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Women who have just given birth may use continuous breastfeeding as a method of birth control. Here are some of the most common questions we hear women ask about using breastfeeding as birth control.
Breastfeeding can be used as birth control when, after giving birth, a woman breastfeeds her baby exclusively. That means the baby does not drink anything besides breast milk. The act of breastfeeding naturally changes a woman's hormones so that she does not become pregnant.
While a woman is continuously breastfeeding, her body does not make a hormone that is necessary for ovulation — the release of an egg from an ovary. Pregnancy cannot happen if an egg is not released.
Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. Like all birth control methods, breastfeeding is much more effective when you do it correctly.
Using breastfeeding as birth control can be effective for six months after delivery only if a woman
Also keep in mind that breastfeeding can only be relied on for six months after delivery. By the time your baby is six months old, you should start using another birth control method.
Using breastfeeding as birth control is safe — there are no side effects.
Breastfeeding is safe, simple, and convenient.
Using breastfeeding as birth control has advantages for mothers. It
Breastfeeding also has many health advantages for the baby. It
You can only rely on breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy for six months. Some women find it hard to exclusively breastfeed and not use any formula. If formula is given to the baby, the woman has a chance of getting pregnant again.
Breastfeeding may reduce vaginal lubrication when a woman is aroused. It may also make a woman feel like her breasts are less sexual.
Many mothers begin breastfeeding shortly after giving birth. If you have problems with breastfeeding, get help as soon as possible so that lactation is not interrupted. A doctor, nurse, or midwife can help. Some women get help from a lactation expert. La Leche League can also help you find information and resources to help you breastfeed.
Q&A with Dr. Cullins