Awaiting Return of Full Fertility/Night Nursing to Blame?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2012
Awaiting Return of Full Fertility/Night Nursing to Blame?
3
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 3:03pm

Hi, all!  I am 36 and still nursing my DS, who is nearly 15 months old.  He is pretty much down to only 1 or 2 feedings a day, and, on the days when I'm at work, I am only pumping twice at the most.  This is significant, because until recently, even with copious solids, he was breastfeeding A LOT.  Even though his daytime feedings are minor, at night, he is all about the booby juice!  We co-sleep, and he seems to be getting even more snacky as time progresses.  He has probably 1 or 2 real feedings at night, but he snacks frequently, it seems.

The issue is DH and I really want to get started on Baby #2, but I have only had two anovulatory bleeds (at 11 months and when DS was about 13 months).  I am temping/charting (though took a break recently because I got discouraged), and as far as I can tell, I am not ovulating.  CM seems to be getting creamier lately, but that's about it.

So, I am starting to worry that I might have to wean him totally to get pregnant again!  I conceived him without thinking about it, so I'm hoping that the next will come easily, too.  What do you ladies think about night nursing/co-sleeping?  Does it affect the return of fertility that severely?  I would hate to have to do it, preferring instead to keep co-sleeping and still conceive, but maybe that's not to be.  Please, please help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2012

Hi, again!  So, I've been continuing with my program of trying to put DS in his own bed at night.  He's doing decently well with it, but I still need to be with him a few times while he nurses throughout the evening.  The longest stretch he will go is about 3 to 4 hours.  Last week, I started bleeding, and this time, it seems a lot more like AF in terms of duration and quantity and PMS!  The problem is temping when I am up and down all night with him.  I'm guessing, though, that this is the closest I've been to the full return of fertility.  Is there any other way to tell what's going on besides temping?  I did have more CM over the last few weeks, but nothing I would say was really EWCM.

Community Leader
Registered: 06-01-2004
Hi there :) I think that Wahine is right - there are lots of other things you can try before turning to completely weaning. You are just hitting the average time when many women tend to see AF starting to return... between 14 -1 6 months seems to be average. Night nursing is however often an issue when it comes to O'ing so if you can try and stretch your night nursings out a bit or keep them short and sweet that would be better .... I need to google it again but recall that the prolactin levels created at night are particularly problematic with cycling. I think the bottom line with fertility and BF'ing is that sometimes you just need to give it a bit of extra time and patience. I conceived our #2 while nursing #1 - Af returned at 16 months and was pregnant by the time he was 22 months. We nursed about 5 months into that pregnancy. AF returned much sooner after #2 was born but we ended up having issues getting pregnant again, nursing or no nursing. Now that #3 is here and she is almost 19 months old (!) I have realized that a.) AF came back at about 15 months PP again b.) I did nothing to encourage her like I did the last few times c.) AF is regular and my LP is pretty decent d.) Baby girl nurses a lot ( I do nothing to shorten her sessions or limit them). It is a frustrating time when you want to continue your nursing relationship and enjoy your baby for now - but of course, getting #2 on the way is important to you to. I would suggest you check out our TTC Fact Sheet which should give you some suggestions on how to nudge your fertility back ..... Have you tried vitex yet? I am willing to bet if you have had a few annovulatory cycles, it might just do the trick for you. Also try some vitamin B complex vitamins daily and a calcium/magnesium supplement. I will bump up the link for you... Please forgive my disjointed reply ! Will re read in the morning but must go nurse my little night waker right now. Welcome to our board and hang in there mama - I bet you get your cycles back soon and then send it away again for 9 months +! Cheers, Jasmine
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2010

Each situation is so unique- I certainly think you have lots of options to consider before thinking of weaning completely.  Even dropping one feeding or snack can alter things a lot.  Perhaps start just with the snacking and see how things wind up.

We, and many other mommas here, conceived while still BFing quite frequently.  Ours was 18months and although memory is foggy, was solidly nursing at least 3 times per day.

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