Birth Control While Breastfeeding: Best Options To Choose From

birth control while breastfeeding

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best birth control options to choose from while breastfeeding.

Overview

Birth control solutions are usually implemented when a woman does not desire to have a child but yet wants to enjoy the sexual pleasures of life while they can. Teenagers, single women, mothers, divorced women, old women, etc – women of all ages opt for birth control options at some point in their lifetime. We are going to talk about mothers who have just finished pregnancy, are now breastfeeding their child and also indulging in sexual activity with their partner.

The last thing they could want is to instantly get pregnant again and go through the burden of managing two children, while the first is yet at his/her breastfeeding phase. To put no limits on their desires, these women opt for birth control options. But one crucial factor is that does birth control affect a breastfed child in any way? Do the man-made induced hormones affect the child in any way?

The answer to this question is subjective. It completely depends on the type of birth control a mother is opting for, while also considering her prior health history. Combination contraceptives are not an advisable option for mothers as they contain both Estrogen and Progesterone.

Estrogen is the devil when it comes to breastfeeding mothers. Birth control pills, injections, patches, IUDs, etc. Containing estrogen has been linked to a low supply of milk and reduced breastfeeding duration. For this reason, mothers who are breastfeeding should opt for progestin-only contraceptives.

Birth Control While Breastfeeding

1. Progestin-only Pills (Mini-Pills)

Traditional pills for birth control contained a mixture of Estrogen and Progesterone. Due to worldwide feedback from both genders of all classes, medical professionals came up with a mini-pill that contains only one man-made hormone, progestin. The presence of any progestin in these pills in no way affects the milk production in the breast glands of a mother. A 28-pill packet will have 7 placebos and 21 active hormone pills.

As long as one pill is consumed every day, the odds of periods occurring is very low. Sometimes during the initial phases of mini-pill consumption, downsides such as migraines, irregular bleeding, and spotting in the vagina, reduced sex drive, and ovarian cysts may develop. Consult a doctor to regulate such discrepancies. If you still experience a reduced milk supply through the breasts, then pump your breasts after feeding the kid for the first 3 weeks. 

2. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)

IUDs can be hormonal or non-hormonal and are also the most effective birth control option available in the market, with a success rate of 99%. These IUDs come under the category of Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and can provide safety from pregnancy and periods for 5 to 10 years. In the case of pregnant mothers, the multiple hormonal IUDs is known as Liletta, Kyleena, Mirena, and Skyla are the best solution as they contain only progesterone and no traces of estrogen.

These progestin-only IUDs are T-shaped and extremely small in size. Simply placing it in the uterus will not only erase any chances of fertilization but also reduce vaginal bleeding and stop the sperms from reaching the uterus due to the thickening of the uterus.

Women with heavy periods must not implant an IUD in their uterus as this can lead to prolonged cramps. In fact, a woman who has just given birth to a child must consult a doctor before deciding to immediately implant a hormonal IUD. The doctor would suggest to wait and let the lower body heal from the post-pregnancy stress and postpartum bleeding. If you do not wait, then the IUD can get dislocated. While the body heals itself. From the pregnancy scars and the risk of infection increases greatly.

3. Depo-Povera Injection

These injections contain only the progestin hormone and no traces of estrogen. It too is a long-lasting form of birth control, but not as long as an IUD. The protective effects of a Depo-Provera shot should last for no more than 3 months.

Quarterly follow-up appointments with a medical professional ensure absolute protection from further pregnancy scares. If you have recently given birth to a baby and want to get to a satisfactory sex life without risking getting pregnant again, then a Depo-Povera is a reasonably safe and effective solution.

About 97 percent of the women who have been injected with this contraceptive birth control. There seems to be no alteration in the quantity and quality of milk that the breasts can produce and no associated pain either.

However, the side effects can range from migraines to abnormal weight gain combined with abdominal pain. If you want to have more children in the near future, then keep in mind that it can take 10 or more months for your body to return to a fertility phase post-discontinuing the medication.

4. Barrier Forms Of Contraception

These birth control options are exceptional for mothers who have just given birth and are breastfeeding their children. Common barrier contraceptive options are male and female condoms, cervical caps, spermicide, sponge, etc.

The fact that there is no presence of hormones in either of these material birth control options makes it perfectly apt for a breastfeeding mother to use as there is no possibility of any alteration in breast milk composition.

Post giving birth to a child, there may be wear and tear along with cervical infection due to the extraction of the baby from the human body. The doctor can advise staying away from not only barrier birth control options.

Everything said and done, it is a respectable, necessary, and vital decision to study all possible birth control options before boiling down on one. Factors such as teenage, pregnancy, cancers, STDs and STIs, gender, and preference highly impact the choice of birth control an individual is opting for.

It is also extremely crucial for a woman to study and analyze her breastfeeding requirements before choosing one specific birth control option. The reaction of her breast-milk composition to the introduction of hand-made hormones into the body can make the world of a difference to the health of the baby and her own health. Usually, longer breastfeeding episodes contribute to a substantial increase in milk supply.

Simply make sure to use a dose that is as low as possible. In the event that the weight of the baby fluctuates in an abnormal fashion or even if the weight of the mother fluctuates in an absurd manner, it is a wise idea to discontinue taking such birth control options and check whether things are becoming normal without the inclusion of such medication.