This Version Posted: November 13, 2019

There are many birth control methods that are reliable and do not affect breastfeeding. It’s important to research which method is right for you and your partner.

Only you will know when you are ready to have sex again after the birth of your baby. Generally, you can have sex again when you have stopped bleeding and have recovered from the birth.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider and make sure you have chosen a type of birth control that is safe for breastfeeding moms.

Methods:

Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)

  • Short-term birth control (first six months after deliver)
  • Positive effect on breastfeeding
  • 98% reliable if used correctly. Key is to breastfeed often, both day and night, to delay the return of your period and suppress your fertility.
  • To use this method, must answer “no” to all three questions. If you answer “yes” to one question, you should use another birth control method.
    • Has your period returned? (a period is two days of bleeding in a row that occurs eight weeks after the date of delivery)
    • Are there long periods without breastfeeding (longer than four hours in the day and six hours at night)?
    • Is your baby more than six months old?

Barrier Method

  • No effect on breastfeeding
  • Condoms (male and female) are widely available, inexpensive and you do not need a prescription.
  • Most reliable if used with spermicides. Spermicides need to be inserted into the vagina ahead of time

Intrauterine Devices

  • No adverse effects on breastmilk supply if supply is well established
  • Need to be seen by a health care provider for access to Intrauterine Device and Intrauterine System

Hormonal Method

  • Taking hormones can decrease milk supply, and newborns may have difficulty removing hormones from their system
  • The pill, patch and Estrogen and Progestin vagina ring are only available with a prescription from a health care provider

Natural Family Planning

  • There is no impact on breastfeeding
  • The goal of natural family planning is to learn when you are ovulating and avoid sex during fertile times

To learn more about safe birth control methods and breastfeeding, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003.