J.M. asks from New Philadelphia, OH on July 31, 2008
Birth Control and Nursing
Here is my problem; I am currently nursing, but would like to wean. I am on a low-dose pill that works in conjunction with nursing. As I wean, will it still be effective, or do I need to use another form of birth control until my daughter is fully weaned? How many nursing sessions are required to render the nursing/pill still effective?
M.C. answers from Cincinnati on August 01, 2008
I would reccomend using another form of birth control. I was on the same pill and when I began giving up feedings I ended
up pregnant. I am not sure when the pill becomes ineffective, but I would still use a back up method to be on the safe side. My daughters are 18 months apart! :)
M.C. answers from Canton on August 01, 2008
To my knowledge weening shouldn't make your birth control less effective. Antibiotics will interfere with birth control but weening should not. Please clarify your last question as I am confused. How many nursing sessions are required......
I am a Mom of four 18, 17, 8 and 3. I nursed the two younger ones until they were a little over 12 months. I also am college educated and a small business owner.
M.C. answers from Cleveland on August 08, 2008
I've been on the same pill since my daughter was born 4 years ago: Trinessa, and it works perfectly well. I nursed her and my son on this pill. Yours should be a progesterone only pill, since you are nursing, and you should be able to take it forever.
K.M. answers from Fort Wayne on August 01, 2008
I can't answer this scientifically, only from my own experience. I did get pregnant while on the low-dose. I was at the end of weaning. Down to 1 short feeding and apparently that wasn't enough to protect me. I ended up with a miscarriage (I don't believe the miscarriage was related to the pill). So, my advise is to use a backup form of control until you can move to a different solution.
Bravo to you for nursing so long!! (I made it 13 months with my son and 11 months with my daughter)
C.P. answers from Kokomo on July 31, 2008
Hormones are finicky..they are different for each mom. Since you plan on weaning, I would just switch over pills at your next cycle because they are safe when nursing, just tends to decrease your supply, which might be a desirable effect for you. C., IBCLC
M.W. answers from Cincinnati on July 31, 2008
It will still work, but you might want to consider switching to a regular pill. Not only is it more effective, but it might help you not be so engorged while weaning. Most normal birth control pills will at least slightly reduce your milk supply. It doesn't at all hurt the baby though if you are taking a regular pill and nursing. I started a regular pill when my daughter was a year old. I was still nursing her and nursed her for another year and a half after that.
S.D. answers from Indianapolis on August 01, 2008
I'm not sure where you got your information, but nursing has nothing to do with how effective the pill is. Nursing, alone, can suppress ovulation, but not always and not 100%. You are on a low-dose because 1) you don't want to pass estrogen and extra progesterone on to your baby and 2) estrogen effects milk supply. So, the mini-pill is a progesterone-only pill with a low dose of the progesterone. The pill is as effective whether you nurse or not, however, it's not as effective as regular pills because you have to take it at the same time each day and many women's schedules don't really work so well. So, keep taking the pill until she's weaned and then talk to your doc about other options.
Hope that helps:)
M.W. answers from Cleveland on August 01, 2008
Nursing has nothing to do with the pills effectiveness. The "lose dose" or mini pill as it is more often called is progestin only. Not progestin and estrogen like most other pills. That is why it is "safe" for nursing (although a good number of women still lose their milk). You can switch to a different pill after you have weaned completely. Nursing is never a good form of birth control. I have heard of far too many people getting pregnant while nursing. Once your baby starts sleeping through the night nursing is way less effective (that is why I got pregnant with #3 when #2 was 5.5months old and I was on a barrier method too). No form of BC is 100% effective not even sterilization. The only thing you can do is what you are supposed to and hope for the best.
Note: with the mini pill it is even more important that you take it the same time everyday. If you miss or are off a regular basis you can and may get pregnant.