Many moms enjoy an unexpected perk while exclusively breastfeeding: They don’t menstruate.
“Prolactin, which is stimulated by suckling, can inhibit your cycle,” says pediatrician Jack Newman, M.D., author of The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers (Three Rivers Press). “If mothers breastfeed exclusively for more than one year, they often won’t get their periods for an average of 14 months.”
Here’s the rub: You can get pregnant again without having your period, so ask your doctor for an effective birth-control method that won’t decrease your milk supply, such as condoms or the copper IUD. (Nursing moms should avoid estrogen-containing birth control.)