How to Recognize the Signs of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding

Updated on June 21, 2019
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Trained in dentistry, Sree is currently studying lab sciences. She enjoys researching various health topics and writing about her findings.

Reviewed By
Mark P. Trolice, MD, FACOG, FACS, FACE, Director, Fertility CARE: The IVF Center
There are quite a few signs that could point to pregnancy if you are breastfeeding, but there are only three ways to positively know if you are pregnant.
There are quite a few signs that could point to pregnancy if you are breastfeeding, but there are only three ways to positively know if you are pregnant.

Can You Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

There is a prevailing, old-fashioned belief that one can't get pregnant while breastfeeding. This is not true. Women can get pregnant while breastfeeding, even if their periods have not yet resumed after giving birth.

Although new mothers usually do not ovulate before three weeks after giving birth, and a mother may not menstruate for months after giving birth, there's no way to ensure or predict exactly when her body will release its first postpartum egg, and she won't know until roughly two weeks after ovulation.

However, if she is breastfeeding her baby exclusively (no formula) 24/7, she may not ovulate or menstruate again for six months, or even longer, after delivery. In other words, the more often her baby nurses, the longer it may be before she gets her period again. ("May not" does not mean "will not," and she may get her period tomorrow, as well. The only controllable method of pregnancy prevention is contraception.)

Lactational Amenorrhea Method

Still, breastfeeding has been used by many mothers as a natural and effective contraceptive method. Termed the "Lactational Amenorrhea Method" (LAM), it is effective only under certain conditions. These are:

  • The infant is exclusively breastfed.
  • The infant is not more than six months old.
  • The mother is still amenorrheic (no menstrual flow since giving birth).

If her baby sleeps through the night at an early age, her period will probably return more quickly. The same is true if she's supplementing with formula. If some break or variation in the feeding schedule triggers ovulation, there's no way to know or predict if her body will release its first postpartum egg, and she won't find out until roughly two weeks later.

Although breastfeeding may reduce a woman’s fertility, it does not prevent pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

Many mothers are concerned about the safety of pregnancy while breastfeeding, but there is no real reason to worry.

For most women, breastfeeding while pregnant is fine and will not harm either baby—the one in your arms or the one growing inside. Many mothers not only continue nursing during pregnancy but continue "tandem nursing" after the new baby is born—breastfeeding both children at once.

As part of the let-down reflex related to milk production, the uterus contracts in response to the oxytocin released, so breastfeeding while pregnant may put high-risk mothers in danger of miscarriages, which may be due to elevations in prolactin. If the woman has a history of preterm labor, bleeding, or uterine pain, it might be wise to stop breastfeeding as a precautionary measure.

If the mother is not high-risk, then breastfeeding is generally safe during pregnancy. Of course, should a woman decide to breastfeed while pregnant, she will want to make some adjustments. Nutrition will be extremely important. Three people—the growing fetus, the breastfeeding child, and the mother—will need adequate nutrition, and dietary adjustments should be made to address the needs of all three. The diet should have more fruits and vegetables and an adequate balance of carbohydrates and proteins. Nutritional supplements like prenatal vitamins should be taken regularly.

Ask Your Doctor If Breastfeeding While Pregnant Is Safe for You

While breastfeeding during pregnancy is generally considered safe, you should consult with your doctor in the following scenarios:

  • If you have a high-risk pregnancy or are at risk for preterm labor;
  • If you are carrying twins;
  • If you are having bleeding or uterine pain.

How Does Breastfeeding Affect Pregnancy?

The stimulation of nipples that occurs during breastfeeding stimulates the hormone prolactin, which has a negative effect on the reproductive hormones. The higher the prolactin levels in the body, the less fertile one is. Prolactin can inhibit ovulation and prevents menstrual flow. Following six months of exclusive around the clock lactation, prolactin levels and ovulatory menstrual cycles return to normal. Then, only during breastfeeding, will prolactin levels rise. Even if the above conditions have been met, it is still not a 100% effective contraceptive method.

