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sbdf13 05-28-2010 10:39 AM

Lactational Amenorrhea Method
Has anyone used the Lactational Amenorrhea Method? or breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy?
how well did you follow it and did it work?
The "rules"(from wiki)

* Breastfeeding must be the infant’s only source of nutrition – no formula, no pumping, and (if the infant is less than six months old) no solids or water at all.
* The infant must be pacified at the breast, not with pacifiers or bottles or by placing a finger in the mouth.
* The infant must be breastfed frequently. The standards for LAM are a bare minimum; greater frequency is better. Sucking should include non-nutritive sucking when the infant cues the mother, not just breastfeeding as a means of nutrition. Scheduling of feedings is incompatible with LAM.
* Mothers must practice safe co-sleeping as it is the proximity of the child to the mother that increases prolactin.
* Mothers must not be separated from their infants. This includes substitutes for mother such as babysitters and even strollers or anything else that comes between mother and physical contact with her child. Babywearing (using cloth carriers) means tactile stimulation between mother and child and increases access to the breast. Any separation from the mother will decrease the efficacy of ecological breast feeding.
* Mothers must take daily naps with their infants.
* A mother must not have had a period after 56 days post-partum (bleeding prior to 56 days post-partum can be ignored).

nicole999 05-28-2010 10:57 AM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
I am currently using this method but plan to have the Merena IUD inserted in two weeks. I can't say I follow all of those LO is four months old now and takes a pacifier, I do pump and give him one bottle every two weeks (just to keep him taking a bottle) and we don't co-sleep (I tried but I just can't sleep that way). However he is EBF, he still takes two night feedings and feeds every 2-3 hours during the day, I haven't had a period, we take a nap together most days (I actually just lie there and he naps) and I wear him quite a bit (although less than I did in the first three months). I am having the Merena IUD inserted b/c I realize now that he is sleeping more at night and sucking on his pacifier more that this method is less safe than is was for me the first three months....really I'm probably pushing my luck as it is....

FYI - these were the general rules I was given in a new mom class (taken from
When is LAM no longer effective?

A woman who chooses to rely on LAM should be advised that the method is short-term (up to six months) and is no longer effective when any one of the three criteria changes.
The LAM user should be counseled to use another contraceptive method for continued protection when:

1. Her menstrual periods return.
Menstrual bleeding is the most important indicator of fertility. After the initial 56 days postpartum, two consecutive days of bleeding/spotting or the woman's perception that her period has returned, whichever of the two comes first, should be considered an indication that fertility is returning. A woman can ovulate before her period returns, however, studies indicate this rarely occurs when the woman is breastfeeding intensively and less than six months postpartum. OR

2. She begins feeding her baby other liquids or foods regularly, or her baby sleeps through the night.
Ovulation is suppressed in the breastfeeding woman as the baby suckles at the breast. When the baby begins taking other foods or liquids she/he generally suckles at the breast less, thus reducing the fertility-suppressing effect of breastfeeding. This is also true when the baby begins sleeping through the night -- long intervals between breastfeeds (more than four hours during the day and six hours at night) should be avoided. OR

3. Her baby is older than six months.
At about six months the baby should begin eating other foods as their nutritional needs change at this time. Usually the baby will breastfeed less when this happens, thus, LAM becomes less effective.

Any one of these changes will reduce LAM's high efficacy. At this time, the LAM user should be counseled about complementary family planning methods that do not interfere with breastfeeding.

CEVmommy 05-28-2010 12:08 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
I just wanted to say that the 2nd set of rules is the one I've always heard. Some of those "rules" in the 1st set are ones I've never heard, particularly re: napping and strollers.

Greenbabybottoms 05-28-2010 02:03 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
I think that while it may work for some keep in mind it will nont work for all. I became fertile 3 months pp after both of my pregnancies. We coslept, my girls never had anything other than breastmilk right from the breast, no pacifiers, nursing a minumum of every 1 1/2-2 hours etc. After my second I was nursing 20+ times a day and tandem nursing.

I was all for trusting it but also I wasn't really in the sexual type of mood before my cycle returned, luckily because I really wasn't expecting it at 3 months pp and we could have ended up with little irish twins.

MamaWillow 05-28-2010 07:36 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
I have never used this method because my periods come back at 2 months PP. I have followed all the guidelines with both LOs: co-sleeping, nursing on demand, frequent (very) feedings, no paci, etc.

cupcakewright 05-28-2010 09:02 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
I use breastfeeding as nice baby spacing but it works for us, I don't get my cycles back until I offer solids, around 10 months. I know my body works that way because it has for 5 kids, but since you don't have that much data :) I wouldn't risk it. If you don't want them really close use something else.

Bethan_77 05-28-2010 10:15 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
Lam worked for me, and But we used it with nfp. Nfp should be used with nfp if you need to avoid pregnancy.

Sheila kippley wrote the book " breastfeeding and natural child spacin" and it's got thorough info on the topic. Kippley and her husband wrote an nfp book as well.

I do have pcos, but for me that was looooong cycles, not a lack of ovulation or cycles, fwiw. I had my return of fertility at about 16 months post partum. We offered solids around 6.5 months old, but she didn't really eat them until about 18 months old. Luteal phases were short, a problem for me pre-pregnancy too. I am pregnant again now, and was aware that I was fertile when having sex, so, was not surprised by this pregnancy at all. I did have delayed ovulation with long term bf...some could have been pcos induced, but this little one was conceived on day 28 or something.

mommypockets 05-28-2010 11:17 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
Read "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing." AWESOME book on LAM!

crystaldawn_23 05-29-2010 03:46 PM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
Oooh I love the part about napping... wish I saw that sooner lol.

I use the "rules" set by the second poster for the most part. And never get a pp AF until I'm 12 ish months. Apparently I was fertile that first cycle because I got pregnant THAT cycle lol. I'm sure if I really followed the rules I could have avoided pregnancy but we were ready

VeganCupcake 05-30-2010 08:38 AM

Re: Lactational Amenorrhea Method
I used LAM (the second set of rules posted) and didn't get pregnant. It wasn't hard to follow--DD nursed frequently and would never take a pacifier or bottle.

The first set sounds more like Ecological Breastfeeding to me. It's a stricter variation.

Here's what Kellymom has to say about both:

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