Question About the 'Mini Pill' and Breastfeeding

Updated on September 15, 2009
B.R. asks from Canonsburg, PA
11 answers

My son is 4 months old and we have been successfully exclusively breastfeeding. It seems that unlike with my other kids, I have just enough milk...meaning no pumping or extra milk at all (could it be my age? I'm 37). Anywho, I began my period again when he was 3 months (only began at 6 months with the others) and I have had a total of 2. This is a warning that this might be TMI, but my periods this time are so horrible that I'm stuck in the house unable to do much of anything for 2-3 days. I use the new Ultra tampons with a pad and in 1-2 hours have filled both. Sometimes when I get up I can feel a 'gush'. I was in yesterday for my annual gyne appt. and she is sending me tomorrow for an ultrasound to rule out various issues. If everything is fine internally she suggested I get on the mini-pill. She said that it could stop my periods since there's no placebo week and even increase my milk supply. Have any breastfeeding moms had a good experience with the mini-pill? I really hesitate because I've always been leery of putting unnecessary hormones in my body but since it's progesterone only and I can't really afford to take 2-3 days of not being able to function (4 active kids and 1 infant) every month, I feel it may be the only solution right now.

Any advice or words of wisdom are GREATLY appreciated!

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answers from Philadelphia on

I'm on the mini pill and have read many horror stories about women having issues with bleeding while on it. I, however, have not experienced this and this is the second time I've been on them while breastfeeding. I've been on the mini pill for about 2 months now and just got my period for the first time yesterday, but it's very light and I have no cramps and had no warning that it was even coming. As for milk supply, I've never had an issue with it and haven't noticed a change since going on the mini pill either.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I took the mini-pill from day one while breastfeeding. Both times I had NO period the entire time I was on it. It is true that it is not as effective as the regular pill. My gyne advised me that I needed to switch back to the regular pill if my daughter cut back on nursing or she reached 1 year...whichever came first. In both instances the year came first and I switched back to the regular pill and continued to nurse. (Plus my period returned.)

I can not say that there was any difference in my milk supply. I do know that at one point (I can't remember age) I tried pumping and could not get much of anything. By that point I chalked it up to 1) a pump is not as efficient as baby and 2) my body was so regulated that it only produced as much as baby needed (it was not a missed feeding it was after she nursed so that I could go out that evening). Plus my kids never seemed to be hungry or not able to get enough milk.

Now I must tell you that when I called her staff at a year to get a prescription for the regular pill they did not want to give it to me because they thought I should remain on the mini pill as long as I was breastfeeding. I made them check with my doctor and she told them the same thing she told me so I switched back.



answers from Philadelphia on

I was on the mini pill since 6weeks postpartum. It did make my periods lighter, but . . . gave me horrid cramps, migraines, and mood swings. I have never been one to have 'normal' PMS symptoms, and when I was on the pill I had it bad.

I have however talked to several people who have had great experiences with the mini pill. However I have never heard of the mini pill increasing milk production. It doesn't affect production like a BC with estrogen in it, but I have always been told that ALL hormonal BC's can lower your supply.



answers from Allentown on

I have been on the mini-pill since my daughter was 6 weeks old- she is now almost one. I also breastfed exclusively, and I have only had one period (just last month). It was quite heavy as the first few typically are after a baby. I'm not sure the mini-pill would help your periods to be less heavy, but you will have less of them. The problem is you don't know when they will come, since technically you should not have a period since all 28 pills are active. But like I said, I didn't get my first period til my baby was 10+ months. As another mama said, your first couple of periods after a baby will be extreme, and then they should taper off some even without the pill. As far as breastfeeding, I don't see how the mini-pill could increase your supply. I haven't had any problems with supply this time around. I still nurse at morning and night while taking the pill. With my first baby, I stopped taking the mini-pill after only a few weeks since it seemed to decrease my supply. I think it's worth a try for you- you will know within a few weeks whether or not it is affecting your milk supply. Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

When my third child was about six months old, I started on the mini-pill and had no problems with breastfeeding. I don't recall it increasing my supply at all, but it didn't decrease it either. I nursed her til about 10 months of age. If your doctor is okay with it and it helps you out, I would do it. With 5 kids, I'd take all the help I could get!
Best of luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, B. - yes, your doc is right. The mini pill is okay for breatfeeding moms and may even help your milk supply. It should also help you with the heavy periods. I would definitely try it. I know it can be normal to get heavier periods with each succeeding child, especially as you get older (it certainly happened with me!) but nobody needs that aggravation, especially with 5 kids. Go for it!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi B., I am going to the doctor, today actually, for the same exact problem. I am still nursing my baby 3 times a day, and my period only returned 4 months ago. It is extreamely irregular and I have a lot of spotting leading up to my period. This month, like you, I was gushing through pads and tampon in 1 -2 hours and I just can't deal with it anymore. I had something similar happen after my son, and chose not to use the pill and I got pregnant with my daughter. They sent me for an ultrasound to check for fibroids to rule out other causes, and came up with it simply being horomonal and related to nursing. I had a normal pregnancy so whatever it was it did not effect that. These issues seem to be back and I do not want another baby right now, nor can I live with this bleeding, so I am planning to go on the mini pill. I am also going to ask to have my thyroid checked just in case. I did not have issues like this after my first child, just after my second and third. I'll gladly fill you on on what my doctor says, if you are interested email me [email protected] care :)


answers from Allentown on

Hi, B.:

Contact your local breast feeding consultant at Le Leche League International at:

Hope this helps. D.



answers from Philadelphia on


While you are nursing, especially exclusively, I would be very hesitant about introducing any hormones to your body, especially if you are already concerned about supply.

While the "mini pill" is supposed to be the safest for breastfeeding it is not 100% effective. Many women are fine and it works as it is supposed to, but many women also take a supply hit because of the hormones.

My first few periods were much heavier than normal when my cycles resumed around 7 months with my Dd. They've gradually become more normal




answers from New York on

Hi, I can't answer about the mini pill since I have no experience with it but I can share my story about increasing breastmilk. Without this, I hardly have any milk! I drink mother's milk tea from Traditional's Medicines, I have 3 tea bags a day and it does wonders for my breastmilk and my son has plenty to drink. For some the reason the fenugreek tabs did not work with me just this tea. Goodluck!


answers from Erie on

I am on it now and was on it with my first as well. I never had any issues with supply or anything. i never got my period until after i actually stopped bfing so i'm not sure if it will totally stop yours or not.

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