Choosing the right method of contraception is a real journey. Evolving according to periods of life, sexuality, metabolism, health and needs, desires and feelings, this almost systematically feminine choice is rarely simple and without constraints. This is why more and more women are turning to alternative contraception and natural methods of contraception. Among them, the LAMA method and this question: can you get pregnant while breastfeeding?
- Natural contraception and hormonal contraceptives: a definition and several differences
- LAMA: the Breastfeeding and Amenorrhea Method
- The limits of the LAMA method to avoid a new pregnancy
Natural contraception and hormonal contraceptives: a definition and several differences
The gynecologist talks about contraceptive products, methods or devices. You are more likely to talk about pills, IUDs, withdrawals or implants. Whether hormonal or natural, contraceptives aim to prevent sexual intercourse from leading to the conception of a child . But there is contraceptive and contraceptive, or rather hormonal contraception and natural contraception.
Hormonal contraceptives , pill, hormonal IUD (IUD for intrauterine device), patch, implant, vaginal ring or injectable contraceptive, use the hormonal supply to block ovulation, densify cervical mucus and/or thin the endometrium, this is to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Progestin or estrogen progestin, these contraceptive methods are very effective (over 90% in practice), but are often accompanied by undesirable effects .
Natural contraception , the Billings, Ogino-Knaus methods, withdrawal, abstinence, temperature curves or symptomothermy, do not use synthetic hormones or devices and are based on observation of the female cycle and knowledge of the fertile period to avoid pregnancy. More subjective, natural contraceptives are also less effective (around 75% in practice), but without side effects .
LAMA: the Breastfeeding and Amenorrhea Method
MAMA is unique. A short-term and doubly natural method of contraception, it is very effective if correctly implemented . Without hormones or any device, it is naturally triggered by the female body during breastfeeding. Indeed, LAMA stands for Breastfeeding and Amenorrhea Method .
The principle is as follows: after the birth of her child, the mother who exclusively breastfeeds her baby is protected from a new pregnancy by lactation hormones . In fact, prolactin prevents ovulation. There is even talk of “lactational infertility” or “lactational amenorrhea”.
However, to work well, “contraceptive breastfeeding” must scrupulously respect certain cumulative and exhaustive criteria:
- be the mother of an infant under 6 months old ,
- not having experienced the return of periods (menstruation) since giving birth,
- feed your baby exclusively from the breast , at least every four hours during the day and every six hours at night.
The limits of the LAMA method to avoid a new pregnancy
To be fully effective and play its role as a contraceptive, the breastfeeding and amenorrhea method must therefore be followed carefully. Furthermore, if the risks of conceiving a child while breastfeeding are less than 2% , the LAM method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and infections. On the other hand, the level of prolactin released can vary, after 6 months, it no longer prevents ovulation.
Before the baby has reached the age of 6 months, it is therefore advisable to supplement the LAM method with a second contraceptive compatible with breastfeeding if you choose to continue breastfeeding your baby.
What is exclusive breastfeeding?
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended by the WHO ( World Health Organization ) until babies are six months old. This means that, from birth, the infant is breastfed solely and exclusively by his mother, without a bottle or breast pump.
According to the High Authority of Health , for it to fully play its role as a natural contraceptive, it is essential that exclusive breastfeeding is practiced day and night at a rate of approximately 6 to 10 feedings per 24 hours . Furthermore, the spacing between two breast feedings must remain less than 6 hours at night, and 4 hours during the day.
Return to work or implementation of mixed breastfeeding? Did you know that Élhée baby bottles can be equipped with adapter rings compatible with Avent and Medela breast pumps ? A nice way to fall for the BibRond while continuing to breastfeed or semi-breastfeed your baby!
Periods, return of diaper and lochia: how to understand the return of the menstrual cycle?
In the vast majority of cases, breastfeeding blocks the return of childbearing and therefore the return of fertility. However, because the female body is a complex ecosystem, you may still bleed.
In the hours following childbirth, we talk about lochia . Very red and very abundant at first, they are completely normal and occur when the uterus regains its size by evacuating endometrial debris and blood clots. Lochia usually lasts a few days before going away on its own.
Following the lochia, between the 10th and 15th day after the birth of your child, other bleeding may occur for a few hours or a few more days, this is the small return of diapers . Very abundant again, they signal the continuation of the healing process of the uterus. .
In general, the return of diapers – which is therefore the return of periods – occurs between 4 and 8 weeks after birth. However, this period can be much longer, especially if you decide to breastfeed your baby.
Each woman and each birth being unique, periods and symptoms may vary. For example, after a cesarean section, bleeding - lochia and small return of labor in particular - is often less abundant.
After 6 months, contraceptives compatible with breastfeeding
Once the limits of natural contraception through breastfeeding have been reached, it is up to you to choose your bridge contraceptive. Only estrogen-progestin contraceptives are not recommended for the 6 months following the birth of your baby . Progestins (pill, subcutaneous implant or intramuscular injection) can be used from the 21st day and IUDs (hormonal or copper) from 4 weeks.
The choice of a contraceptive method is in no way definitive, but should always take into account 3 essential criteria: whether or not the baby is breast-feeding, the risk of thrombosis, which is greater during pregnancy and in the first weeks after pregnancy. partum and pregnancy pathologies.
Although often experienced as more restrictive, barrier methods, condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps and spermicides, can also be used. At the same time, some couples choose permanent contraception. Tubal ligation, electrocoagulation, installation of rings or clips and vasectomy, require a reflection period of 4 months, but can be performed for the mother, within 7 days after delivery.
And are we talking about male contraception?
Although fewer in number, natural methods of contraception for men exist. Indeed, after childbirth, the return of sexual relations between the couple is not always easy , so young mothers would surely appreciate it if their partner sometimes took over on the contraceptive side.
The testicle bath, or Coso method , consists of reversible immobilization of sperm using ultrasound. If the principle is the same for thermal underwear , it is the gentle and temporary rise in the temperature of the testicles which renders the sperm temporarily ineffective.
It is therefore entirely possible to consider breastfeeding as an effective method of contraception in the short term, provided that certain strict conditions are respected and that the female body still contains many mysteries, including that of not always respect physiological logic.