Can you use FAM while postpartum and breastfeeding?
The answer is YES! And I absolutely encourage you to 👏🏼👏🏼
But, it can be a bit trickier. Here is what you need to know…
After you have your baby and you deliver the placenta, the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop rapidly. In fact, it’s said that they drop to pre-pregnancy levels within 24 hours….how crazy is that?!
In addition to estrogen and progesterone dropping, the hormone prolactin increases. If you choose to breastfeed, prolactin will continue to be stimulated as your baby suckles, and may stay high for up to a year postpartum.
So, why is this all important?
Well, prolactin inhibits the production of estrogen and progesterone.
And we need rising + PEAKING levels of estrogen in order for our brain to get the signal to release luteinizing hormone, and therefore, trigger ovulation.
Low levels of estrogen = lack of ovulation.
In addition, your body will not produce progesterone until after you ovulate for the first time again.
So, having said that, how can you use FAM for birth control when your hormones are all out-of-whack?! 🤪
Luckily, the BEST indicator of estrogen levels beginning to rise again (aka ovulation approaching) is you will begin to see cervical mucus again. When you notice that you’re producing fertile CM again, get out the LH strips, mama!
Using FAM postpartum simply means returning to your daily practice of observing CM clues to determine your fertile window. Now, are you most likely not going to notice any CM for a while? Totally, and that’s ok. It just means you can’t rely on a “typical” FAM pattern like before.
I would also get in the habit of taking your basal body temp again to give you extra data + help you confirm ovulation has happened.
Are you planning on using FAM post-baby? 🤰🏻