Nursing a baby often results in women going without her period or ovulating for months at a time, making it hard for a woman to feel assured she will know when her fertility resumes. This quick summary is for those familiar with Toni Wechsler’s Taking Charge of Your Fertility.


Taking Charge of Your Fertility

Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a must have for any woman.



I believe this book is a must have for any woman to understand how her body works, but as a refresher for those who have been asking about nursing and fertility, here is how to use FAM while nursing.

Once a baby hits over 6 months, or more exactly once he lessens his nursing on demand to go longer than 4 hour stretches and/or include other drinks and solids in his diet, or once mom’s period resumed, there are a couple rules to keep in mind if using fertility awareness as a method of birth control for those who have not yet ovulated.

1. The Unchanging Day Rule: If for 2 weeks, the cervical fluid is the same in this testing period of one’s own Basic Infertile Pattern (meaning it’s either dry or the same type of sticky consistency every day), one may safely have relations without worrying about pregnancy the evening of each day that has this dry or unchanging sticky cervical fluid. If one’s BIP shows wet cervical fluid, a woman must consider herself potentially fertile.

2. The Patch Rule: If one notices a change following a basic infertile pattern, she must consider herself fertile until the evening of the fourth consecutive nonwet day after the Peak Day. Here, the Peak Day is defined as the last day of the most fertile patch of cervical fluid or vaginal wetness in one’s BIP. Any type of wetness, whether it be cervical fluid or bleeding, must be considered a fertile patch, and requires 4 days of dryness/stickiness afterward to render one non-fertile.

Once a woman has ovulated and resumes regular menstrual cycles, even if she is nursing, she must follow regular fertility awareness rules.

These are:

1. First 5 days rule: One is safe on the first 5 days of the menstrual cycle if there was an obvious temperature shift 12-16 days before (indicating a true ovulation and luteal phase ending in menstruation).

2. Dry day rule: Before ovulation, one is safe the evening of a dry day because the sperm cannot survive long in that environment, and estrogen levels are too low for ovulation to actually occur then.

3. Temperature shift rule: After 3 consecutive days of one’s basal body temperature above the coverline, one is safe from pregnancy that evening. This means ovulation occurred prior to this, whether one or two eggs were released this cycle.

4. Peak day rule: On the evening of the fourth consecutive day after the highest cervical wetness level, one is safe to have relations as there is a dry vaginal environment which is not conducive to sperm survival, and ovulation has happened quite a bit ago.

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