Breast-feeding and natural family planning

Int J Fertil. 1988;33 Suppl:24-31.


The records of 50 Australian postpartum women who intended to breast-feed for longer than 6 months were analyzed. Fifty percent of the women breast-fed longer than 12 months, and 50% resumed menses by 40 weeks after childbirth. Fifty-four women provided records of mucus and BBT for at least 4 weeks before resumption of menses. Ovulation before menses while fully breast-feeding was probable in only one woman. Fifty percent of the first postpartum cycles had a short luteal phase. Thirty-two women chose NEP to avoid pregnancy during the study period. Mucus and BBT proved to be a good marker of ovulation during postpartum cycles. The mean number of days available for intercourse according to the Ovulation Method was 22.6 days between 6 and 12 postpartum weeks, and 12 days during the 4 weeks before menses. Confidence in NFP during lactational amenorrhoea and first postpartum cycles is analyzed. Finally, research aimed at improving the teaching and use of NFP for postpartum breast-feeding women is described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Body Temperature
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Cervix Mucus / metabolism
  • Family Planning Services*
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Natural Family Planning Methods
  • Ovulation Detection
  • Prospective Studies


  • Luteinizing Hormone