Most women may become pregnant once their menstrual flow resumes. However, it is also possible to ovulate without any menstrual flow. The longer one remains amenorrheic, the more likely it is to ovulate without any menstrual flow. In both cases, one can get pregnant.

Typical Baseline Prolactin Levels in Women

Woman's Condition
Prolactin Level
Not pregnant or lactating
<25 ng/mL
Pregnant (at term)
200 ng/mL
7 days postpartum (lactating)
100 ng/mL
3 months postpartum (lactating)
100 ng/mL
180 days postpartum (no menstruation, lactating)
110 ng/mL
180 days postpartum (menstruation started and still lactating)
70 ng/mL
6 months postpartum (lactating)
50 ng/mL
According to Riordan J.: Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 3rd ed., 2005, and Walker M.: Breastfeeding Management for the Clinician: Using the Evidence, 2006.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding

Early signs of pregnancy after giving birth are generally the same as those that are seen in a regular pregnancy. These are classified based on how well they can predict whether a woman is pregnant or not.

Presumptive Signs (Weak Indicators of Pregnancy)

Presumptive signs of pregnancy are least indicative. They are mostly subjective (only the mom can feel the sign, and nobody else can see it), and other things may cause them. They include:

  • Changes in the Breast
  • Changes in Milk Production
  • Other Physical Symptoms

Probable Signs (Moderate Chance of Being Pregnant)

Probable signs of pregnancy can be observed by someone else other than the mother. These are more reliable than presumptive signs but they are not completely accurate in revealing pregnancy. These include:

  • Fetal Outline
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions
  • Chadwick's Sign
  • Goodell's Sign
  • Hegar's Sign
  • Ballottement
  • Laboratory Tests

Positive Signs (Confirmed Pregnancy)

Positive signs are those that guarantee that the woman is pregnant. If you have these signs, there is a hundred percent guarantee that you're pregnant. So far, only three positive signs are recognized by medical professionals.

  • Heartbeat of the Fetus That Is Separate From the Mother's
  • Seeing the Fetus Through Ultrasound
  • Movement of the Fetus That Is Felt by an Examiner

If your breastfeeding child is older than an infant, you're more likely to be ovulating, and therefore it is easier to get pregnant.
If your breastfeeding child is older than an infant, you're more likely to be ovulating, and therefore it is easier to get pregnant. | Source

Presumptive Signs: Changes in the Breast

Changes in the breasts are among the earliest signs of pregnancy. A woman may notice these when she is six weeks pregnant. These changes are side effects of the pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone. These will affect the breasts and prepare them for breastfeeding after birth—even if she is currently nursing already.

Note: Breast changes can occur for many reasons, so even though they can sometimes point to pregnancy, avoid thinking of them as signs of pregnancy.

Medications Can Cause Tenderness Whether or Not You're Pregnant

Medication may cause breast tenderness, so read the drug information leaflet to know if it is one of its potential side effects. Some medicines that cause breasts to feel tender are contraceptives, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.

Lumps Can Form For Many Reasons

Pregnancy and other conditions that involve hormonal changes may cause the breasts to develop lumps. These lumps may be filled with milk (galactoceles), fluid (cysts), or fibrous tissue (fibroadenoma).

