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If they don't breastfeed, most women begin to ovulate again about four to six weeks after having their baby. Ovulation can occur before a woman has her first period after childbirth. Women who exclusively breastfeed (feeding the baby only with breastmilk) usually don't begin to ovulate again until five to six months after the baby is born. Every woman is different, however, and ovulation may begin again at different times. To avoid an unwanted pregnancy, use birth control after having a baby even if you haven't started having your period again.
Ovulation can resume pretty quickly after a baby is born. That is how we get babies 9 months apart. Anytime you are resuming intercourse after giving birth you should also resume some method of birth control. Ovulation is slower to resume for women who exclusively breastfeed but just because they are not having a period does not mean they are not ovulating. If you have recently given birth you should talk to your health care provider before going home from the hospital or birthing center about what method of birth control would be best for you. Waiting until the 6 week checkup to start if you are resuming intercourse prior to your visit is often too late.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.