"impossible" to conceive? Never had regular periods? One woman's path to taking charge of her fertility.
My partner asked me if we could carry on trying. I decided that I only wanted a baby if my body was well enough to have it. Throughout all of this, I continued breastfeeding. So, my action plan was to do yoga, accupuncture, chinese medecine and hypnosis.
Yoga: I tried fertility yoga for some time and it was really good for my frame of mind. Eventually, I discovered kundalini yoga and loved it so carried on with that. I am often far from the woman/mother I aspire to be so, although I wanted to do yoga 3 to 4 times a week, I sometimes didn't do it for a couple of weeks, sometimes I did manage 4 times a week, and sometimes just once.
Accupuncture: I did accupuncture at the beginning. About 7 sessions but the accupuncture lady told me that the herbs would probably work faster if I had a money issue, which I did. I'm sure accupuncture does work, I just had to make choices. I was told I had to do it three times a week for it to work. Not sure how true this is.
Chinese medecine: I had to prepare a concoction by boiling some herbs that lasted three days. It was time consuming and not very nice. The guy would give me herbs for 2 weeks that were specific to my body and issues. I would then renew for another two weeks. Again, I couldn't afford to do it continuously so I would not do it for a couple of weeks and then go back to it. Six months after having started, my periods became regular (I had never ever had regular periods). I also bought an Ovacue to monitor my ovulations. I charted for a few months and it gave me a very good view of how my cycles worked.
Hypnosis: wow, what can I say. This is such a powerful tool. I worked not only on wanting to get pregnant but on other issues. I wanted to achieve so many things at the same time that nothing was happening. Hynosis helped me to create the roadmap of the life I wanted and so, before getting pregnant, we bought a house next to an alternative school for my son. Three weeks after my move, I was pregnant. Maybe a coincidence but the nearest hospital was Pontoise and it happened to have the most brilliant maison de naissance with the loveliest midwives so was able to have a natural birth free of charge at my local hospital (I will write a post on this too when I get a chance). Since doing the hypnosis, it feels as if everything is falling into place. I went to see Elizabeth Echlin from Anpa.
There we go, there is my journey in a nutshell. Oh, I breastfed my son until he was four and stopped when I got pregnant with my daughter. By this time, he was more or less ready. I think he would have breastfed for longer but didn't cry when he had to stop and we talked about it a lot. One day, a couple of months after he had stopped breastfeeding, we went for a hot chocolate and I asked him if his chocolate was nice. Spontaneously he said "not as nice as your milk mummy".
S. Mother of 2.
PERIODS and Fertility
WHEN IS IT "NORMAL" TO GET THEM AGAIN?
hi, I am taking a contraceptive pill to avoid having a period. I think that having a period, breast feeding, working full time, and housework will make me dead. I have heard that if I am breast feeding, I will not have any periods. Is it true? Is there any recommendation for a period while breast feeding. I imagine that's very tiring...
Thank you. S.
That's exactly what happened to me. I had one period and then have not had any since. My daughter is 15 months old and still breastfeeds frequently. SH
I read in the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding that it's normal to
get a first period after giving birth and then not to have one again for awhile or not to have them regularly for awhile. Can anyone attest to this?...
I had my baby 9 months ago today and haven't had a period yet. He nurses frequently.
A breastfeeding friend of mine had her first period 15 months after childbirth. Hope this helps.
I still have not got my period and I am nursing my 10-month-old daughter. I nurse at night; I am not sure how many times (I think twice at least) because I sleep well - for the moment. I also started feeding her solids but she doesn’t eat much. I think all this together explains why I haven't got my period. She is often at the breast. With my son L it was different. I got my period when he was 9 months old, But at that time he was in crèche because I was working. Although I went back to work when he was 6 months old, I think I still hadn't got my period because I was putting him to the breast during the day since my babysitter would bring him to work for me and I would nurse there. Once he was in crèche, he was off the breast from 8am - 4pm. Even pumping my milk, things were not the same. I think C can elaborate more on the period issue.
I think the housework, working and commuting in public transport, can be very tiring. But I think breastfeeding makes things so much easier. I often get comments from friends on how tiring it must be to still be nursing. I think of so many other things that are tiring but not nursing. I can actually take a break when I do it and fall asleep. IT calms and prevents my daughter from getting cranky.
Plus with time it only gets easier because you don't have to deal with full breast as in the beginning and there is no dripping to deal with. People who haven't breastfed beyond the first couple of months only have in their memory that experience and it is at the beginning when it is most difficult (cracked nipples, too much milk or not enough). AV
A is almost 9 months also & I myself haven't had my period yet. I breastfeed all the time as well so I guess there's really nothing to worry about. S.
With my son, I got my first peried when he was 21 months. I still haven't had a period yet with my daughter and she is 17 months.
J is 8 months old and I still haven't had my period. He still nurses pretty much every hour. L.L.