  • Galactoceles: Galactoceles are small sacs containing milk within the breast. They are large, soft lumps often found at the lower part of the breasts. These lumps form when the outlets of the milk ducts get blocked. Breastfeeding mothers and those who have recently weaned their babies may develop them. They usually resolve without the need for any treatment. Galactoceles may or may not be a sign of pregnancy.
  • Cysts: Cysts are fluid-filled lumps caused by changes in hormonal levels. They often have no other accompanying symptoms, and only a few of them are painful. Women who are menopausal or nearing menopause are more prone to developing cysts than younger women. Menopausal women receiving HRT (Hormone Replacement Treatment) may develop these. Again, cysts are not sure signs of pregnancy, but they may indicate it.
  • Fibroadenomas: Fibroadenomas are solid round lumps that may be moved around the breast. They can disappear on their own after menstruation, but sometimes, they increase in size during pregnancy. If you notice movable lumps that seem to be growing, you may be pregnant.
  • Lipomas: Lipomas are not caused by pregnancy or hormonal changes, but by excess fats. They can form on any part of the body containing fat, such as the breasts. It is a condition, which affects 1 in 100 people but a person usually gets only 1 to 2 lipomas on the body. Unlike a cyst or fibroadenoma, a lipoma feels squishy when pressed. Also, a lipoma is deep while a cyst is shallow and near the surface of the skin.
  • Breast Cancer: Most lumps such as cysts, fibroadenomas, and lipomas are benign, but some may also be cancerous. It is not common during pregnancy, but if you notice lumps on your breasts, have them checked by the doctor just to be safe—especially if the lumps are painful and bigger than two inches, and if you have a family history of cancer.

Breast Infections Are Common While Breastfeeding

Breast infections (mastitis) are not signs of pregnancy. These may cause the breasts to feel tender, so to rule out pregnancy, consider whether you have cracked nipples, whether there is a painful area on your breast that is hot and red, and whether you have breastfeeding problems. If you have a fever, it is a sign that you have an infection.

Infection is treated by cleaning wounds and by taking antibiotics for about a week. Tell your doctor that you are breastfeeding so they can give you medicine that is safe for your baby. After eliminating the bacteria, your breast tenderness may go away as well.

Clogged Milk Ducts Are Common While Breastfeeding

Some milk proteins may pile up and prevent the rest of the milk from flowing properly. The stagnant milk may serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. Even if there is no bacterial infection, the immune system may mistake the proteins as foreign bodies and attack them—leading to inflammation. If milk ducts become clogged, they can be treated by the following measures:

  • If possible, feed the baby with only breastmilk and not formula for at least six months.
  • Breastfeed when the baby asks for milk, even during odd hours of the night. During the first months, this can be every two to three hours.
  • Encourage the baby to drink milk when your breasts are sore.
  • Do not interrupt the baby's feeding—try not to remove the breast; wait for him to release it, instead.
  • If you intend to cut down on feedings, do so gradually to allow the milk glands to adjust.
  • Ensure that the baby is adequately attached to the breast. When they open their mouth wide, the mother should bring the baby to her breast. The baby will tilt their head back and take a mouthful of the breast, resting towards the roof of their mouth.
  • Try different feeding positions.
  • Massage the painful breast to remove blockages.
  • Warm the breast with a warm compress or bathe in warm water. Doing so can help soften the milk and dissolve clogs.
  • Express the leftover milk after feedings.

Presumptive Signs: Milk Production Decreases

When a breastfeeding mother is pregnant, she may notice her milk production starts to decrease. If you notice that your milk is not as abundant as before, you may have gotten pregnant.

Again, pregnancy is not the only cause of a decreased milk supply. Stress and illness can cause your body to go into survival mode and divert energy used for milk production into crucial bodily activities.

Substances, such as liquor, caffeine, and nicotine can dehydrate you and weaken your breasts' ability to release milk. Let go of these vices while you are still feeding your child so your breasts can produce milk, which is safe to drink and in adequate amounts.

Certain kinds of medication can do this, as well. If a medication is prescribed to you, let your doctor know that you are breastfeeding so he or she can give you medicine that won't interfere with it.

When taken in large doses, some herbs such as peppermint and parsley can actually decrease your milk output. When breastfeeding, avoid consuming too many herbs and spices. Dehydration and malnutrition will also lower your milk supply, so eat and drink properly when nursing.

