D.B. asks from Fort Worth, TX on April 04, 2009
Still Nursing 12 Month Old, Should I Begin Birth Control Pills??
I am currently still breastfeeding my 12 month old. I believe I'm going to get my period back soon,(could tell I was ovulating this week) and wanted to begin birth control pills. My ob-gyn said ortho-tri-cyclen would be fine even though i'm still breastfeeding and gave me a prescription for that. ( I started giving whole milk 2 weeks ago..he hasn't drank it..he doesn't seem to like it! And so yes, he still nurses a lot during day.)But more than one website says that if your breastfeeding to NOT take birth control pills, as it passes into milk/can harm baby/etc. The progestin only pill seems to be only safe one according to websites, but that seems to have more risks than the regular pill..good grief..has anyone out there has similar issues with wanting to be on birth control but still nursing? Does my ob-gyn just not know anything about the safety of regular pill/nursing babies? I am quite confused, any advice would be appreciated.
J.W. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
I went on the "mini pill" with both my kids at 6 months. I did not switch to the regular pill until after I weaned them.
D.C. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
Yes, you can take birth control when you are nursing, however it is progesterone only and I suffered heavy bleeding/spotting on them. But it is safe. My doctor said NO estrogen.
K.B. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
My intent is not to offend you, but to give advice. So please try not to take this the wrong way. But, do you really think that your research on the ever-so-trustworthy internet is better than the council your doctor can give you??? Seriously, if you have these concerns, talk to your doctor. If it is that big of a deal, get a second opinion from another doctor. To answer your questions about birth control and breastfeeding, I will tell you my experiences. I have been on various different kinds of birth control, but absolutely HATED the side effects. I think my body is just really sensitive to additional hormones, I don't know. But after I had my first baby, and with the council of my dr, I needed to get on something, because I could not take the risk of getting pregnant, even though I was breastfeeding full time. My dr prescribed Micronor, also known as the mini pill. I must say, I did not even FEEL like I was on any BC at all. I felt like myself. Had absolutely NO side effects. Are there risks involved to the babies? If there are, then it is likely SO minimal, otherwise you wouldn't have SO MANY obs prescribing birth control to women that are breastfeeding! I think the biggest side effect is the bc's effect on milk supply. They even advocate practical family planning and birth control, and even push it onto there patients for whatever reason, mostly because it is not in the mother's best interest to get pregnant so soon after having a baby, it just isn't healthy for her. By the way, I breastfed my first baby till she was 18 months, and my youngest is 14 months now and I am weaning her. Hopefully this helps. You are very lucky that natural bc worked for you. That is awesome! I am a huge breastfeeding advocate, so if you need any advice on weaning, let me know.
J.K. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
I was nursing up to 1 1/2 years and was on birth control pills from the 2 month on! The progestin pill is only one that is safe when nursing. I had no problems and I'm pretty sure my daughter had no problems either!
My daughter didn't like whole milk till almost the time I stop nursing.
M.K. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
I think you are absolutely wise to question the advice of your doctor. Doctors cannot possibly know every single thing about every single drug out there and it's effects on the patient let alone a person that isn't even their patient. I have encountered so many times over the last decades when I have brought questions or research or even medical journal articles to a doctor to discuss something they had advised for me that they were not aware of. Everything changes so much every day a doctor would have to be in training and researching all the time to be aware of all of it. Never take his/her word as incontestable. If you worry about it, bring it up. I'm not saying that everything on the internet is true and should be taken as such, but if there's enough "talk" out there that makes you worry, take it to your doctor. Ask him/her to respond to it - to show you how it's false or merely by virtue of the fact that you're unsure, choose an alternative method. Obviously, there are a lot of choices out there. There are even several that require no prescriptive intervention at all. (Not surprisingly, a LOT of doctors are not aware of many of these!)
As an example, it is possible for you to watch your "cycle" by monitoring your discharge and temperature, to know exactly when you are ovulating. Avoiding intercourse for those few days, is not only doable but the most effective way to avoid pregnancy - a higher effective rate than any pill on the market. If that's something that you are willing to monitor and track, you can easily prevent pregnancy without altering your own hormonal balance or affecting your child in any way.
Good luck. And never stop researching. You are your children's greatest protector. And no question regarding their safety is too small or too petty. It's your job to question and protect. Good for you!
J.R. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
I've been on the "mini pill" and I haven't had any problems with it. I have a 12wk old that I'm exclusively nursing. I'd try it, it seems to be great thus far! :)
H.M. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
Here's what my doctor told me: The progesterone only pill is as effective as normal birth control as long as you're nursing at least three times per day. Once you start weaning and you're only bfing twice a day or less, start on the normal pill. The baby doesn't need all that estrogen and if you're still bfing a lot, the regular pill might dry up your milk. Hope this helps!
C.M. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
I tried all brands of pills before my kids and didn't like any of them, so I choase Mirena after my son and loved it. I've had friends who said the regular Pill hindered their milk supply and the low dose Pill granted them another child. So, that's why I chose Mirena, and I nursed for 18 months with it in with no problems.
V.T. answers from Dallas on April 05, 2009
i wanted to repsond to your milk issue. My girls never liked milk at first either. I think the taste is just soo different for them. Here are some things i've tried. I would mix formula (you would use pumped breast milk) with whole milk 25% milk, 75% breastmilk. Then slowly over time i would switch until is was almost completly whole milk. I would also heat up the whole milk a little since they were used to warm bottles. When all else failed and my oldest REFUSED whole milk. I added a little chocolate or strawberry syrup into her milk. My thought was i would rather her drink a little chocolate milk than no milk at all!