How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Giving Birth?
how soon can you get pregnant after giving birth

If you have recently given birth, you may have heard that you do not need to be concerned about getting pregnant for a while, especially if you are breastfeeding. But is that accurate?

In this article, we will discuss what the truth is about how soon you can get pregnant after giving birth. We will also discuss if breastfeeding is an effective method of birth control and how to process your option if you discover that you are unexpectedly pregnant soon after giving birth.

How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Giving Birth?

Several conditions are necessary for pregnancy to occur, and they include:

  • Ovulation and the egg entering one of the fallopian tubes
  • The presence of sperm
  • Fertilization of the egg by a sperm in the fallopian tube
  • The fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus and implants in the uterine lining, where it continues to develop

So in order to become pregnant, you have to ovulate. Knowing this, you may wonder how soon you can ovulate after giving birth. The answer is that most women ovulate about six weeks after giving birth if they are not breastfeeding. But, it is possible to ovulate as soon as three weeks after giving birth, which means that it is vital to have a birth control plan in place to prevent another pregnancy.

Can You Use Breastfeeding as a Birth Control Method?

Many women ask if breastfeeding is a reliable method of contraception. The simple answer is – it depends. Some women do not ovulate while they are breastfeeding, and some women do. The problem is that you won’t know which applies to you, so it is best to use a dependable method of birth control any time you want to prevent a pregnancy from occurring.

It is less likely (but still possible) that you will ovulate while breastfeeding if all five of the following conditions are present:

  1. Your baby is under six months old.
  2. Your baby is exclusively breastfed – meaning your baby does not receive nourishment from any other source.
  3. Intervals between breastfeeding are no longer than four hours during the day and six hours at night.
  4. You do not use a breast pump.
  5. You have not had a period since you gave birth.

Next, we will clear up four common myths about getting pregnant again after giving birth.

Myth #1: You can’t get pregnant after giving birth if you haven’t had a period yet.

You can get pregnant even if you have not had a period yet after giving birth. In a typical menstrual cycle, you ovulate about two weeks before your period starts, but many women do not ovulate before their first post-birth period.

However, many women do ovulate without warning before their first post-birth period. This means you can give birth, not have a period for three months, ovulate, and get pregnant again without ever having a period after giving birth.

Myth #2: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex when you are not currently ovulating.

Are you someone who knows when she is ovulating? Maybe you experience ovulation pain on one side or other symptoms that signal ovulation. Can’t you simply avoid having sex when you know you are ovulating to prevent pregnancy? No, and the reason for this is that you can ovulate after you have sex.

According to Mayo Clinic, sperm can live for up to five days in the female reproductive tract. This means that if you don’t feel like you are ovulating and have unprotected sex but then ovulate five days later, you could become unexpectedly pregnant.

Myth #3: You can’t get pregnant if you are breastfeeding.

For the reasons we previously discussed, you can definitely get pregnant if you are breastfeeding.

Myth #4: It’s fine to space your pregnancies close together.

The reality is that your body needs time to recover from a pregnancy. March of Dimes recommends to wait at least eighteen months after giving birth before becoming pregnant again.

When you give your body a chance to recover between pregnancies, you reduce the risk of:

  • Premature birth
  • Baby being small for gestational age (SGA)
  • Low birth weight
  • Congenital disorders
  • Maternal anemia
  • Long-term health problems

After you give birth, you are adjusting to a disrupted sleep schedule, caring for a newborn, and healing from childbirth all at the same time. You deserve to take care of yourself, so give yourself time to recover and adjust before becoming pregnant again.

If you do unexpectedly become pregnant, help is available.

What To Do if You Become Pregnant Soon After Giving Birth

Unexpected pregnancies happen every day, and it is not the end of the world if you discover you are pregnant soon after giving birth. You may even know someone who successfully had pregnancies close together.

If you have recently given birth and are pregnant again, your first step is to be gentle with yourself. You probably feel shocked, and you need time to process the news. Be sure to see your healthcare provider as soon as possible so they can provide you with guidance for a healthy pregnancy.

