Is it possible to get pregnant while nursing?
I’m nursing our one-year old, but we are ready to TTC another child. Will I need to give up nursing before I can become pregnant?
Assuming you are ovulating, nursing will not prevent you from getting or staying pregnant. So the real question is, are you ovulating?
According to Taking Charge of Your Fertility (by Toni Weschler, MPH), every time you nurse it acts to indirectly suppress ovulation. For nursing to “efficiently” suppress ovulation, you’d need to be nursing at least every four hours during the day and every six hour at night. The longer and more often your baby is not nursing, the more likely you are to ovulate.
So, no, you will most likely not need to give up nursing to get pregnant. The more you nurse, your likelihood of ovulation in any given cycle decreases, but you can certainly still ovulate. You may find it is trickier to catch your ovulation due to erratic cycles. A combination of OPKs, fertility awareness methods, and charting may be necessarily to try to time bding properly. Be prepared for many “false starts” to ovulation.
Of course, you may also find that you are ovulating right on schedule every cycle. Every woman is different. That’s part of what makes the whole TTC process so maddening… I mean, joyous.