New page on the official WOOMB website: - breastfeeding
MANAGING FERTILITY NATURALLY DURING BREASTFEEDING
Breastfeeding is the natural next step after nurturing a baby within the
womb and giving birth. It offers benefits to both the mother and her
Benefits to baby
Breastfeeding promotes bonding.
- is readily available
- comes at the correct temperature
- protects against allergies/diseases
- is nutritionally correct
- is hygienic
Benefits to mother
- is convenient
- is cost-free
- reduces incidence of premenopausal breast cancer
- helps uterus return to normal size
- maintains temporary infertility
- promotes bonding
The Billings Ovulation Method of Natural Family Planning is truly
compatible with breastfeeding. It provides an extremely effective way of
birth regulation. Scientific studies indicate that with proper instruction
and motivation, this method in actual practice is 99% effective, without
the negatives of contraceptive methods. Contraceptive medication passes to
the baby through breast milk. The Billings Ovulation Method does not
interfere with breastfeeding, is free from drugs and devices and alerts a
couple to their returning fertility after childbirth.
Milk production is stimulated when the baby sucks on the breast. If there
is no sucking, the milk will dry up. During breastfeeding the pituitary
gland produces two hormones:
1. Prolactin - for milk production; 2) Oxytocin - for the "let down" of
milk. Prolaction also has the effect of suppressing ovulation for a time.
This time of infertility is variable and depends on several factors.
Efficient sucking is all important. Great care should be taken to
establish breastfeeding as soon as possible. The baby is best fed on
demand. Night feeding is normal for some time and is helpful in preserving
a good supply of milk. Returning fertility may result from:
Even with knowledge of breastfeeding, it must be remembered, every woman is
still an individual and will return to fertility in her own time.
- introduction of other fluids
- introduction of educational diet
- stopping night feeds
- illness of mother or baby
- partial breastfeeding
- stress and fatique
- sucking difficulties
- unknown reasons
The Billings Ovulation Method
The Billings Ovulation Method of natural family planning allows the mother
to recognise her individual return to fertility accurately. When a woman
learns the Billings Ovulation Method she is taught to recognise and
understand her signs of fertility and infertility. She does this by
observing the presence or absence of mucus at the vulva. This mucus,
produced at the cervix, is essential for fertility. Sperm cells depend on
this mucus for their survival and their ability to reach and fertilize the
When a woman is breastfeeding she remains infertile for a variable time.
During this time she experiences, at the vulva, either a continuing
sensation of dryness, or an unchanging discharge. The appearance of blood,
or any change in the mucus or sensation alerts her to the possibility of
her returning fertility.
A Billings Ovulation Method teacher will assist the couple to accurately
interpret these signs and to apply some common sense guidelines. The
couple can then make informed choices confidently about a further
pregnancy. When fertility returns, a mother may continue to breastfeed
while using the totally natural Billings Ovulation Method.
- Breastfeeding is natural and best for mother and baby.
- Billings Ovulation Method has no harmful side effects.
- Breastfeeding and the Billings Ovulation Method are entirely compatible.
- Accredited Billings Ovulation Method Teachers help individual couples
manage their fertility naturally.
- Infertility is easy to recognise whilst breastfeeding.
- Returning fertility is easily identified.
- The Billings Ovulation Method is a couple method, as is parenting.
- The whole family benefits.
Success depends upon motivation and good instruction - no method is 100% effective