I gave birth several months ago, and I'm now thinking about resuming birth control. Is it okay to go back on the pill, or should I explore other forms of birth control? I'm breastfeeding my baby and I'm worried that the pill might hurt her.
There are several forms of birth control that are safe to use while breastfeeding. Of course, barrier methods such as a condom used with contraceptive foam have no systemic effects. Other methods include an IUD or diaphragm. It is important to be properly fitted for a diaphragm as your body changes with breastfeeding. A diaphragm may not fit as well or be as effective if you continue to lose weight in the postpartum period. You should be refitted if you lose more than 15 pounds.
There is a birth control pill that's used frequently by breastfeeding mothers -- a progesterone-only pill called Micronor. In fact, it's marketed specifically at lactating women. It doesn't contain estrogen. The downside with this pill is the cost -- it's more expensive than other pills. The other very important aspect that a woman considering this pill should understand is that she must take it within three hours the same time every day. We've all forgotten a pill at night and say to ourselves, "I'll just take it in the morning"--but this is not the pill to do that with. You must take it the same time every day.
When you cease breastfeeding, you can be switched easily to a combination pill that contains both estrogen and progesterone.
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