Can I Get Pregnant If I’m Exclusively Pumping? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’re breastfeeding, you may have noticed that you’re not getting your period these days. You may also have heard through the grapevine that breastfeeding suppresses ovulation, acting as birth control. But many women aren’t just breastfeeding — they’re pumping, too. Some women are even exclusively pumping. In that case, it makes sense to ask, “Can I get pregnant if I’m exclusively pumping?”

Breastfeeding absolutely acts as natural birth control, but as noted by Planned Parenthood, it’s not perfect by any means. For one thing, you can only count on breastfeeding for contraception during the first six months of your baby’s life, and once you start ovulating, all bets are off. Planned Parenthood reported that when done correctly, the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) prevents pregnancy about as well as a hormonal contraceptive — however, the organization was careful to note that breastfeeding won’t work as birth control if you introduce formula, solids — or a breast pump.

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