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 child.
Benefits to baby
- is readily available
- comes at the correct temperature
- protects against allergies/diseases
- is nutritionally correct
- is hygienic
Breastfeeding promotes bonding.
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:
- Prolactin – for milk production
- Oxytocin – for the “let down” of milk.
Prolactin 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:
- introduction of other fluids
- introduction of educational diet
- stopping night feeds
- illness of mother or baby
- partial breastfeeding
- stress and fatigue
- sucking difficulties
- unknown reasons
Even with knowledge of breastfeeding, it must be remembered, every woman is still an individual and will return to fertility in her own time.
The Billings Ovulation Method®
The Billings Ovulation Method® of natural family planning allows the mother to recognize her individual return to fertility accurately.
When a woman learns the Billings Ovulation Method®, she is taught to recognize 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 egg.
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. 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 recognize whilst breastfeeding.
- Returning fertility is easily identified.
- The Billings Ovulation Method® is a couple method, as is parenting.
- The whole family benefits.