Though it's unusual, you can become pregnant while breastfeeding.

How to Tell If You Are Pregnant While Breastfeeding

by Kathryn Hatter

While breastfeeding a baby, you are likely to experience a disruption to your regular monthly cycles and therefore your fertility. Continuous and regular breastfeeding usually prevents the body from ovulating, which should prevent pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood. Although unusual, there is a small chance of becoming pregnant even while you're breastfeeding. If pregnancy occurs, discovering your condition may be a bit different this time around.

1 Note the dates of your menstrual cycles -- if you are having your period -- to determine the possibility of pregnancy. "Lactation amenorrhea" is the term for having no menstrual periods due to breastfeeding. This time without periods could last between 13 and 16 months after the birth of a baby, on average, according to AskDrSears.com. If you miss a period, this could indicate pregnancy. If you are not having menstrual cycles, however, you won't be able to use this as a possible indication of pregnancy.

2 Check for other possible signs of early pregnancy. You might experience headaches, nausea, a lower backache, fatigue, frequent urination and unusual food cravings or aversions, according to the American Pregnancy Association. It’s also common to experience light spotting, called "implantation bleeding," approximately six to 12 days after conception. Although tender breasts are commonly an early symptom of pregnancy, you may not notice this symptom because you are breastfeeding.

3 Take a home pregnancy test to determine whether you are pregnant. Follow product information for the timing of the test; some tests promise accurate results as early as the first day of a missed period (if applicable).

4 Call your physician to take a blood test, which is more accurate than a home pregnancy test. A blood test can give you an accurate result within seven to 12 days after conception, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

Items you will need

  • Home pregnancy test

Tip

  • Check with your physician about continuing to breastfeed during a pregnancy. Unless you have special concerns with your health, most physicians consider it safe to breastfeed during pregnancy, says MayoClinic.com. Your physician may give you special instructions regarding potential uterine contractions caused by breastfeeding.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

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