But what if you feel that you cannot possibly continue your pregnancy? In that case, take a deep breath and seek support from an unbiased pregnancy center where you will not be judged for considering abortion.

Considering Abortion?

Willow Womens Center is a safe place to process your thoughts and options about an unexpected pregnancy without judgment. We are a medical clinic with licensed professional healthcare providers who can walk with you as you process your doubts and questions.

You do not need anyone to tell you what to do about your unexpected pregnancy. At Willow Womens Center, you will feel empowered after getting the answers to all your important questions and you will be ready to make an informed decision.

You can be confident about your next steps when you are unexpectedly pregnant. Contact us today for your confidential appointment. Our services are always at no cost to you.


Pregnancy Symptoms: Early Signs You Are Pregnant

Could I be pregnant? Until you know for sure, wondering if you are pregnant or not can cause quite a bit of anxiousness — especially when a pregnancy is unexpected.

The confusing part is that premenstrual signs mimic early pregnancy, so it can really leave you wondering what to attribute your symptoms to.

The only way to have a definitive answer to the “Am I pregnant?” question is by a positive pregnancy test followed up with an ultrasound to confirm a viable pregnancy. Since you may experience early pregnancy symptoms before you have that confirmation, we will discuss them here, so you know what to look for.

What Happens in Your Body When You Become Pregnant?

Specific things need to happen in your body for a pregnancy to occur. Steps to pregnancy include:  

  • Ovulation: Ovulation is the point in your menstrual cycle when a mature egg is released from your ovary and into the fallopian tube.
  • Presence of sperm: Sperm must be present to become pregnant. After unprotected sex, sperm, which is chemically designed to locate the egg, travels up to the fallopian tube.  
  • Conception: Conception is when a single sperm penetrates the egg (fertilization). It is the moment that pregnancy begins. The fertilized egg continues to travel through the fallopian tube for five to six days to the uterus.
  • Implantation: Implantation is the process of the fertilized egg burrowing into the uterine lining and becoming an embryo. The instant implantation occurs, your body is triggered to produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone.

Pregnancy Symptoms

As soon as implantation occurs, you may begin to experience early pregnancy symptoms because your body starts producing the hCG pregnancy hormone right away.

Listed below are common pregnancy symptoms. You may experience all of them, some of them, or none of them. Every pregnancy is different, so keep in mind that what is normal for you may not be typical for another woman. And try not to become overwhelmed as you read the list. Most women tolerate early pregnancy symptoms quite well, and they usually only last through the first trimester of pregnancy.

Classic signs and symptoms of pregnancy may include:

  • Missed period

The most common symptom of pregnancy is missing your period. This is often the first clue that you might be pregnant.

  • Spotting

Light bleeding in early pregnancy may be alarming to you, but this is more common than you might expect. Implantation bleeding is spotting that happens in approximately 25-30% of pregnant women when the fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining.

Sometimes, women mistakenly count implantation bleeding as a period, delaying them from realizing they are pregnant. If your period is different than usual in duration, different in color, and has a lighter flow than a regular period, consider taking a pregnancy test. This could be implantation bleeding.

  • Light cramping

You may feel like your period is about to start because you experience cramping. It can accompany implantation or be caused by your uterus growing. However, seek medical care immediately if you also have severe pain on one side to rule out an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes) which would require immediate medical care.

  • Vaginal discharge

Your vaginal walls thicken when you become pregnant, causing a white, thin discharge. It is normal unless it has an odor or changes color. In that case, contact your healthcare provider.

  • Breast changes

Breast tenderness is another pregnancy symptom that might have you feeling like your period is about to start. You may also notice that your breasts feel swollen or tingly in early pregnancy. The areola may also become darker and larger.

  • Nausea

The term morning sickness is very familiar. But the reality is that nausea and/or vomiting can strike any time during the day or night when you are pregnant. Many women find it helpful to stay hydrated, keep crackers on hand, and eat small frequent meals, so their stomachs do not get empty, causing nausea to increase.

  • Food aversion

In addition to nausea, you may notice that you can’t tolerate certain odors or foods.