If you had problems conceiving, you may also have problems with breastfeeding. For the breasts to make milk, they rely on hormonal signals that are sent to them. If you have hormonal imbalances, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, hypertension, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, or another ailment, it's likely that you won't have much milk. You may have to use milk formula or get breast milk from another mom—talk with your pediatrician to know what to do.

Early symptoms of pregnancy after giving birth is much the same as the symptoms you had in your previous pregnancy.
Early symptoms of pregnancy after giving birth is much the same as the symptoms you had in your previous pregnancy. | Source

Other Presumptive Physical Symptoms That May Indicate Pregnancy

There are quite a few physical symptoms that may point to pregnancy, but could also be caused by a number of other reasons. These include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Amenorrhea
  • Implantation Bleeding or Spotting
  • Frequent Urination
  • Uterine Enlargement
  • Quickening
  • Skin Changes

Nausea and Vomiting

Morning sickness is most notable during the first trimester of pregnancy and goes away by the second trimester. Certain food tastes and aromas can trigger nausea and vomiting. Many women report intolerance to fish. If you didn't have your period yet and you start to feel uncomfortable during the mornings, you may have conceived. Smelling citrusy scents can help alleviate nausea. Make sure to get enough nutrients even with the discomfort of nausea and vomiting. Eat less carbohydrate-rich food and more proteins at this stage.

When you vomit and feel nauseated, avoid thinking that you are pregnant right away. Maybe you have just become sick. Food poisoning, viral infections, and other illnesses can cause this, so it's best to visit your doctor first to know whether you're experiencing morning sickness or something else.

Fatigue

Breastfeeding already taxes the body's energy, and adding pregnancy will further decrease the mother's reserves. Pregnant breastfeeding mothers may notice the need for more daytime naps than usual, and there is also an overall decrease in energy throughout the day. Aside from the demands of breastfeeding and pregnancy, other things can cause the body's energy reserves to be depleted. Examples of these drains are stress, illness, problems, and major life changes. Whether you are fatigued because of pregnancy or another health condition, you can cope better by taking more frequent naps to recharge and trying to maintain a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Consuming fruits and vegetables can help increase energy levels.

Amenorrhea

A missed period can be caused by pregnancy or other conditions such as anovulation (no egg is released), low body weight, stress, chronic disease, and endocrine abnormalities. If you have amenorrhea, consult your gynecologist.

Implantation Bleeding or Spotting

This is spotting or slight bleeding caused by the implantation of the embryo into the uterine wall. It typically occurs one week following ovulation. While the bleeding and/or cramping is light and short-lived, implantation bleeding is not necessary for a healthy pregnancy. If the bleeding is accompanied by pain, go to the hospital as soon as you can.

Frequent Urination

When a fetus grows, it presses against the bladder and causes it to shrink. Because her bladder fills up more quickly, she will urinate more frequently than usual. Frequent urination may be caused by pregnancy, but also other conditions like diabetes, kidney and/or urinary tract infections, bladder dysfunctions, uterine enlargement not related to pregnancy, and more. It can also be a result of simply drinking more fluids or taking diuretics (medications or substances that increase urine output).

Uterine Enlargement

After giving birth, the uterus will gradually return to its normal, pre-pregnancy size. For the first few days after delivery, the top of your uterus can be felt at or slightly below your belly button. After two weeks, it will be entirely in the pelvic area.

Pregnancy is not the only cause of the enlargement of the uterus. Conditions such as adenomyosis (thickening of the walls of the uterus) and fibroids (benign tumors of the uterus' wall) can also cause this. Other symptoms of adenomyosis are bleeding between periods, heavy and painful periods, constipation, pressure in the lower abdomen, frequent urination, and painful sexual intercourse. Adenomyosis causes similar symptoms, but the pain during periods tends to worsen over time. Imaging tests and physical exams can determine what causes the uterus to become bigger than normal

Quickening

Quickening is the fetus' movement felt by the mother. Usually, a pregnant mom may be able to feel her baby move at around 16 weeks. If you feel something moving inside your belly earlier than that, it may be caused by other things such as gas or movements of the intestines. Pseudocyesis or false pregnancy may also cause a sensation of having a baby even if there is none. On the other hand, genuine fetal movements may be hard to detect if you are extremely obese. This is why detecting the actual baby is the only reliable indicator of pregnancy.

