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Are you still breastfeeding and thinking about trying to conceive the next baby? You may have been told to wean your baby to get your fertility back. But most mothers can get their menstrual cycles up and running again, and ovulate, while still continuing to nurse their babies. What do you need to know about trying to conceive while breastfeeding?

When after giving birth can you safely get pregnant again?

Many women who are eager to get pregnant again while still nursing ask us for tips through this blog, and they also often mention that their babies are very young like one or two months old. Your ovulation doesn't normally come back this early on when you are breastfeeding, and usually not even when you are not nursing. That is because your body needs time to recover from pregnancy and birth, and your baby needs full attention from his mother. Nature is clever like that. Of course, there are some women who get pregnant a month after having a baby, but this is certainly not the norm. Most doctors would advise you to wait for a minimum of six months before trying again, and even longer if you had a c-section.

How and when do you get your cycle back?

The World Health Organization recommends women to breastfeed exclusively, without adding formula or baby food, for the first six months. Once you start solids, around that six month mark, you are more likely to get your fertility back. Anything that messes around with your breastfeeding routine influences the chance of starting ovulation again, and especially not breastfeeding for long-ish periods of time. Some ideas you can try, but only if you and your baby are both ready, are:

Consider nightweaning, which means not giving your child the breast during the night. This doesn't influence your ability to nurse during the day, but will mean a drop in milk supply. Dropping one feeding, the one you are naturally inclined to replace with solids. Lengthening the time between feedings. This is not a suggestion to put your child on a schedule, you can just do this instinctively.

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