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A Quick Birth Control Guide for Breastfeeding Moms

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Birth Control for When You Are Breastfeeding

There are many different birth control methods that you can use while breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy. Many of the options you can start using the same day, one month, or as soon as you are comfortable after delivery. Some options require your healthcare provider for insertion or a prescription, while others you can just go to your local drug store.

Methods that require a healthcare provider for insertion:

  • Implant
    • Can be used the same day as delivery
    • Milk supply may decrease and you may need additional breastfeeding support
  • Copper IUD
    • Can be used immediately after or a least one month after delivery
  • Hormonal IUDs
    • Can be used immediately after or at least one month after delivery
    • Milk supply may decrease and you may need additional breastfeeding support
  • Shot
    • Can be used the same day delivery but preferably one month after delivery
    • Milk supply may decrease and you may need additional breastfeeding support

Methods that require a healthcare provider for a prescription:

  • Patch
    • Can be used as early as one month after delivery
    • Milk supply may decrease and you may need additional breastfeeding support
  • Pills
    • Progestin-only pills can be used the same day as delivery
    • Combined hormones (estrogen and progestin) pills can be used as early as one month after delivery
    • Milk supply may decrease and you may need additional breastfeeding support
  • Ring
    • Can be used as early as one month after delivery and when you are comfortable putting the ring inside your vagina
    • Milk supply may decrease and you may need additional breastfeeding support
  • Diaphragm
    • Can be used once your cervix heals and when you are comfortable putting the diaphragm inside your vagina
    • Must use spermicide with the diaphragm
  • Cervical Cap
    • Can be used once your cervix heals and when you are comfortable putting the cervical cap inside your vagina

Methods that are available at drugstore and don’t need a prescription:

  • Internal and External Condoms
    • Can be used when it is safe and comfortable to resume sex
  • Spermicide
    • Can be used when it is safe and comfortable to resume sex
  • Sponge
    • Can be used when it is safe and comfortable to resume sex and comfortable with putting the sponge inside your vagina

Methods that don’t require a prescription or a trip to the drugstore:

  • Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)
    • Breastfeeding should start immediately after delivery
    • You must be breastfeeding only and your baby must be feeding at the breast at least every four hours during the day and every six hours at night
    • Is only effective until your baby is 6 months old and is not receiving any supplemental foods or drinks, and if you have not gotten your period
  • Abstinence
    • Can be used the same day as delivery
  • Withdrawal
    • Can be used when it is safe and comfortable to resume sex

Permanent methods that must be performed by a healthcare provider:

  • Sterilization
    • Can be done the same day as delivery if consent is signed at least 30 days before estimated due date
    • Takes effect the same day but recovery can take one to two weeks

To find the best birth control for you when breastfeeding talk to your local healthcare provider