  • Fatigue

Your body is working hard to support another person, and it is very normal to feel fatigued in early pregnancy. Rest assured that it tends to subside when the second trimester starts. Practice good self-care by eating nourishing foods rich in iron and protein and rest when your body needs it.

  • Constipation and bloating 

Pregnancy hormones can slow your digestion system and make it difficult to have a bowel movement causing you to feel bloated. Maintain a healthy diet that includes fiber, fruits, vegetables, and drinking plenty of water every day.

  • Urinating More Frequently

In early pregnancy, your body needs to process more fluid than usual, causing the need to urinate more often. As your pregnancy grows, it also presses against your bladder and results in feeling like you need to make more trips to the bathroom than usual.

  • Heartburn

Heartburn starts earlier in pregnancy than women anticipate. It’s caused by progesterone, which not only slows your digestive system down but also causes your esophagus muscles to relax, leading to a burning feeling in your chest.

  • Mood changes

Like premenstrual hormones, pregnancy hormones can cause you to feel different emotionally. Some women feel more sentimental and loving, and some experience mood swings, including weepiness. Be gracious with yourself, and remember that pregnancy brings emotional adjustments in addition to physical changes.

No-Cost Pregnancy Testing Is Available at Willow Womens Center

If you think you might be unexpectedly pregnant, you will need a listening ear and compassionate care more than ever before. You are looking for accurate answers to your questions.

Willow Womens Center is passionate about empowering you with unbiased facts from licensed healthcare professionals so you can make a confident decision about your unexpected pregnancy.

Our services are always at no cost to you. We offer medical-grade pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound if your pregnancy test is positive, and testing for sexually transmitted infection (STI)  in addition to other services.

Contact Willow Womens Center today to schedule your confidential appointment and receive the support you deserve.


Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?
Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?

You think your girlfriend might be pregnant, but you are not sure. The thought of facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary, but it is best to know the answer sooner rather than later.

To find out if your girlfriend is pregnant, you can ask her, look for obvious signs, and encourage her to take a pregnancy test.

Ask Your Girlfriend If She Thinks She Is Pregnant

Although you usually would not ask a woman if she is pregnant, it is ok to ask your girlfriend. Remember that she is just as fearful as you are. Assure her that she has your support whether she is pregnant or not, and you will work through this together.  

Signs Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant

You may not get the definite answer you need, but you can also look for early signs of a possible pregnancy. When women become pregnant, their bodies go through tremendous changes and produce pregnancy hormones that trigger common symptoms of pregnancy, which include:

  • Missed period

A missed period is the most common sign your girlfriend is pregnant. Understanding how her cycle works can help you know how likely she is to be pregnant.

  • Nausea with or without vomiting

It is called “morning sickness,” but nausea with or without vomiting can occur any time of the day or night. In addition, foods and odors can trigger nausea in early pregnancy.

  • Tender or swollen breasts

Tender and swollen breasts can start one to two weeks into pregnancy. It can also be a sign that your girlfriend’s period is about to begin. But if they are combined with other symptoms, it could indicate that she is pregnant.

  • Fatigue

Thanks to high progesterone hormone levels in early pregnancy, your girlfriend may feel exhausted if she is pregnant.

  • Bloating

Bloating is another early pregnancy symptom that mimics signs your girlfriend’s period is about to start. Sometimes, bloating occurs before she misses her period as progesterone hormone levels rise and cause the digestive system to slow down and gas to be trapped.

If you see any of these signs of pregnancy in your girlfriend, encourage her to take a pregnancy test so you can determine your next steps and take them together.  

Encourage a Pregnancy Test

The best way to know if your girlfriend is pregnant is by a urine pregnancy test – no-cost pregnancy clinics can offer free testing with highly accurate pregnancy test results.

Medical pregnancy clinics are skilled at determining if a pregnancy is viable and will answer all your questions about each of your options for an unexpected pregnancy.

Willow Womens Center Has Answers

At Willow Womens Center, we understand that taking a pregnancy test is scary for anyone thinking they might be unexpectedly pregnant because it means acknowledging reality and facing tough decisions.

