10 answers

Nursing and the Pill

I am on my third month of nursing and I just started taking the birth control pill Errin. I'm feeling very bloated and started having cramps yesterday. Needless to say I am spotting. Is anyone familiar with this? Is anyone else taking this BC pill while nursing? What are other methods/pills people are using while nursing?

Thank you!!
M

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for your input!!! I am exclusively breast feeding, I also pump and store milk for when she is visiting grandma and for when I coach so my husband can feed her. So everything going into her is from me. We are extremely lucky that our daughter takes from Me and my milk in a Dr. Brown bottle. She's amazing that way and it gives my husband time with her.

Has anyone spotted while nursing? I did have a c-section and I want to allow my body to heal prior to having another child. I am contemplating just going with the Diaphragm that others have talked about today. Is it comfortable? Has it ever gotten stuck?

Thank you so much for all of your valuable information and I believe the book that is being referred to is close or similar to the family planning information they give at our catholic church? I will have to look for it.

Thank you so much again!! Any more info is greatly apreciated.

M.

Featured Answers

After my first, I took the mini-pill and spotted for an entire month. So, I gave up on them (relying on withdrawal...yeah, I know...but we knew we wanted more children, so if it happened, it happened). Now that I've had my third, I have an IUD. It's recent, but my first period since wasn't the horrible cramping mess I was prepared for (I have a copper IUD).
Also, I know a lot of people believe that you may not be fertile b/c of breastfeeding. But I've exclusively BF all 3 of my girls and I've started my period at 6, then 4, and now 2 months post-partum.
I'd get an IUD over again in a heartbeat. I'm irregular enough as it is...I hated the random spotting that happened with the pill.

More Answers

While I was exclusively pumping and feeding my child breastmilk, my doctor had me take POPs (progestin-only pills). I was on Camilla/Micronor. They did nothing to help regulate my period so once I was done feeding breastmilk I switched back to my regular pills.

M.:
As you can hear from most of these women, the pill is not the answer. You are putting synthetic hormones into your body and passing them to your baby in one way shape or form. Did anyone ever tell you that the pill increases your chances for breast cancer, uterine cancer, thyroid problems, headaches and bloating, PMS, etc??? There is so much information out there that supports this. I am into health and wellness myself and after having 3 children (w/o the pill) and using more natural methods, I feel better about my body and that my children weren't exposed to anything artificial. I know of other ways that will naturally restore your body's hormone balance. When our body is out of balance, these type of symptoms occur. Just treating them is only a bandaid fix. It doesn't resolve the real issue. Many doctors still are "old school" and are not (or choose not to be) informed of the latest findings with women and the effects of the pill. If you would like more information, I would be happy to help you out. Your body is telling you that this is not right. Listen to your body. You are the best judge of your health and it is up to you to make wise choices. You do have the right to find a doctor or a resource that is up to date on the latest health findings. The choice is really up to you. Best of luck and congratulations on the birth of your baby girl. She is your angel and you wouldn't want to put her at risk either. Happy mothering!

I am also not a big fan of hormonal birth control. Honestly, I'm a big fan of the Fertility Awareness Method. (To fully understand this method pick up a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler - great book). In a nutshell, this method consists of monitoring your natural fertility signs and using backup contraception (condom, diaphragm, whatever) if you do not want to abstain during your fertile periods.

Most people who breastfeed full time and on demand do not get their periods back for many months. (My son is 15+ months old and I still haven't gotten mine back). Your body will naturally surpress ovulation if you're lactating, though this effect will naturally decrease with time regardless of how often you nurse your baby. So you can basically rely on the breastfeeding as birth control - especially early on - BUT you also need to pay attention to your fertility signs.

Studies have shown that IF you haven't started menstruating again and IF you are breastfeeding on demand exclusively and IF it's within 6 months postpartum, there is only a 2% unplanned pregnancy rate using no protection at all.

Especially if you're considering having another baby in the next few years, this is a great method. If you're not comfortable with it, or you definitely don't want another child within the next several years, I would consider a copper IUD.

After my first, I took the mini-pill and spotted for an entire month. So, I gave up on them (relying on withdrawal...yeah, I know...but we knew we wanted more children, so if it happened, it happened). Now that I've had my third, I have an IUD. It's recent, but my first period since wasn't the horrible cramping mess I was prepared for (I have a copper IUD).
Also, I know a lot of people believe that you may not be fertile b/c of breastfeeding. But I've exclusively BF all 3 of my girls and I've started my period at 6, then 4, and now 2 months post-partum.
I'd get an IUD over again in a heartbeat. I'm irregular enough as it is...I hated the random spotting that happened with the pill.

Well, it is normal for you to react that way...hormones are being added to your body that you haven't had for quite a while. I would question that you even need to be on BC right now. If you haven't gotten your period yet, your baby is nursing every two hours and doesn't go for longer than 5 hours at night, and isn't getting any supplements, then you are not fertile. I waited till I started my son on supplemental foods and still didn't get my period till he was a little over a year. You want to make sure it is a low dose (aka mini pill) pill as you don't need as much of the hormone when you are nursing cause nursing naturally produces it. Also too much of the hormone can decrease your milk supply. I generally dislike what hormones do to my body and how I feel, so rather than using chemical birth control I use either a diaphragm or condom during times I am fertile. I monitor my fertility using FAM (fertility awareness method). This way 2 weeks out of the month we don't have to use anything without worry and the other two weeks I use one of those. They are both barrier methods so you don't have to worry about how a medicine is effecting your body.

If you are interested in fertility awareness, I learned it in the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wechsler. A diaphragm is a little messy, but easy to use and very effective. You have to go to your doctor to be fitted for one.

Your milk supply is going to drastically decrease. You may want to reconsider if you are really devoted to nursing. If not, no big deal. But you'll have to start supplementing with formula.
I went on the pill at 6 months after our son was born and by 9 months he had basically weaned himself b/c of my very low milk supply... I take Jasmine.

I was on that same bc while nursing. I can't say I expereinced any spotting while taking Errin. Did you just start the pill pack or have you been on it for a few months? Did you miss taking any pills?
Your body may need a couple of months on it to regulate your body & hormones. If it bothers you that much, I'd call your Dr to make sure that the spotting in normal

I took the Camilla mini-pill after my daughter was born and had no side effects whatsoever. My milk supply was fine too. I stopped taking it to get pregnant. My understanding is that once your supply is established, it's ok to go back to your regular BC method. I previously used the Nuvaring and found it to be wonderful. My midwife also felt that it was safe to use while nursing too although I didn't.
I don't know about 3 months postpartum but I know early on it's normal to spot and cramp, it's just your uterus getting back to normal. Call your Dr or midwife and talk to them. That's why they are there.

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