Breastfeeding moms have many safe and effective birth control methods to choose from.
Can I use hormonal birth control while breastfeeding?
Yes, if you’re breastfeeding, you can safely use hormonal methods. They won’t hurt you or your baby.
You may be able to get an implant or IUD in the hospital or at your postpartum checkup. Implants and IUDs are super effective, and prevent pregnancy for several years. Once these methods are in place, you don’t have to do anything (like remember to take a pill) to be protected from pregnancy. They’re set-it-and-forget-it birth control, which comes in really handy for busy new moms.
For the first 3 weeks after giving birth, don’t use a method that has the hormone estrogen, like the pill, patch, or ring. After 3 weeks, you can start any of these methods.
What non-hormonal methods can I use?
You can safely use non-hormonal birth control while breastfeeding. For up to the first 6 months after your baby is born, you can rely on breastfeeding as birth control if you have not gotten your period yet and are not feeding your baby formula or food.
The copper IUD is one of the most effective birth control methods out there, and it lasts for up to 12 years (but you can get it removed whenever you want). It’s a pretty convenient option for new moms who don’t want to add birth control to the list of things they have to remember.
If you used a diaphragm or cervical cap in the past, wait until your first postpartum checkup to begin using that method again. Most doctors recommend that you don’t put anything in your vagina until that first checkup. You may also need a new size.
You can also get your tubes tied (aka sterilization) after giving birth. But this method is permanent, so it’s only for people who are absolutely positive they don’t want any more kids.