Can You Have A Positive Pregnancy Test While Breastfeeding?
One of the common concerns after giving birth is contraception so that there’s no chance for unplanned pregnancy. If you are feeling pregnancy symptoms, you might be wondering if it’s possible to have a positive pregnancy test while breastfeeding. This article aims to answer that and the other questions you might have on how to do pregnancy test while you’re nursing.
What Are Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant While Breastfeeding?
There’s a natural way of preventing pregnancy called the Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM). If you are exclusively breastfeeding, the return of your menstruation will be delayed. Thus, you won’t be ovulating.
For LAM to work well you need to be exclusively breastfeeding for throughout the day and your menstruation has not returned yet. Each feeding session should be more than 15 minutes and do it more than 6 times a day. Breastfeeding stops the secretion of hormones that trigger ovulation.
However, even with the perfect conditions, you still have a 2% chance of getting pregnant while breastfeeding. So, most moms who are not willing to take the risk are combining LAM with other barrier methods such as condom and IUD.
Will Breastfeeding Alter PT Results?
PT results are reliable even while you are breastfeeding. The hormones that are present when you are lactating won’t affect Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. This hormone is present in the urine and blood when you are pregnant.
After implantation of the fertilized egg, the placenta will release hCG. If there’s enough hCG present in your blood and urine, the result will be positive.
HCG levels are usually detected through urine PT 2 weeks after implantation. Blood pregnancy test can detect positive pregnancy earlier than urine tests because the hormone is released into the bloodstream before it shows up in the urine.
There can be false negative results especially if you made the test too early. So if you have doubts, you can repeat after a week. False positives are less likely because the hormone is only present during pregnancy.
How To Perform A Pregnancy Test While Breastfeeding?
To do the pregnancy test while breastfeeding, just do it exactly the same as when you’re not lactating. Follow the directions on the package of your pregnancy test strips. Even before you conduct a pregnancy test, here are other signs that you might be pregnant while you’re nursing:
- Decrease in milk supply. The milk may turn more sour or salty. It also turns less thick and white.
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Implantation bleeding
- Frequent urination
- Uterine enlargement
- Movement of fetus
- Linea Negra
- Dark pigmentation of face
- Stretch marks
Even if you experience the signs above, it is still not a positive indication that you are pregnant. The only sure indicators of pregnancy are a fetal heartbeat, movement of fetus felt by a professional health worker and fetal image through ultrasound.
What To Do After Positive Pregnancy Test?
If you’re 100% sure that you are pregnant while breastfeeding, there is no need for alarm because the condition is safe for you, your nursing baby, and your growing fetus. You can continue nursing while you are pregnant and even after your next baby is born.
However, if you have a history of high-risk pregnancy, it is best to halt nursing to be safe. The uterus contracts during breastfeeding so it might trigger bleeding or preterm labor.
Because of your new condition, you need some adjustments including your diet. Another reason is that you have three people to nurture, you need to supplement your diet with more nutritious foods. You need an adequate amount of protein and carbohydrates and more on fruits and vegetables.
You need to rest regularly to avoid fatigue. You also need to hydrate well to meet the demands of nursing and pregnancy. Your nipples are more prone to irritation due to pregnancy hormones. To avoid cracking, you may use nipple shields and lanolin cream.
It is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding. You can perform pregnancy test as you normally would using pregnancy test strips and the results won’t be affected.
If you are indeed pregnant, you can continue nursing while making necessary adjustments. Do you have any concerns or questions? Feel free to let me know in the comment section.