Our licensed healthcare professionals offer no-cost limited medical services and compassionately empower you with the information you need to make the best decision about an unplanned pregnancy. Contact us online today or call 1-608-312-2025 to schedule your confidential appointment and get the answers you deserve.


How To Tell Your Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy

The chances of needing to tell a partner about an unexpected pregnancy at some point are pretty high when you consider that nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Even if you have a healthy relationship, it is common to feel a little nervous about telling your spouse/partner that you are pregnant when that wasn’t part of your plans right now.

So, how exactly do you tell them about an unexpected pregnancy? This article will discuss what you can do to make that conversation flow a little easier.

Timing Matters

When you tell your spouse/partner about an unexpected pregnancy, timing matters. Choose to share the news when you have plenty of time to talk or simply can spend time together afterward to process your thoughts and feelings. In other words, telling them that you are unexpectedly pregnant just before you both leave for work would not be ideal.

If either of you is significantly preoccupied or stressed, it may be best to wait. Talking about an unexpected pregnancy just after an argument or before an important job interview could start this journey off on the wrong foot.

Another aspect of timing is to tell your spouse/partner soon after you discover that you are pregnant. This way, you haven’t already spent a great deal of time moving through the phases of coping with an unexpected pregnancy while he is just getting started in the first phase of shock.

Where To Tell Your Spouse/Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy

In-person and in the comfort of your own space is the ideal place to tell your spouse/partner about an unexpected pregnancy. This will give them a chance to respond honestly, and you can talk freely in a private setting compared to out in public. Showing your partner the positive pregnancy test helps to alleviate his shock, and you probably wouldn’t want to pull that test strip out at your local coffee shop.

Unless your spouse/partner is away for an extended period of time, such as military deployment, definitely do not tell him about an unexpected pregnancy by phone or text message. Next, we’ll discuss what to say because words matter.

How To Tell Your Spouse/Partner About an Unexpected Pregnancy – Choosing Your Words

Before you talk with your spouse/partner, it is critical to remind yourself that you did not get pregnant by yourself. An unexpected pregnancy is not something you need to walk on eggshells about or carry guilt or shame over. Once your mindset is ready, you can think about the words to use when you tell them that you are pregnant.

You are not responsible for your partner’s response to an unexpected pregnancy, but you can choose words that may help set the tone for your conversation about it. For example, consider the difference between hearing, “I have terrible news,” and “My period is late, so I took a pregnancy test today and found out we are pregnant.”

Approach talking with your partner about an unplanned pregnancy with the confidence that this is an issue you can tackle together. Use words that are natural to you but think ahead of time about how you want to phrase them directly and positively.  For example, say, “We are pregnant” rather than “I’m pregnant,” because this did not happen all by yourself.

Give Your Spouse/Partner Space and Time to Process the News

If you are not looking at the pregnancy test results for the first time together, your partner will be in the difficult position of having to react to the news in front of you, and that’s not easy. He may feel compelled to filter his reaction so he does not hurt your feelings, or he may react with unfiltered honesty – and that can be painful if he is initially unhappy about the pregnancy. However, this is not a free pass to treat you disrespectfully, which is never okay.

The moment just after telling your spouse/partner about an unplanned pregnancy is the time to “hold space” for him. Holding space means he has a chance to experience his thoughts without pressure to discuss them right away. He may need to process the news on his own for a bit before coming together to discuss it with you. Don’t take his first reaction personally if it is negative – he is most likely responding to his fears rather than you.

Like you, your spouse/partner will move through many different responses as he comes to grip with the news of a pregnancy neither of you saw coming. Common responses men have to an unexpected pregnancy include:

  • Happiness
  • Shock
  • Fear
  • Denial
  • Anger

Take One Step at a Time

There is no denying that difficult conversations come with the territory of an unexpected pregnancy. Take one step at a time, and do not make any permanent decisions while your emotions are high or conflicted.

Once you have moved beyond the initial shock, you can move on to discuss your feelings about topics ranging from your hopes, dreams, and goals to your fears and next practical steps to making a pregnancy decision. It is essential to take one step at a time as you share honestly about how you feel about your pregnancy options, including parenting, adoption, and abortion.

