If you have any specific breastfeeding and birth control questions, feel free to ask them below…
There are a few options when it comes to breast feeding and birth control
Birth control while nursing Method 1
– The natural birth control while breastfeeding.
• Lactational amenorrhea breast feeding birth control method. Also called the breastfeeding birth control method.
The hormone prolactin that is released during breastfeeding suppresses the return of fertility. If mom is breastfeeding exclusively (no supplementary juices or water and no pacifier use) and baby is under 6 months old and mom has not yet started her period, she is 98% protected against getting pregnant. As soon as baby starts eating or drinking anything other than the mom’s milk, the chances of mom falling pregnant are increased.
With this “breastfeeding as birth control” method baby should also not go longer than four hours during the day and six at night without breastfeeding. If he breastfeeds less than this mom may start her period sooner which means that she is able to conceive again.
Some lucky ladies go for two years without getting their periods again.
• Natural family planning. "rhythm method" Which is abstaining from sexual intercourse during a woman’s fertile period every month. This is done by using body temperature and vaginal mucus to identify the time of ovulation.
Birth control breastfeeding Method 2
– Non hormonal methods.
• The use of condoms, which are very reliable.
• Diaphragms used with a spermicide are very effective. Make sure the diaphragm is refitted after your uterus has returned to its pre-pregnancy size. Spermicides are perfectly safe to use during breastfeeding and cannot pass into the breast milk.
• Mirena breastfeeding ~ IUDs are effective and can be inserted 6 weeks after the birth. Mirena, being a hormonal form of birth control may contribute to mood swings during breastfeeding (see below). You will want to research the mirena IUD side effects, as well as the side effects of any other form of birth control before you begin using it.
• Vasectomy or tubal ligation (only considered if you wish to have no more children)
• Sponges and cervical caps.
Birth control breast feeding Method 3
– Hormonal methods (birth control pills breastfeeding and more). Are generally advised against, but if you have to…
• Progestin only methods – Norplant, mini pills or injectables. (small amounts have been found to pass into the breast milk, but with no adverse effects.) Should only be used after breastfeeding is fully established, but is the safest hormonal method for moms who are breastfeeding.
• Estrogen methods – Oral contraceptives, vaginal ring and patch. These have been found to decrease a mother’s breast milk supply and should not be used if you already have a low breast milk volume. This has been found to pass into the breast milk but also in small amounts with no adverse effects. (Not really recommended for breastfeeding moms)
• The morning after pill while breastfeeding - A breastfeeding mom should preferably take a progestin only morning after pill. This can decrease milk supply for a few days after use. This type of contraceptive should also only be taken in emergencies whether you are breastfeeding or not.
Why are natural methods preferred over hormonal birth control while breast feeding?
- Some mothers have reported fussiness in their babies when they started a hormonal birth control and breast feeding method.
- Hormonal birth control methods have been found to increase the risk of cancer later in life for the mom.
- There is not enough research on the effects that these hormones have on babies later in life.
- Moms have mood swings on the hormone contraception during breastfeeding. Depending on each individual.
- It may interfere with breastfeeding by decreasing breast milk supply.
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.