Natural Family Planning: 27 Months of Breastfeeding Amenorrhea

If a breastfeeding mother goes one year without menstruation after childbirth, is that normal?

If a breastfeeding mother goes two years without menstruation after childbirth, is that normal?

If a breastfeeding mother goes three years without menstruation after childbirth, is that normal?

My husband gave a talk at a conference last weekend.  As usual, he promoted ecological breastfeeding to space babies…noting that this is God’s plan for spacing babies.  One man told him that his wife went 27 months without any periods while breastfeeding.

Amenorrhea means no menstruation.   Couples who enjoy an extended breastfeeding amenorrhea can benefit from God’s natural spacing.  When couples experience an extended amenorrhea due to breastfeeding, they do not have to chart nor do they have to practice abstinence when spacing their children’s births.  It’s a wonderful way to have a family.

Toward the end of breastfeeding amenorrhea the fertility signs begin to appear, and the couple can chart if needed.  It is also helpful to chart when fertility returns so that you accurately estimate the due-date of the next baby.

It may take several cycles before a couple can achieve pregnancy, and this is normal with breastfeeding.  Usually it took us several cycles while I was still breastfeeding before we achieved pregnancy.  I know one mother who had an extended amenorrhea but then could not achieve pregnancy while cycling for over a year while still breastfeeding.  Another mother was nursing an almost two year old and desired pregnancy.  Dr. Prem told her she would achieve pregnancy immediately after weaning.  The toddler weaned on his own and she became pregnant the first cycle after the complete weaning.  Interestingly, with the next child this mother achieved pregnancy while breastfeeding and cycling.  Research also shows that 6% of nursing mothers will achieve pregnancy during amenorrhea.

Pope Francis:  When the current Pope meets mothers, he encourages them to nurse their babies in public.  What he also needs to do is to promote God’s plan for breastfeeding via the Seven Standards, those maternal behaviors that are associated with an extended amenorrhea.  As we know, the emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding or continued breastfeeding was taught in the Sixties.  However, only the pattern of ecological breastfeeding via the Seven Standards is associated with long-term natural infertility.

To learn more about ecological breastfeeding, read The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding: The Frequency Factor.  Each chapter is devoted to one of the Seven Standards and includes the research.  It is a short, easy-to-read book.

Sheila Kippley
The Seven Standards of Ecological Breastfeeding

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