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Birth Control for New Mothers

Breastfeeding can be used as a birth control method for new mothers, otherwise known as Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM), but only if ALL the following statements are true.

Your periods have not returned and;

Your baby is fully or nearly fully breastfed. Fully breastfed means your baby gets all their nutrition (food) from the breast and nearly fully breastfed means in addition to breastfeeding often, vitamins, minerals, juice, water or any other foods are given infrequently (no more than one or two mouthfuls a day.) To be fully or nearly fully breastfed, your baby should be breastfeeding at least every four hours and not have more than one six hour stretch between breastfeeding in 24 hours and;

Your baby is less than six month of age. At six months your baby may begin eating other foods. Sometimes babies will breastfeed less when other foods are introduced.

When all of the above conditions exist, breastfeeding provides 98 per cent protection from pregnancy in the first six months.

If the answer is no to any of the above statements, begin another method of birth control. Keep breastfeeding as often as you can for both the health of baby and mother.

To learn more about birth control options, contact the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 and speak with a Family Health or Sexual Health nurse.