Other Articles from Valentine Njoroge
Why the Rhythm Method Might Not Be Effective for Breastfeeding Mums
In my Ask Valentine series, I have received many questions regarding the rhythm method and what it is all about as a natural form of birth control; and I have answered that in the video below.
There is, however, an aspect that I did not cover that specifically affects mothers. When you are breastfeeding, the hormone prolactin tells your body to make milk. It also suppresses the release of luteinizing hormone which tells your ovaries to release and mature an egg every month. In other words, it interferes with ovulation, and this is why many breastfeeding mothers have decreased fertility. That said, breastfeeding needs to occur every 2-3 hours or as often as the baby needs.
Obviously this round the clock feeding is hard to keep up once maternity leave is over, or your baby starts sleeping through the night.
The rhythm method demands that you pinpoint your ovulation as accurately as possible so that you can avoid unprotected sex on those days. This is difficult while breastfeeding.
However, once your baby is eating solids and your period is back to a regular schedule then an app like iPeriod or Natural Cycles (and many many others) should be able to help you track not only your period but your peak days for fertility.
This method is only between 80-87% effective. This means that in 100 women who use it, between 13 and 20 of them will get pregnant.
Condoms are 98% effective so if you are intent on keeping your birth control as natural as possible while breast feeding, you could try a blend of both methods where you use condoms on your fertile days and bahatisha on the others. This uncertainty makes many people uncomfortable and so they opt for a more predictable contraceptive option.