Skin Changes

Pregnancy can cause certain signs on the skin—but remember: other things can cause them as well.

  • Linea Nigra: This is a dark line on the abdomen, which appears around the 23rd week of pregnancy. It starts from above the pubic hair and runs straight upwards to the belly button. Sometimes, a linea alba or light line appears and turns into a linea nigra later on. This is believed to be caused by the effect of hormones to the skin, causing it to create a dark pigment called melanin. Dark-skinned women are more prone to having this sign. This usually disappears after birth, so if it reappears, it could indicate that you are pregnant again.
  • Melasma: Melasma, or also known as chloasma (mask of pregnancy), is a condition of having dark patches of skin on the face. Like linea nigra, this is an effect of the hormones on the skin's pigmentation. Melasma can also occur on other parts of the body such as the areola. Although pregnancy hormones cause melasma, other things may also cause the skin to develop dark blotches: genetic factors, chronic sun exposure, medication use (ex. phenytoin and other drugs causing skin sensitivity to ultraviolet light), Addison's disease and certain types of skin conditions.
  • Striae Gravidarum: More commonly known as stretch marks, striae gravidarum are thin lines on the skin resulting from a growing belly during pregnancy (striae means grooves and gravidarum means pregnancy). The skin develops stretch marks when it grows faster than it can adjust itself. These marks often appear on the baby bump during the third trimester, but they may also develop on areas that accumulate fat, such as breasts, hips, thigh, buttocks and lower back. Weight gain or increasing body size not associated with pregnancy can cause these marks.

So far, all these are not absolute signs of pregnancy. The next ones are stronger signs of pregnancy. Still, you can't consider them the strongest.

Probable Signs (Moderate Chance of Being Pregnant)

Probable signs of pregnancy can be observed by someone else other than the mother. These are more reliable than presumptive signs but they are not completely accurate in revealing pregnancy. These include:

  • Fetal Outline
  • Braxton Hicks Contractions
  • Chadwick's Sign
  • Goodell's Sign
  • Hegar's Sign
  • Ballottement
  • Laboratory Tests

Fetal Outline

A ring that may be the gestational sac can be seen within the mother's lower abdomen via ultrasound. This outline may turn out to be something else, so it is best to see the actual fetus before confirming pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

Painless contractions (tightening) of the uterus are called Braxton Hicks contractions and they occur during the second trimester. Myomas can also cause these, so unless the fetus is detected, contractions should not be considered as a pregnancy sign.

Chadwick's Sign

When the cervix, vagina, and vulva turn from pink into purple, the woman may be pregnant. This typically appears from six to eight weeks into the pregnancy, when the areas develop more blood vessels to meet the additional needs of mother and child. Related to this is swelling of the legs and pelvic pain that result from the changes in the blood and lymph circulation. Hormonal imbalances may cause this sign so this should not be your main indicator.

Goodell's Sign

The cervix becomes softer than usual at six to eight weeks. A hormonal imbalance may cause this kind of sign.

Hegar's Sign

The lower segment of the uterus becomes softer. Again, this may be related to hormonal imbalances, not pregnancy.

Ballottement

When the lower uterine segment is tapped by an examiner, the fetus can be felt rising against the abdominal wall. Ballottement is not a 100% certain sign of pregnancy because cervical or uterine polyps (clump of benign cells) can also bounce when tapped.
Signs and symptoms of polyps are heavy periods, bleeding in between periods, and irregular menstrual bleeding. These are diagnosed through transvaginal ultrasound, endometrial biopsy (taking a sample of the area affected via a catheter and examining it in a lab), and/or hysteroscopy (insertion of a telescope into the vagina and cervix). Benign polyps may not need intervention, but they can also turn cancerous. They are removed via medication or surgery if they have turned into cancer.

