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Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen, OB/GYN (Doctor)
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 55754
Experience:  Board Certified: Ob/Gyn & Preventive medicine, US Medical Graduate
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Can breastfeeding cause your period to start and then stop

This answer was rated:

Can breastfeeding cause your period to start and then stop again?
Dr. Owen : Hello, and I am pleased to help, use of my answers are for educational purposes only.
Dr. Owen : Are you breast feeding on demand or on a schedule?
Dr. Owen : Hello
Customer:

We are now on somewhat of a schedule. My son is 16 months, will be 17 months on the 8th. I have been back at work since he was about 3 months old. We supplement with rice milk (allergies). I pump maybe 4 oz at work now, nurse him when I get home and then again before bed. He does randomly wake up in the middle of the night and we nurse then. I may also pump a small amount in the morning before work depending on how the night went.

Customer:

My periods returned at 14 months and even though it was only 2, they seemed normal and the second was at the correct time following the first. I am now 11 days late although 3 at home test were negative.

Dr. Owen : okay
Dr. Owen : when did you start to bleed again?
Customer:

May 13th of this year

Dr. Owen : Oh so you have delivered awhile ago
Dr. Owen : So what is happening is due to you breast feeding
Dr. Owen : And, since it has been awhile since you delivered, women do bleed even with breast feeding when you have delivered this long ago
Customer:

Sorry, I am confused as to what you mean.

Dr. Owen : And, if you are interested in still breast feeding and you want to stop the bleeding the way you do - using the Mini-pill that contains progesterone only will help
Dr. Owen : You delivered your baby over a year ago, correct?
Customer:

From my son's birth, I did not have a period until he was 14 months old. It just returned. I am wondering if it can start and stop or if there is chance I am pregnant again.

Dr. Owen : If that is so, then your body is trying to have a normal periodand when you are breast feeding you are going to have this irregular bleeding
Dr. Owen : So, yes you can have this irregular bleeding
Dr. Owen : So, to HELP
Dr. Owen : you can use the Mini-pill - this will not stop your milk supply
Dr. Owen : and at the same time it will help with the bleeding and prevent another pregnancy too
Customer:

I don't want to go on the mini pill, I would actually like to get pregnant again...

Dr. Owen : okay
Customer:

I believe my periods did start 2 months ago but it seemed they have now stopped.

Dr. Owen : Well if you are trying to get pregnant it is possible
Dr. Owen : but if you are still breast feeding, the periods can be irregular
Customer:

Ok.

Customer:

Is there any reason why a home test may give a false negative.

Dr. Owen : So, you have a choice - stop breast feeding to allow your periods to return to normal so you can get pregnant
Customer:

in my situation

Dr. Owen : The pregnancy test is negative because you are not pregnant and if you are still breast feeding this increass your prolactin level and hence this can cause irregular periods - and so you can not predict yoru period when you are breast feeding - you might have a period every 2 weeks or every month, or sometimes not for months - when you breast feeding it is unpredictable
Dr. Owen : Do you have any more questions?
Dr. Owen : Are you there?
Customer:

Ok, so what you are saying is that the only way is to wean. Why can some nurse through pregnancy then?

Dr. Owen : I'm not saying you can't get pregnant when you are breast feeding - but it is much more difficult to get pregnant
Dr. Owen : If you want a great chance of pregnancy, then stopping breast feeding is a more sure way to get pregnant.
Customer:

Ok, and even though we can significantly reduced the amount of nursing, this can still cause the above

Customer:

Sorry, have significantly reduced

Dr. Owen : When you breast feed this increases the prolactin hormone
Dr. Owen : Hence this can decrease the chance of pregnancy by decreasing ovuulation and hence causes this irregular bleeding
Dr. Owen : Not all women are the same - so you can't compare yourself to what you are reading on the internet
Customer:

Ok, so that really is my only option?

Dr. Owen : Most women who want to get pregnant again and if they are breast feeding need to stop
Customer:

Ok, thank you.

Dr. Owen : You can still 'hope' you will get pregnant while you are breast feeding, but you have a much lower chance of pregnancy
Dr. Owen : You should also be taking prenatal vitamins
Customer:

I know, I didn't anticipate my period being gone for so long. yes, I have continued with the vitamins.

Dr. Owen : Perfect
Customer:

Is the current recommendation for nursing 1or 2 years?

Dr. Owen : Honestly there is no strong recommendation - but most women breast feed for 6 to 12 months
Customer:

I know. We have been dedicated.

Dr. Owen : Very few women breast feed for more than a year, less than 1% of women breast feed for more than a year
Dr. Owen : It saves a lot of money too
Customer:

Thanks for time and answers.

Dr. Owen : You are welcome
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Dr. Owen : Thank you
Dr. Owen : .
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