3 Safe Options For Birth Control As A Breastfeeding Mom

29 December 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you are thrilled to be a new mom, but would like to delay giving your son or daughter a sibling in the near future, it is a good idea to learn about appropriate forms of birth control as soon as possible. For instance, there are birth control pills that are safe for use while breastfeeding but offer reduced flexibility with dosage than other oral contraceptives usually are. The diaphragm is another option to consider, although you should remember that the changes your body endures after childbirth and while nursing may necessitate more frequent fittings to assure its success. A third option is an IUD, which boasts a very effective rate of preventing pregnancy and can last up to three years, but may present with possible side effects you should be aware of. When you need a form of birth control that is easy and effective for a nursing mom, the following choices should be discussed with your doctor.  

#1-The Progesterone-only Birth Control Pill 

Due to the fact that birth control pills containing other hormones are not safe for the baby while nursing, your best choice if you favor the simplicity of oral contraceptives is a pill containing only progesterone. However, while the lack of estrogen means that this version of a birth control pill is much less likely to interfere with your milk supply, this pill cannot be doubled up on if you miss a day. 

Specifically, breastfeeding women using this type of pill, which may also be known as a mini-pill, must be taken within about three hours of the same time, each day. If you miss a single pill or if you take it more than three hours after you would normally take, its efficacy can be diminished and you could conceive. In addition, while some birth control pills can be started within days of giving birth, it is usually recommended that nursing mothers wait until milk production has been well-established and they are no less than six weeks postpartum.        

#2-The Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a highly effective example of barrier birth control. It can be taken out and replaced at will and you should expect to be fitted for it by your OB/GYN or primary care physician. Because it does not have any hormones, it will not cause issues while nursing. 

However, you should discuss its use with the doctor, as gaining or losing weight can impact its fit. That means that if you are still losing your baby weight when you are fitted for it, its effectiveness could be diminished if your weight varies by as little as 15 pounds. As a result, if you choose this option, you should watch your weight and expect to need follow-up visits as your weight drops. 

#3-The IUD

The IUD, which is also known as an intrauterine device, is unique in that can protect you from pregnancy as both a hormonal and barrier method. There are numerous options to choose from and each provides long-term birth control. One method works by prevents conception by keeping egg and sperm from uniting, while also making pregnancy less likely due to a thinner than normal uterine lining. Other options release a low dose of hormones that are designed to prevent ovulation.

IUD's will usually last from three to five years. It can be easily removed prior to that time if you experience unpleasant side effects or when you are ready to add to your family. 

In conclusion, birth control as a nursing mom will often present with new challenges. When making that important decision, it will be quite helpful to discuss the options presented above with your physician.

For more information, contact a service such as Anchorage OB.