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How Soon After Giving Birth Can You Get Pregnant?

How Soon After Giving Birth Can You Get Pregnant?

While you might not consciously think about it most of the time, the question has probably popped up in your head at least once, “How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant?” Well, actually, the answer to that question is a bit complicated. To find out the answer, we need to consider a few things.

How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant?

First, let’s get things straight. To answer the question of, “how soon after giving birth can you get pregnant,” you can get pregnant as early as three weeks after giving birth. While getting pregnant is entirely possible, there are some conditions that might lower your chances.

One of these conditions is called, lactational amenorrhea. Amenorrhoea is just a scientific term that describes the absence of menstruation. During the first few weeks after giving birth, you are unlikely to menstruate. By that, it also means that ovulation is also unlikely.

Unfortunately, there’s no telling when your next menstruation cycle will come (so using this as a method of birth control might be unreliable.) Exclusively breastfeeding during this period of postpartum will likely extend the duration where you will not be ovulating.

What happens during lactational amenorrhea?

Lactational amenorrhea, or LAM for short, is the process where exclusively breastfeeding delays the coming of your next ovulation.

When you breastfeed, you release certain hormones. During breastfeeding, your baby stimulates your body to trigger the release of these hormones. These hormones tell your body to suppress and delay the hormone that is responsible for ovulation. If you don’t ovulate, you don’t get pregnant. When done properly, LAM can be an effective method for birth control and family planning until your baby reaches 6 months.

There is an important point that you have to remember! LAM will only work if you breastfeed exclusively. This means that if you include formulas or other milk into the equation, this lessens the chances of it being effective. That’s because the hormones need to be released at a consistent time frame. Adding formula and milk might jeopardize this.

In addition, you need to make sure that your baby breastfeeds directly. The breast pump cannot stimulate your body the same way latching can.

Take note that LAM may become unreliable when you these things occur:

  • Your baby is older than 6 months
  • Your baby is on formula or is eating solids
  • You start having periods again
  • You stop night feeding
  • Longer intervals between feeding

Is it safe to get pregnant after giving birth?

You can get pregnant as early as three weeks after giving birth. Putting everything in consideration, while it is totally possible to give birth, a few things need to be taken into consideration. Pregnancy can take a huge toll, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically. On top of that, it might be difficult to juggle a second pregnancy, while also having to care for your newborn. This is where family planning comes into play.

When’s a good time to have your next child?

The answer to this question is a bit tricky. It totally is up to you. No one else can decide this for you. However, there are some factors that you need to take into consideration.

If you have a partner, you need to take into consideration his or her plans as well. Having another child is an incredibly demanding task and it needs to be planned well by the both of you. When it comes to your future plans, does having another child align with what you want?

There are also physiological considerations involved. The body hasn’t really recovered from giving birth until 18-23 months after pregnancy. There is a good reason to wait before having another child. It can give you time to recuperate and prepare your body for the rigors of another pregnancy.

Family planning tips

Here are some tips for when you should get another child.


If you have a partner, you should communicate with him or her about your plans for the future. This makes sure that both of you are on the same page.

Financial planning

Raising a child needs financial commitment. You should carefully consider if you can provide a life that meets all the basic needs of all members of the family.


Contraceptives can be an effective way to prevent pregnancy. Consult with your doctor to find out which option or what form of contraceptive might be the most suited for you.

Natural Family Planning

If you are considering an alternative to contraceptives, then you might want to consider natural family planning. It involves many methods like the one we discussed above (LAM.) Talk to your doctor to find out the most suitable natural family planning method for you.

Key Takeaway

How soon after giving birth can you get pregnant? You can get pregnant a few weeks after giving birth. However, certain factors can help delay ovulation and lower the risk of you getting pregnant such as LAM.

Consult your doctor for any concerns.

Learn more about Getting Pregnant here.

Ovulation Calculator

Ovulation Calculator

Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

Ovulation Calculator

Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

Ovulation Calculator

Cycle Length



Period Duration



Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Sex and Contraception After Birth, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/support-and-services/sex-and-contraception-after-birth/ Accessed on July 29, 2021

Sex After Pregnancy: Set Your Timeline, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/sex-after-pregnancy/art-20045669 Accessed on July 29, 2021

Breastfeeding while Pregnant, https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/breastfeeding-while-pregnant Accessed on July 29, 2021

How Long Should Older Moms Wait Before Getting Pregnant Again, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/01/663181674/how-long-should-older-moms-wait-before-getting-pregnant-again Accessed on July 29, 2021

Getting Pregnant Again, https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/childbirth-and-beyond/getting-pregnant-again Accessed on July 29, 2021

Natural Family Planning ( Fertility Awareness ), https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/natural-family-planning/ Accessed on July 29, 2021

How Long to Wait Before Your Second Baby, https://patient.info/news-and-features/how-long-to-wait-before-your-second-baby Accessed on July 29, 2021


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Written by Sky Abundo Updated Jul 22, 2021
Fact Checked by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza