26 answers

Breastfeeding and Birth Control

I am looking for a birth control method that is safe while breastfeeding. I am coming up to my six week appointment and I would like to get on some sort of birth control method that is safe for my newborn and my milk supply and that will be effective.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi A.,
The method I used when I was breastfeeding my newborn was the Mirena IUD. It was safe and effective and I didn't have to worry about remembering to take it:) I hope this helps you...have a great day.

More Answers

There's a progesterone only pill that's safe while breastfeeding. Big thing, tho, is to make sure you change your pills when you stop breastfeeding because without the extra hormones your body produces while BF, the pill won't protect you and you need to go back to the reg. pills to prevent getting another surprise! Good luck!

For many reasons I would not mess with hormones but especially not while you are nursing. After each of my kids were born I had an IUD inserted. The really nice thing about an IUD is t hat it is really easy (and virtually painless) for the doctor to put it in and depening on which on you get you can leave it in for between 5 and 10 years. But ify ou decide you want to have another baby i nthat time it is very easy (and again basically painless) to take it out and your body is ready to concieve. The only downside that I have found in all my years of having them is that for the first 6 months or so there is slightly more cramping and bleeding with each period. But for some reason it subsides after that. Good luck in what ever method you choose. M

Since you are about to go to your 5-week appt., you can ask your doctor or practioner which birth control method is best for you. They stay up-to-date on these things.

There is birth control pills that are safe when breastfeeding. IF you don't want to take the pill there is also and iud. Good Luck!

Barrier Method (Condom, Cap, Diaphram) combined with spermicide.

You can try the minipill, but quite frankly, your body is still adjusting to post pregnancy. It can take 12 to 18 months for your body to adapt after having a baby. I think throwing more hormones in the mix is a bit dodgy, but that is my opinion.

If you do choose to use one of the low dose (minis) hormone pills; use a back up, such as a barrier or spermicide or both...as the minis are not completely reliable even with strict adherence to the method.

Ultimately, talk to your OB...but, remember, you get to live with the method ;)

Congrats on the new baby.

there is a birth control pill that i was given while nursing, that was safe. However the downside, it made my hair fall out in CLUMPS.....not worth it, I ended up with an IUC, called Mirena. MUCH nicer.

There is a low dose birth control available to breastfeeding moms. The downfall is that you must take it at the exact same time everyday (I think there is a 2-3hour variable) for it to be effective. I tried this one, but it didn't work out so well for me. I got my period back right away, which lead to a decrease in milk supply, and it was just too hard for me to take it at the exact same time (sleep deprivation and booby brain lead to forgetfulness :) ) So, now I have the Mirena...so far so good.

My husband and I chose to use condoms. Even the low dose birth control that is okay to take while breast feeding says it can decrease milk supply. Good Luck.

I have not had to bother with birth control for 30 years, since I learned how to read my body. Modern NFP methods are the most effective method to use, during breastfeeding or any other time. They are MORE effective at avoiding pregnancy than birth control pills! Drug free, plug free, no device to use or insert----all you have to do is learn how to observe, and interpret, the fertility signs that are always present on a day you could conceive, and not have relations on those days. The key to effectiveness is learning from a certified teacher. The online sites that claim to teach you by graphing your temp etc are not precise enough. And in fact, I never even take my temp, because I use a method that depends on observing the presence or absence of the mucus needed to conceive. It is 97-99 percent effective, and has worked for me all these years. Perfect for breastfeeding, and none of the concerns about the effect of hormones on your milk (and they do afect your milk production) or passing those hormones on to baby (do we really know this will have no harmful effects? We know they are harmful to mom----how can they not be for baby?). Go to this website to find a teacher: www.canfp.org. There is even a special section called Ask the Experts, where you can read questions and answers just like yours, about using NFP during breastfeeding. And if a teacher is not available locally, often one will be willing to work with you long distance.

I was so excited to discover how safe and healthy and easy NFP was 30 years ago, that I became a certified teacher, and can tell you breastfeeding is one of the most common times to begin using it.

S.

My advice is to get a diaphragm. They are 100% effective if used correctly all of the time. Some people don't like them because you have to plan sex but let's face it.....with a newborn, you have to plan everything. I used one before and after my pregnancies and it worked all of the time that I used it.

Good luck!

B.

