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Ask An Expert: Can I Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding Exclusively?

Our team of seasoned experts answer all your questions on pregnancy, delivery, children and women’s health, sexuality education and more.

Q: My first baby is just 4 months old and I’m already experiencing symptoms of pregnancy. Is it possible that I’m indeed pregnant? She’s still being exclusively breastfed.

 Dr. Alex Kaoranu Molukwu (OB/GYN) says:

Breastfeeding is immensely beneficial. It is common knowledge that women are less fertile while breastfeeding than after the baby has been weaned. Lactation has a widespread contraceptive method. There is delay in recurrence of ovulation after delivery and this is due in part to brain (hypophysical or hypothalamic) stimuli from lactation, thus, there is a corresponding delay in the return of normal cyclic menstruation.

READ ALSO:5 Things To Do When You Are Trying To Conceive

The duration of the suppression of ovulation is quite variable, often dependent on race, culture, class, exposure and education.

At six weeks after delivery, about 5% of lactating mothers will ovulate, 12 weeks after delivery, approximately 25% will ovulate, and six months after delivery, about 65% will ovulate, and may become pregnant.

I will advise you to see your doctor who will examine you and carry out appropriate tests to determine if you are pregnant, exclusive breastfeeding notwithstanding.

It will be very interesting to know the results of your tests.

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