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.