For both my sons, my periods did not come back until, very exactly and identically 16 months and 20 days.
I've known a blessed woman who did not have them for 30 months !
I lost blood for the first time when my baby was 4 month old and I was very disappointed, then I got regular periods from 6 months onwards, despite breastfeeding all the time! My gynecologist said that I was ovulating from an echography at the time, so I have to be cautious not to get pregnant again. My periods have really been regular since then, and I still breastfeed during the day mostly with my one year old baby girl. Thank you for sprecifying the iron problem that I may have because I feel tired. Should I take iron in supplement, do you think?
I don't know if I have written on this subject yet.
Anyway I got my periods after about 15 months but these were not like real periods (not aching). I was b-feeding day and night quite frequently.
I took the pill from maybe 6 - 9 months but stopped as I kept forgetting to take it! I had no periods anyway.
The periods got heavier after a few months but from charting my temperature I noticed there wasn't always a shift mid cycle (indicating I wasn't always ovulating ie fertile; This is according to what I understood from Taking Charge Of Your Fertility author : Toni Weschler) . However my gynocologist said this didn't mean I wasn't ovulating, Hmm...)
The Lactational ammenorhea cotraceptive method (LAM) works for most women but is not 100% reliable (nor is the pill). A has a friend who got pregnant really quickly despite bfeeding all the time!
I've decided after reading "Taking charge of your fertility"* that I'll not take the pill again. I think it can mess up your natural hormonal balance, and I wish I hadn't taken it for so many years (I had a lot of trouble conceiving, no periods for months before I eventually got pregnant).
Lack of periods is a good side effect of breastfeeding especially as it stops your body losing iron in the blood. Some women get anaemic after their periods return if they are still breastfeeding. Attention to diet is required to balance their needs.
Interesting comments R -
I recently stopped taking the pill, I kept forgetting too! I had been taking it for years, both before and after pregnancy. I got pregnant one month after stopping the pill in 2002 ! But I agree, I do feel like it messed up my hormonal balance, and I'm already feeling different (it's been two weeks).
This is a very different subject, maybe my experience will help someone else to decide about contraception ? I decided to get an IUD (no hormones kind), which my OB/GYN put in ten days ago, during my period. The procedure was a bit painful, but very short lived. She told me to expect some spot bleeding over the next few months, and that would eventually disappear. So I had fairly heavy bleeding the first 3-4 days, and some lingering crampy pain. Day before yesterday, I was still having quite a bit of pain, and started searching the net to find out if that was normal or not - and according to the web sites I saw, it's not normal to still be in pain 10 days after - could be an infection.
So - called the dr's "cabinet" yesterday. Just my luck, she's closed on vacation until the end of the month ! So I frantically called several other OB/GYN's in town, and couldn't get a single dr. on the phone to answer my questions .... I do want more children later, and I was freaking out about having an infection that could block my tubes .... ended up in emergency gynecology at the hospital on my lunch break today since I couldn't seem to get a phone conversation or even an urgent appointment anywhere.
So - to make a long story short, everything is actually ok - no infection, the IUD is 'parfaitement en place'. Apparently my uterus is still adjusting, the pain should go away. I admit I didn't expect things to turn out this way.
- L (delurking)
Like R, I find Toni Weschler's book TCOYF to be a wealth of
information. A childhood friend who's now a physician (certified in allopathy and naturopathy) recommended it to me and I, like all of the other people she recommeded it to, became pregnant on my first try (after successfully using the book to avoid pregnancy for 18 months). Sleeping with baby helps, but the book does say that after 6 months, introducing solids and such, LAM is less effective. It's also hard to chart temperatures if you're not sleeping profoundly through a large part of the night (which is the case if you're sleeping with your baby!). I wonder when you started charting temperatures, R?
Since basal body temperatures are only one indicator of fertility, the method can still work. But my friend recommends barrier contraception if you really aren't willing to have another baby.
R, you said “I've decided after reading "Taking charge of your fertility that I'll not take the pill again. I think it can mess up your natural hormonal balance, and I wish I hadn't taken it for so many years (I had a lot of trouble conceiving, no periods for months before i eventually got pregnant).”
I have to say that I felt much better after stopping the pill, thanks in part to this book. It made me feel more in tune to my body, which in turn influenced my successful homebirth.
I, too, bled several times (after stopping the pill) without actually ovulating, though the ob/gyn didn't believe this to be true. But you can definitely tell the difference between ovulating and not from other fertility signs!
Funny how many health professionals seem to doubt this method and be stuck on the pill, though. When I stopped taking the pill in France years ago and inquired about other forms of contraception, my ob/gyn (who I ditched) suggested that by stopping the pill I was indicating an unconscious desire to become pregnant and that any "natural" birth control method was sure to lead to conception. She also told me that my recurrent yeast infections were not related to the pill (I've since determined that they were).
Who can know your body better than you?