Lactational amenorrhea as a method of family planning

Lactational amenorrhea as a method of family planning

F Terzioglu, R Turk

Hacettepe University School of Nursing, 06100, Ankara, Turkey

Breast-feeding is associated with the suppression of ovarian activity and thus

with variable period of amenorrhea and infertility. The risk of resumption of

fertility, and therefore of conception, during lactation is related to infant

feeding patterns. Lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) is a highly effective

modern method of family planning. LAM has tree elements; a) full or nearly full

breastfeeding b) postpartum amenorrhea and c) an infant aged under 6 months. LAM

is limited to 6 months because infant-feeding guidelines recommend that

supplementation with other foods should begin at 6 months. Multinational study

of LAM including 519 women at 11 sites in developing and developed countries ,

the 6 month efficacy rate was 98.3%. However, if such criteria are not met,

unwanted pregnancy might result. Women do not need to use family planning

methods for very long time since they think that breastfeeding should prevent

themselves after the delivery and consequently get conceived again.

As a result,

no matter what the women/couples decide with regard to family planning, when the

contraceptive method chosen is breastfeeding, the responsibility of the health

professionals is to provide counselling to the women. In the counselling

services to be provided to the breastfeeding women after the delivery, if the

woman in question choose to breastfeed as a contraceptive method, it’s important

to train her as to how this contraceptive method shall be used most effectively.

It’s considered that unwanted pregnancy and resultant health problems shall be

prevented, health of the women and children shall be protected thereby

contributing elevating public health and life quality.

KEY WORDS Breast-feeding,

Lactational amenorrhea, Contraception, LAM, Postpartum contraception.

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