Written by the Tempdrop Team
No matter what your family planning goals are, figuring out your cycle while postpartum - and especially while breastfeeding - can be tricky. That's why we put together this quick summary of 4 methods of fertility awareness you could use for whatever intention you have! Each of these methods has a specific protocol you can follow to accurately chart your return of fertility.
Lactational Amenorrhea Method
While some people just use exclusive, ecological breastfeeding to hopefully prevent pregnancy, there's actually a method to help you understand if you're getting your cycle back yet for the first 6 months postpartum called the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM).
If you use LAM, the rules include things about both you and your baby to qualify you to continue using it, and there's a hard time out of the method at 6 months postpartum.
The Marquette Method is less hands on (for you) than a lot of other fertility methods are. It uses a monitor called the ClearBlue monitor that tests both estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH). This is useful, as a single hormone test such as LH doesn't tell you enough of the picture to make decisions about your fertility.
They have protocols for postpartum, irregular cycles, and even perimenopause, so it's a method that can work with you through all sorts of life circumstances. You just have to know what the correct protocol for your current circumstance is!
Some Marquette Method users even choose to add a temping protocol (such as Sensiplan's temperature protocol) for an extra check, although it's not officially part of the method.
You can find a list of instructors and their qualifications here
Boston Cross Check
The Boston Cross Check Method (BCC) uses the ClearBlue monitor, too. On top of the monitor, teachers understand a variety of other symptoms to track, including basal body temperature and cervical mucus. One of the benefits of BCC is that you get to work with your instructor to choose which symptoms and markers make the most sense for you in your charting journey right now. It could even change later down the road!
They, as the other methods listed, have a postpartum protocol. Since they have a specific temperature protocol as well, it's a great method to pair with a Tempdrop
Billings is a cervical mucus only method. It has a very specific way to categorize mucus, and you use stamps to denote your fertility status each day. There is a specific protocol to follow while waiting for a return of fertility, which means that you won't be left wondering exactly how to identify your first ovulation postpartum.
As mentioned, it is a cervical mucus only method, but you could definitely choose to add a temperature protocol on top of the official method if you want to have an extra sign to confirm ovulation has happened.
These methods are meant to provide options for you when you are postpartum, especially when breastfeeding since some hormonal birth control options are known to decrease milk supply. So try one out, and let us know on Instagram if you use, have used, or are going to try one of these methods out!