True Or False: Women Are Extremely Fertile Right After Giving Birth

Twitter is having a little fun with Jeremy Kyle, co-host of Good Morning Britain, after he asked a seemingly ignorant question about sex.
Kyle was talking to Mark McDonald, a politician with the Scottish National Party, about the fact that the Scottish government is giving baby boxes with necessary resources to people who have recently had children β€” including free condoms. But why, Kyle wondered aloud, would new mothers need condoms?
"I would have thought that you would have done enough episodes of the Jeremy Kyle so by now, Jeremy, to understand how this process works," McDonald said. And Twitter went wild.
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Even McDonald himself weighed in on the moment via Twitter.
Look, we don't live in the UK and aren't super familiar with Kyle's work β€” though according to a quick Google search he seems to have a reputation for saying inappropriate things β€” but his question wasn't really all that outrageous.
Whether or not you can get pregnant soon after childbirth is something people who have recently had a baby wonder often enough that just about every pregnancy and parenting website has an answer.
McDonald explains in his answer that yes, it is totally possible for someone to get pregnant soon after giving birth and that's why they provide new parents with condoms. In fact, he says that women are "exceptionally fertile" after giving birth. But is that really true?
As is the case with most life situations, the answer is: it depends. If a new parent is exclusively breastfeeding, the hormones that help with lactation actually suppress ovulation, according to Dani Kurtz, a labor and delivery nurse at Utah Valley Hospital.
"If you're not ovulating, then you can't get pregnant," she said in a video answer to the question on Facebook.
Of course, this doesn't mean that breastfeeding is a 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy. According to Chaunie Brusie, B.S.N, a registered labor and delivery nurse in Michigan, there's a lot that goes into making breastfeeding an effective contraceptive. It should be 98% effective only if your baby is: under 6 months old, exclusively breast-fed, nursing on demand, still nursing at night, nursing at least six times a day, and nursing at least 60 minutes a day, she wrote on Healthline.
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If a new parent isn't exclusively breastfeeding, it's even more possible to get pregnant soon after giving birth, Kurtz said, even if they haven't gotten a period yet. "Some women don't ever have a period and have a few little signs of pregnancy, so they take a pregnancy test just because and surprise! It turns out positive," she said.
While it's definitely possible to get pregnant soon after having a baby, whether or not someone is "extremely fertile" after giving birth, as McDonald said, is up for debate and not many experts have weighed in. If they did, it would probably be to tell new parents that that it's best for your body and your baby to wait and use contraceptives to avoid pregnancy.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that pregnancies should ideally be spaced out 12 months apart to give your body full time to recover. So, yes, providing new parents with free condoms is important.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if β€” not when β€” and it's time we talked about it that way.
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