The majority of contraceptives on the market are considered to be safe for women breastfeeding a child; but there are a few types that can lower your milk supply. In this article, we’ll discuss contraception that is safe to use and which you should avoid.
Safe to use
Progestin-only contraceptives come in several different forms:
• Progestin-only pill (POP) also called the ‘mini-pill.’
• birth control injection (Depo-Provera)
• progesterone-releasing IUD (Mirena)
• birth control implant (Implanon)
It’s important to note that even though the progestin-only pill is considered safe to use, some women do experience low milk supply. If this is the case, discontinue the pills and speak to your doctor about an alternative safe contraceptive method.
The following barrier methods don’t contain in hormones and are therefore won’t affect your milk supply.
• Cervical cap
Please remember that condoms are the only form of contraception that prevents both pregnancy and STIs. So, you and your partner mustn’t make these common condom mistakes.
Emergency contraception (more commonly known as the morning-after contraceptive pill)
The morning-after pill has been judged to be safe but should only be used as a last resort – whether you’re breastfeeding or not – for preventing unintended pregnancy.
Oestrogen is the hormone that has been linked to low milk supply, and so you may notice a decrease in the quantity of milk you’re able to produce for a few days after taking the morning-after pill.
It’s best to avoid
Contraceptives that contain progesterone and oestrogen have been linked to lowering milk supply for your baby even if you’ve only started breastfeeding when your child is a bit older (one-year-old or more). Stay away from
• Combination birth control pill (oral contraceptives)
• The patch (Ortho Evra)
• Vaginal ring (Nuvaring)
The bottom line is that your ability to fall pregnant can return at any time after giving birth to your baby. According to Healthline, ‘Breastfeeding alone only slightly reduces the chance of pregnancy for the first six months and only if feeding exclusively at least every four to six hours.’
As explained, there are many different types of birth control methods from which to choose, speak to your doctor or a lactation consultant about which form is best for you. Typically, mothers who are breastfeeding should not use oestrogen-containing contraceptives because there is a high chance it may affect your ability to lactate (supply milk).
How Marie Stopes’ services will assist you
Marie Stopes specialises in women’s sexual and reproductive health. All of our staff members are accredited and will provide you with the correct advice. Our services include STI and HIV testing, contraception as well as safe abortion should you wish to terminate an unintended pregnancy.
Please schedule an appointment with one of our experts at your nearest centre today.