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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

LAM thoughts

Last week, I went to my ob-gyne for my yearly pap smear. I also meant to ask her about natural family planning and contraceptives. After more than 1 hour waiting time (ugh.. you won't believe how late this doctor comes all the time!!), she finally arrived and it was my turn.
My main concern for this visit was to ask about birth control. It has been more than 2 years since my last menstruation (yes - no light spotting, bleeding - NADA) and I wanted to ask about both natural family planning (NFP) and the artificial birth control. My ob-gyne told me that since I was not menstruating, I didn't have to do any family control since I wasn't ovulating! I was shocked and didn't know how to tell her that LAM or Lactation Amenorrhea Method only worked in certain conditions. She insisted that I couldn't do NFP since I needed to compute from my last menstruation date and she did not want to prescribe any contraceptive. So that's that.
I believe that learning how LAM works is important since misinformation may result in unexpected pregnancies, leading moms to consider LAM as an ineffective natural birth control method. Based on research, LAM only works under certain conditions:

"A woman can use LAM if:
  1. her menstrual period has not returned since delivery (Bleeding or spotting during the first 56 days is not considered menstrual bleeding.) AND
  2. she is breastfeeding her baby on demand, both day and night and not feeding other foods or liquids regularly (Occasional tastes of foods or other liquids are permitted, but they should never replace a feeding at the breast.) AND
  3. her baby is less than six months old."
Some helpful resources for LAM are from:
La Leche League International
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action

I'm not sure if other nursing moms have experienced the same treatment from their OBs. It's just disappointing because unlike other countries, Philippine women (especially pregnant ones) rely on their OBs (and usually take their word as gospel truth!). Midwives play important rules in the country-side but I have yet to hear about a midwife supervising the birth here in Metro Manila.
I am exploring NFP methods but really having difficulty finding the correct resources to get it right. I talked to someone from Institute for Reproductive Health Philippines (they distribute the cycle beads). But she wasn't able to help -- she said that I need to know when my last period was and use that as basis.
One of the breastfeeding counselors in my yahoogroups suggested the billings method or the basal temperature method. But I've yet to find the right person/organization to talk about this. In Makati Med, looking for natural fertility clinics led me to more OBs, who charge consultation fees to discuss NFP.
We are NOT ready to have another baby so I would like to learn about the correct way of billings/basal since hubby doesn't want to go the contraceptives route. Ho-hum... the search goes on.

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