I'm really surprised to see a lot of women taking hormones while breastfeeding. Personally I wouldn't do that unless it was medically necessary. The copper IUD does not use any hormones and is hugely effective. The Mirena IUD is the same as taking the pill except you don't have a swallow a pill every day. I recommend a non-hormonal method - either the copper IUD or a barrier method (condom, etc.) or the rhythm method if you're okay with the fact that that is less than 99% effective I presume.

Hi A.,
I breastfed both of my children while taking a birth control pill and it was safe. So far, there have been no devastating developmental or mental effects. Both children (5yrs, 7 mos.) are healthy, extremely smart and alert. The pill is called Nor QD, it is a birth control pill. I hope this helps. Good luck.

Hi A.,
The method I used when I was breastfeeding my newborn was the Mirena IUD. It was safe and effective and I didn't have to worry about remembering to take it:) I hope this helps you...have a great day.

I use a mirena IUD and am very happy with it. But some women don't like it (usually women who don't do well on the pill, I think).

The first month or so you bleed a lot and may have cramps, etc. But after that it is great. No remembering to take a pill, no mess, and almost nonexistent periods, no cramps. I used it for 2-3 years before deciding to get pregnant and went back to it six weeks after giving birth.

I have had no problems with milk supply (still nursing at 18mos).

A.,

Micronor-- I think thats what I took when I was breastfeeding, it didn't affect the milk supply or anything. Hope this helps. congratulations on your new baby!!

M.

Good ol' condoms! I urge you not to mess with your hormone balance while you are breastfeeding. I would have a hard time believing anyone who assured me it was perfectly safe. How could they possibly know?

Have you tried lambskin? They're expensive but SO much better than latex, as far as sensation and such.

Good luck.

There is a pill called Micronor, this pill only has one hormone in it and will not affect with breastfeeding.

I use a diaphram. Hardly anyone uses one anymore, but I think they're great. At first it's a little tricky to insert, but once you get used to it, it's a piece of cake. I get pregnant really easily and have never had a slip up. However, I use it correctly and ALL the time. I ended up liking it so much, I never went back to the pill. Hope this helps.

I just had this same discussion with my OB, as I am due soon, and she wanted me to start considering my options. The "mini pill" that people reference has one big hang up (for me) - it must be taken at the same exact time every day. Like down to the minute. I'm just not that good, especially with a newborn. We have a hard enough time remembering to eat :)
I think I am going to choose the Copper IUD. My other main option was a shot given every three months, but it did have some hormones. I'm opting for no hormones to not effect my baby or milk supply.
Good luck!

I used the low dose birth control pill or mini-pill. This is a safe option for breastfeeding moms.

Congrats on your new baby!!
After both of my children, I got on the "mini-pill". It has a lower dose of hormones and will not affect milk supply. But once you stop breastfeeding don't rely on it to prevent pregnancy - my #2 was a result of this!!!its great to take while breastfeeding though!!

The low dose birth control pill worked for me, and I nursed for the first year with my second child.

Blessings.

I used the Minipill; I think it's called Joviet. It's for nusrsing mothers. You take it like the regular pill; it's really easy. Ask your doctor about it. In fact; they'll probably ask at your next appointment about birth control (they did at my 6 week appt).

I used an IUD with my daughter. There are a few types, but I went with the Non-hormonal copper type. They are extremely effective birth-control. As with any type of birth control there are risks associated with using it, but for the most part, they're not too bad. The copper IUD I used is effective for up to 10 years, is 99.9% effective (vasectomy is 99.8%), and is pretty low maintenance. You do have to check the small string that hangs from it after every menstural cycle, and it can cause some women to have heavy cramps, although I didn't have hardly any when I used it, and I used to suffer very heavy cramping during my cycle, there are other things to watch out for, but that's all stuff your doctor can tell you about.
There are also a couple of new low-hormone birth-control pills on the market now that are supposed to be less interuptive to breast-feeding. Talk to you Gyn. S/he can give you a list of viable options for birth control that won't interupt breast feeding!

Hi A.,

I would be very reluctant to take birth control if you are nursing. I started taking birth control after my first OB appointment after my son was born and my milk supply almost completely stopped. My lactation consultant told me that I should have never gone on the pill while nursing. I went off the pill and had to take a herbal supplement to get my supply back. Luckily it came back. I am still nursing and my son is 14 months. My husband and I are using condoms. Birth control affects everyone differently, but I was on the mini pill and it still affected my milk supply. I would really wait until you are no longer nursing to go back on the pill. Best of luck and congrats on your little one.

I also took the mini-pill...and there are several brands. The key I think is less estrogen, if I remember correctly.

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