Laboratory Tests

Although pregnancy tests are accurate for up to 98% of the time, the results are only considered probable rather than positive because there is still a chance of misdiagnosis.

There are many kinds of tests that probably indicate pregnancy. Urine tests are the easiest to use and there are kits that you can use at home, but they are not as sensitive as blood tests.

Note: Most current over the counter urine pregnancy tests (sensitivity of 25 units per liter) are positive results 3–4 days after embryo implantation; by seven days (the time of the expected period) 98% will be positive. A negative result one week after your expected missed period virtually guarantees that you are not pregnant. These tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the placenta when it becomes implanted into the uterine wall. Traces of hCG begin to appear in the blood 24–48 hours after implantation. They peak between day 60–80 of pregnancy, but after that, the hCG level declines, so it will no longer be detectable in the blood or urine. Thus, pregnancy tests may no longer be reliable after three months.

  • HCG Blood and Urine Tests: Because pregnancy tests are highly sensitive and accurate, women who get negative results on a pregnancy test are advised to retake the test one week after if they don't still have their period.
  • Ultrasound: An ultrasound may be given to determine whether the fetus has developed or not. If not, or if it is just partially developed, the positive result of the pregnancy test may just be the result of the hydatidiform mole. Blood tests may also be performed to know what's causing the condition.

Hydatidiform Mole

An overgrowth of bodily tissues that are supposed to become the placenta (hydatidiform mole) causes a positive result on the hCG test even if there is no fetus. This is diagnosed by inspecting the fetus and determining whether it is growing abnormally. There may also be vaginal bleeding, especially during the first three months. It can also accompany preeclampsia symptoms like high blood pressure, and swelling of the legs and feet.

An ultrasound is the most reliable way to confirm pregnancy.
An ultrasound is the most reliable way to confirm pregnancy. | Source

Positive Signs (Confirmed Pregnancy)

Positive signs are those that guarantee that the woman is pregnant. If you have these signs, there is a hundred percent guarantee that you're pregnant. So far, only three positive signs are recognized by medical professionals.

  • Heartbeat of the Fetus That Is Separate From the Mother's
  • Seeing the Fetus Through Ultrasound
  • Movement of the Fetus That Is Felt by an Examiner

Heartbeat of the Fetus That Is Separate From the Mother's

Hearing the fetus heartbeat or seeing it in motion is a sure sign that the mother is carrying a child. A vaginal ultrasound can detect a fetal heatbeat at as early as 5 1/2 weeks. The usual heart rate is 120-160 beats per minute. The embryo can sometimes have a slower heart rate, especially before a seven weeks gestational age. A heartbeat above 160 can occur with fetal movement.

Seeing the Fetus Through Ultrasound

An ultrasound will reveal the fetus by the 8th week of pregnancy. Using a real-time technique, the movement of the heart can be seen by the 6th week.

Movement of the Fetus That Is Felt by an Examiner

A woman can sense her baby move inside her womb when she is about 16–20 weeks pregnant, but an examiner can only feel these at about 20–24 weeks. Fetal movement felt by an examiner is considered more reliable than those that are subjective and can only be perceived by the mom.

Eat a balanced diet for both you and your kids.
Eat a balanced diet for both you and your kids. | Source

