Billings Ovulation Method® and Managing Fertility during Lactation and Weaning

A look at how the Billings Ovulation Method® can be used to regulate fertility whilst breastfeeding and managing the return to regular ovulatory cycles.

Production of breast milk is controlled by the hormone prolactin which is produced in the anterior pituitary gland. During pregnancy the levels of prolactin rise 35-fold* over pre-pregnancy levels. Following birth the levels of prolactin begin to fall. The rate at which the prolactin falls relates to the frequency of suckling of the baby at the breast. If the baby suckles frequently, deriving all nourishment from the breast, prolactin levels will usually remain high. As the length of time between feeds increases and the amount of milk consumed decreases (as other foods are introduced) the levels of prolactin will fall, spiking up at each feed and dropping between feeds.