Safe, effective contraceptives to use when breastfeeding
One of the biggest myths surrounding pregnancy is that you can’t fall pregnant while you’re breastfeeding. This is definitely not true, so if you’re not ready for another baby, you need to protect yourself against surprises! Here is some more information on contraceptives and breastfeeding.
Which contraceptives are safe to use when nursing?
When you’re breastfeeding, whatever goes into your body can also go into your baby’s body (which is why, for example, you should avoid alcohol while nursing). This means when it comes to contraceptives and breastfeeding, the best type of birth control to use is any non-hormonal method or methods that use only progesterone. We advise choosing from these options:
• Male and female condoms. Condoms are easily available and won’t affect breastfeeding in any way. When used correctly, condoms are over 99% effective and can also help protect you against sexually transmitted infections and HIV. There are no risks to mom or baby, but lubrication may be required if the latex is irritating to the vaginal tissue (always use water-based lube so you don’t damage the condom).
• Implants. This is a tiny device that is inserted under the skin of the arm, and is effective for up to five years. It releases progesterone at a slow, steady rate to prevent pregnancy.
• Intrauterine device (IUD). This is a barrier method that is highly effective and doesn’t impact on breastfeeding in any way, as no hormones are released into your system.
Remember that it’s crucial to avoid any methods that contain oestrogen, like some pills, patches and injections, as these can adversely affect your milk supply.
Read this article for full information on all the birth control methods available, how they work, how long they’re effective for, and when fertility will return.
Get the right contraceptives for pregnancy at Marie Stopes
If you’re a nursing mom, visit your nearest Marie Stopes centre for professional, confidential advice on choosing the right birth control method. Our nurses are trained to help you choose the safest and most effective contraceptives based on your personal needs. We also offer emergency contraceptive solutions.