Breastfeeding pattern and the duration of lactational amenorrhea in Urban Chilean women

S. Df́az, G. Rodríguez, G. Marshall, G. del Pino, M. E. Casado, P. Miranda, V. Schiappacasse, H. B. Croxatto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of the breastfeeding pattern and several clinical variables upon the duration of postpartum amenorrhea was assessed in a group of healthy women selected for having had a normal pregnancy and delivery and being highly motivated for prolonged breastfeeding on demand. 676 women who were fully nursing at the second month postpartum entered the study. Supplements were administered to 11% and 48% of the infants by the end of the 3rd and 6th month, respectively. The first bleeding was experienced before the end of the sixth month postpartum by 57% of the cases. Supplementation had a strong negative influence while nursing frequency had a significant positive influence upon the length of amenorrhea. Notwithstanding, a frequency of 8 + suckling episodes per 24 h could not maintain amenorrhea in around half of the subjects. Age and parity had a moderate negative influence upon the risk of experiencing the first postpartum bleeding. Maternal weight and ponderal index, infant sex, birth weight and growth rate showed no significant influence upon the length of amenorrhea. In this urban population selected for having the highest motivation and best breastfeeding performance, the association of breastfeeding with amenorrhea was weak in comparison with what has been described for other populations. The risk of experiencing the first bleeding was reduced while fully breastfeeding with a high number of nursing episodes per day and night, particularly in older women with higher parity. But even in such situation 25% and 50% of the women had started to cycle by the end of the fifth and eigth postpartum month.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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