  • Step 1 – Confirm your pregnancy

Your first step is to confirm how far along you are in your pregnancy and verify that your pregnancy is viable. A viable pregnancy is one that is likely to carry to term successfully rather than end in miscarriage. You can get these answers only by a pregnancy ultrasound performed by your healthcare provider or at an unbiased pregnancy center such as Willow Womens Center.

  • Step 2 – Weigh your options and make your decision

After you know you have a viable pregnancy and how far along you are, talk with an experienced pregnancy advocate who can review your options with you and your partner. The licensed healthcare professionals at Willow Womens Center can provide the information you need about parenting, adoption, and abortion so that you can make a confident decision about your unexpected pregnancy. You will never feel rushed or pressured to make a pregnancy decision; instead, you will be empowered to make the best decision for you and your family.

Willow Womens Center Is Here for You

At Willow Womens Center, we understand how confusing an unplanned pregnancy can be. We compassionately provide confidential, no-cost services to help you make an informed decision about your unexpected pregnancy. Make an appointment at Willow Womens Center today.


Pregnancy Resources in South Beloit
Pregnancy Resources in South Beloit

Do you live in or near South Beloit, IL, and think you might be unexpectedly pregnant? Willow Womens Center is nearby to provide the compassionate support you need during this uncertain time.

No-cost Pregnancy Services

Willow Womens Center is an authentic medical clinic staffed by licensed medical professionals. We offer pregnancy services to you at no cost, including:

  • High-quality pregnancy testing

Even if you had a positive pregnancy test result at home, we will run another medical-grade pregnancy test for you so you can get the written verification needed for support services.

  • Pregnancy ultrasounds

It is vital to have an ultrasound even if you are considering abortion. An ultrasound provides critical information such as how far along you are and if your pregnancy is viable or not.

  • Unbiased and accurate information

We understand that only YOU can make the best decision for you personal circumstances, which is why we are passionate about equipping you with unbiased and accurate information about your pregnancy and your options. We want to empower you to make an informed decision.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Testing

If your pregnancy test is positive, we provide testing for two common STIs: gonorrhea and chlamydia.

  • Community referrals

We want you to be connected to the community resources you need to be healthy and provided for. We will offer referral information for further testing or support services available in the community.

Our compassionate staff members will never judge you for being unexpectedly pregnant, for the choice you make about your pregnancy, or anything else. We care about you and strive to empower you to make a confident decision about your pregnancy.

Willow Womens Center is located in Beloit, WI, near Beloit Memorial Hospital and across the street from McDonalds at 2680 Prairie Avenue. Contact us today for your confidential appointment.

About South Beloit

Nestled along the scenic Turtle Creek and Rock River, the city of South Beloit, Illinois is located in Winnebago County and bordered to the north by Beloit, Wisconsin along the Illinois-Wisconsin state line.

Although South Beloit is only six square miles, it provides many riveting highlights to visitors ranging from outdoor recreation to shopping. Places of interest in South Beloit include:

  • Angela’s Attic

Angela’s Attic is a 35,000 square foot, family-owned and operated antique shop. They have over 100 dealers who sell unique antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia.

  • Blackhawk Farms Raceway

Blackhawk Farms Raceway is a fun place for racing enthusiasts. Amateur and professional drivers alike will be challenged along the nearly two-mile asphalt course, which incorporates seven turns. Spectators can be wowed by motorcycle, bicycle, go-cart, and sports car races on the weekends.

  • DC Estate Winery

DC Estate Winery is a beautiful vineyard, winery, and event venue, which is also a family-owned and operated business. Visitors feel like they are stepping into the hills of Tuscany with its magnificent views and warm, family hospitality.

  • Nature at The Confluence

Surrounded by the stunning Rock River, Turtle Creek, and Kelly Creek, Nature at The Confluence is an urban environmental center that opened in 2017 to connect people with nature.

  • Pearl Lake

Pearl Lake is a privately owned RV resort and lake that provides pristine aqua-colored water in which to scuba dive and swim.