New Baby, Unborn Baby, and Mother: How to Care for All Three

  • Calorie Intake: In addition to a balanced diet and prenatal vitamins, the mother should add 500 to 800 calories to her normal recommended dietary allowance. Approximately 300 of those calories goes to the fetus as it grows in the uterus and 200–500 calories will help her maintain adequate milk production.
  • Calcium: An increased amount of calcium is needed by both the fetus and the breastfeeding child for growth and development and to avoid potential deficiencies in the mother. The fetus and nursing child extract a lot of calcium from the mother's body, which could predispose her to more cramps and even hypocalcemia.
  • Hydration: Drink lots of water. Keep the body hydrated throughout the day to help combat fatigue and ensure proper body processes and overall health of the fetus, child, and mother.
  • Rest: Fatigue may be worse than in an ordinary pregnancy or simple breastfeeding. Much energy is required to maintain the pregnancy and to provide adequate breast milk production. Get enough rest and eat more nutritionally-dense foods.
  • Nipple Care: Due to increased nipple sensitivity occurs in response to the pregnancy hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, the woman's nipples may become sore. If she's still breastfeeding, she'll need to take extra care of the nipples to reduce soreness. Dryness can cause nipples to become more painful and may even lead to cracking or bacterial infections. Apply nipple shields when breastfeeding or use lanolin cream. As the pregnancy progresses, the nipple soreness and breast tenderness may eventually abate.
  • Weaning: If the discomforts are too much to handle, it may be time to wean the child. Formula may be used to supplement breast milk, and if the child is ready for solid foods, increase these with each feeding. Emotional attachment may become an issue. Deal with fussing, tantrums, or any negative reactions to weaning in a loving manner. Always assure the child of parental love. Engage in other bonding activities to let the child feel less neglected and more loved.

Have You Recognized the Signs of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding?

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Regaining Fertility While Breastfeeding

So what happens if you want to become pregnant and you are still breastfeeding? There are both natural ways to boost fertility, along with ways your doctor can help.

For most women, periods resume between 6–18 months after giving birth. Once your periods resume, your body is capable of getting pregnant. Evidence suggests that the increased prolactin levels in women that are breastfeeding prevent them from ovulating and having periods (NCBI). Once an infant starts sleeping through the night, or the mother goes back to work and is separated from the infant during the day, the feeding frequency and duration drops, which in turn makes the prolactin levels drop. This can cause ovulation to resume.

Fertility treatments while breastfeeding is not advisable as the hormones can accumulate in breastmilk and have potentially negative effects on the baby.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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    • profile image

      carlee 

      4 months ago

      I have a 9 month old baby and still haven't gotten my period back. I have had unprotected sex and I've been cramping alot, nauseated and a baby that is very fussy. Can these be possible pregnancy signs?

    • profile image

      Bonga 

      10 months ago

      My daughter is nine months haven't had periods for three months,never got worried cuz am always safe bt unfortunately the condom broke 3 weeks ago could i be pregnant.

    • profile image

      Mna 

      10 months ago

      I am a mother of 3 month old baby, Now I can’ Eat anything and I don’t like any smell,am I pregnant????

    • profile image

      psyche.21.aguilar@gmail.com 

      18 months ago

      I have turning to 9 months baby on may 19, I got confused if im pregnant cause last year august my period came but sept until i didnt get my period yet. but my breast feed continously for my baby.

    • profile image

      Daija 

      21 months ago

      Im currently breastfeeding. And my period didn't start till my second born was 10 months. But my period was odd instead of red it was brown, had few clots, few sharp pains, and it only lasted for 3 to 4 days. Just wanting to know is this normal? Right now I'm having to wait till next month to see if I get one.

    • profile image

      Marlene 

      23 months ago

      After completing 60 days of giving birth i started bleeding again while breastfeeding is it normal

    • profile image

      Maria 

      2 years ago

      In my experience, if you have mastitis and you express the "rest of the milk" it only increases the production of milk, so not good for swollen breasts that are producing to much milk. What help me was to block feed. I would only offer one breast to the baby at each sitting, and some times 2 or 3 feeding in a row. Then the next ones would be the other breast. This way, each breast gets a rest, which slows down the production a bit.

    • profile image

      chidiebere 

      2 years ago

      hi , i hv 1yr3months old baby still brestfeeding,i saw my last period 17 of january 2017, we are in febuary now 19 hv not seen it,the sign am seeing now is that , when ever i sit down i will be having pains at my one leg , pls am i pregnant?

