This is not a post about the Time magazine article.
All I will say about THAT is to each his own (or her own in this case). We don't need to fuel the fire of mommy wars with articles like these. I have no problem with a woman choosing to nurse for 3+ years, but nursing your kid for 3+ years does not make you a better mother than someone who went to work 8 weeks postpartum. Everyone's decisions that they make for their own family are OK and there's no need for one group to be fighting with the other. We don't need a Working Mothers vs. Attachment Mothers. We should all just be MOTHERS and be in this together.
So, moving on to another conversation about breastfeeding.
Most people can rattle off a whole list of benefits to breastfeeding both to baby and to mother, especially in the early months when baby has no immunity and uses mother's antibodies exclusively to ward off disease and stay healthy and when mama uses breastfeeding both to help her uterus contract back down to a normal size and to help lose a little baby weight.
And most women have a strong desire to give breastfeeding a go with their newborns.
But nobody talks about the other reason to breastfeed that has nothing to do with the health of mother or baby.
Breastfeeding as Birth Control.
Breastfeeding (let me specify ON DEMAND breastfeeding) has been used as birth control for centuries (we could even say thousands of years here).
Royalty has always used the LACK of breastfeeding to pop out as many kids as possible knowing full well that keeping the baby on the boob would delay the next royal heir. Many devout Catholics use this anti-breastfeeding as a tool to have more children as well. You can bet your ass Michelle Duggar does not do breastfeeding on demand.
Hunter gatherer tribes do the opposite. They keep the baby on the boob FOR YEARS so that they don't have millions of children. It works beautifully. I don't have exact statistics for you guys but let's just say Irish twins (siblings less than 1 year apart in age) are unheard of in hunter gatherer societies.
Given my history and my possible PCOS I feel that breastfeeding is the only tool I have in my arsenal to have any choice about how far apart in age my children will be.
To refresh the memory of the masses I ovulated exactly once on my own in the year and a half that we were TTC and it was 8 weeks after a miscarriage.
PREGNANCY WAS LIKE A MAGIC RESET BUTTON FOR MY OVARIES.
While it's possible there were other factors that led to my spontaneous ovulation I firmly believe it was the pregnancy and I feel strongly that I can ovulate soon after a pregnancy has ended in the future.
But I don't want Irish twins.
I'm aiming for 2 years apart.
But I don't know if I can ovulate more than once.
So, enter breastfeeding.
I NEED to be able to breastfeed in order to keep whatever ovulation may or may not happen at bay for at least a year.
If I stop breastfeeding at 2 months and I ovulate soon after. WE HAVE TO TRY FOR BABY #2 AT THAT TIME because as far as I know my ovaries have a very small window of opportunity to pop out eggs on their own.
And I don't know what my window is. Is it one cycle? 2 cycles? More?
The only information I have to go on is that my periods ceased 6 months after I stopped my pills BEFORE we were TTC and were irregular the whole time leading up to the complete stoppage. Unfortunately I wasn't temping so I have NO IDEA if I ovulated at all coming off my pills. What I do know is that 6 months later I DEFINITELY was not ovulating.
And I know I ovulated ONCE after a miscarriage. Luckily once was all it took to get pregnant again but I have no idea if I would have ovulated more than once had a pregnancy not taken place.
Unfortunately I also know that the first pregnancy did not leave my ovaries cyst-free, I had an ultrasound to confirm my uterus was clear a few days after the miscarriage and they were still polycystic but apparently they were just clear enough to pop out an egg.
I know there's a lot of skepticism about BOD (that's Breastfeeding On Demand) WORKING as a tool to delay ovulation, but I believe strongly that it does work. It's an evolutionary tool after all.
Evolution is amazing that way.
Tori Spelling, Michelle Duggar and Rosie Pope getting pregnant just months after popping out a kid do not count as using BOD as birth control....I guarantee they were not. They were probably hoping that whatever amount of breastfeeding they were doing would work, but I'm certain they were not BOD.
Cause you have to do it right.
Scheduled feedings will lower the effectiveness of this working.
Pumping can lower the effectiveness.
Basically anything that doesn't involve your boob being there whenever you baby needs it will lower the effectiveness.
But I'm ok with that.
Even introducing solids at 6 months, which is customary, can lower the effectiveness.
But I'm ok with that too.
If I make it to 6 months exclusively BOD with no ovulation and suddenly we introduce solids and I ovulate? FINE. We'll have kids 16 months apart. IT IS WHAT IT IS.
I'll control what I CAN control and leave the rest up in the air.
If we get to a year and a half and I'm STILL not ovulating? Time to cut the kid off the boob and see what happens.
Control what I can.
Of course this means I've just put a ton of pressure on myself to be able to breastfeed, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I think of it as motivation rather than pressure. I AM GOING TO DO IT.
I'm going to pretend I'm a cavewoman and if I can't breastfeed my baby THEN MY BABY WILL DIE. No pumps, no bottles, no formula will be in this house. IT'S BREASTFEED OR BUST.
Otherwise we have to deal with the rigmarole of going to the RE again and as much fun as that was it was way more fun to get pregnant like normal people.
So, I open this up to discussion, what are your thoughts on BOD as birth control and any of you plan to use it as your sole form of birth control post baby?