benefit: NFP does not affect breastfeeding and is free from side effects.

Risk: Predicting the fertile phase can be more difficult in women with variable length cycles. Also, training is necessary for NFP to be effective. The mother and her partner must agree to abstain from intercourse when she is fertile after the baby is 6 months old. A woman with a 28 day menstrual cycle has about 6 days a month when can get pregnant.

Myth: Nursing a baby during a menstrual period is unwise.

Breastfeeding Resource: Office of Population Affairs, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. 200 Independent Ave, SW Washington, DC 20201 Family Planning (240) 453-2888, Office of Population Affairs (240) 453-2800 www.hhs.gov/opa/reproductive-health/contraception/natural-family-planning