    • profile image

      Hendzy 

      2 years ago

      I have a nine months baby still breastfeeding.I had my menses when she was 6months and a week old,menstrated again the seventh month but the following month no menses till today, please could it be that im pregnant or what?

    • profile image

      Sri 

      2 years ago

      I have a ten months old baby I did not see my periods until is it any problems

    • profile image

      Katerina 

      2 years ago

      My baby is 7 mths and exclusively breastfed...I haven't menstrated since beginning of previous pregnancy...I've been experiencing very tender nipples, milk supply decrease (fussy baby during/after feedings), slight nausea, cramping, headaches, moodiness and fatigue. Need feedback...my curiosity is getting the best of me!!!

    • profile image

      MommaBearlion 

      3 years ago

      To all of you ladies questioning if you are pregnant.... Absolutely possible, but not necessarily. Periods are extremely unpredictable while breastfeeding even if they have seemed to return to a schedule they may not stick to that schedule. However, even if your baby is breastfeeding exclusively you CAN ovulate, and you can absolutely become pregnant.

    • profile image

      lilly 

      3 years ago

      I have a 7 mnth old baby nd last mnth i ddnt c my periods only spotting 4 2days,dis mnth also no periods. Since birth ws on periods every 2 weeks nd nw des nothing. Im i pregnant again?

    • profile image

      Worry 

      3 years ago

      I have a 4 month baby,i gave bifth on sept.14,2015 after one month oct.i got period but nov. till now jan. i have no period,im breast feed my baby no formula include.but i have watery white blood, i am pregnant again.

    • profile image

      Aggy 

      3 years ago

      I have a two months old baby I am still breastfeeding. But I recently began to feel pains on my uterus region; dizziness; headaches etc...does that mean I am pretty???

    • profile image

      hopeful 

      3 years ago

      hi i have a 1yr3mnth old tht i am still breastfeeding.But i recently saw pink spotting and it continued for 2 days.also have some sore nipples 1 day of dull cramp.dnt think d nipples can count as much since am still breastfeeding. what would i like to know is if i am pregnant?

    • profile image

      Kgothatso 

      3 years ago

      I have a 6mnths bby who is still breastfeeded and I sometimes feel dizzy and have stomach cramps does that mean I could be pregnant ?

    • profile image

      oh. 

      3 years ago

      This article is well written and seemingly informative but implantation bleeding at 6 to 12 weeks makes zero sense.

    • profile image

      Viola 

      3 years ago

      I av a ten month old baby, i started my first period on the 18th. of last month. and today is 25th of another month but i haven't seen my periods, could it be that i am pregnant?

    • profile image

      phindile 

      4 years ago

      Hi am breasttfeeding my 7months baby and I was supposed to see my period on 25 th until now I didn't see any thing. And my question is am I pregnant?

    • profile image

      cocoa 

      4 years ago

      My period is 5 days late and im bloated and the white mucus has increased. Also diarrea and gas daily. What else other than pregnancy could it be.

    • profile image

      Rebecca 

      4 years ago

      i am breastfeeding my 1yearold &the other day i used the restroom & had pink spotting wich lasted 20secs tops does anyone know what this means

    • Ann Fournier profile image

      Ann Fournier 

      4 years ago

      Speaking from experience....

      You can also tell you are pregnant if while nursing if you have sharp pains in your stomach that stop when you stop feeding baby and start when you resume feeding

    • moviesreviews profile image

      Cacey Taylor 

      4 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Outstanding Information thank you for sharing

    • profile image

      vani 

      4 years ago

      Its great information thank u for sharing.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna 

      4 years ago from UK

      Great information. The more mothers that breastfeed the better! Anything that helps them along is great. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Haylie 

      5 years ago

      Implantation bleeding happens wayyyy before the 6-12 weeks mentioned. Did you mean to say 6-12 days?

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