Breastfeeding can be an amazing time for moms to bond with their baby while they provide them a source of incomparable nutrition, but like any other time in their adult life, breastfeeding moms can get pregnant, too. If you are nursing and suspect that you are pregnant, you may wonder, can breastfeeding affect a pregnancy test?
It's fairly well known among moms that breastfeeding can be a form of birth control. According to La Leche League International (LLLI), moms who exclusively breastfeed will likely not get their period for about six months after their baby is born because the baby's suckling and frequent nursing will suppress ovulation. When the baby gets older, explained LLLI, and breastfeeds less, ovulation and menstruation will begin again, but may be irregular for a few months. It is these hormonal and cyclical fluctuations that may trigger some moms to wonder how breastfeeding affects pregnancy test results.
ClearBlue, one of the most well-known brands of at-home pregnancy tests, tells Romper in a Twitter message that breastfeeding should not affect pregnancy test results, but you should be careful to test at the right time. ClearBlue notes that if you are breastfeeding, and are unsure about your cycles, it's best to test about 19 days after sex.
Urine and blood pregnancy tests are designed to detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced when your fertilized egg attaches itself into the uterus and your pregnancy begins, explained the American Pregnancy Association (APA). As your pregnancy progresses, the amounts of hCG in your body begin to build up rapidly.
As long as your body has amounts of hCG that are detectable by the pregnancy test, keeping in mind some tests are more sensitive than others, breastfeeding should not affect the results. Figuring out if you're pregnant or not can be hard enough as it is, but it's good to know that breastfeeding should not alter the results in any way.