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Monday, October 28, 2013

Fertility Awareness After 6 Months Postpartum

This is an afterlogue to my other Fertility Awareness post which was about LAM.  Here I will explain the Basic Infertile Pattern and the Patch Rules.  The understanding of these is the crux of charting postpartum.

When you see a change in cervical fluid (CF) or you stop feeding your baby exclusively (nothing by mouth but breast every time Baby cues--day and night, not to exceed 4 hr/daily or 6 hr/nightly), OR it has been 6 months and LAM's 94% success rate is no longer enough for your family, this is when charting resumes.

I love postpartum charting!

Take your temperatures as accurately as possible.  When breastfeeding at night, getting up at different times, exhaustingly missing your alarm, drinking water, it is hard to make yourself take a temperature.  When you do take it, you feel like it's pointless because there are so many variables.  Try to take it at the same time every morning anyway.  Then if you are late, or any of the above, take it anyway and record it.  Anything helps.  Just think, that will probably be your only assurance that you ovulated, which will happen NOBODY KNOWS WHEN  (the ovulatory 'pain' doesn't always mean you're ovulating.  it can just be the feeling of eggs maturing or anything else ovarian).

When charting resumes, take 2 weeks without having sex.  Chart your CF daily.  If it is the same 'less fertile' quality (sticky/pasty/etc) day after day, that is your Basic Infertile Pattern (BIP).  Good news, this is the non-fertile normal until you experience an increase in CF fertility.  However (if you're like me), if during this 2 weeks, you have any mixture of fertile/nonfertile quality CF, your BIP is dry.  I'm not going to explain the rules that your BIP imply because I don't want people reading this and thinking I've explained something to them and using it.  Read, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.

So we are using the Patch Rule, which means we abstain during fertile patches.  When infertile patches arise, we can have sex on the evening of the 4th nonwet day.  If I don't have that many nonwet days, sex isn't safe.  This is very conservative.  I doubt anybody avoids this way.  This provides that if that last wet day--you ovulated--then 4 dry days afterward would be way too long too achieve pregnancy.

Little One's up.  Loved One's home.