How Soon After Childbirth Can I Start Birth Control?

How Soon After Childbirth Can I Start Birth Control?

Some say having a baby is the best form of contraception. The amount of spit up and poop alone are enough to get anyone out of the mood, not to mention sleepless nights and multiple skipped showers.

However, whether you’re ready to resume your regular intimacy programming or you’re still on the fence, both are totally normal — so is wondering about your postpartum birth control options. 

It’s never a bad time to research your options and start forming a family planning plan. 

Here, our team at Eve Medical of Miami walks you through everything you should know about starting birth control after baby. 

Ready, set, birth control

Contrary to popular belief, you can actually get pregnant shortly after childbirth before your period resurfaces. Thankfully, you can start almost all birth control methods, with a few exceptions.

Hormonal contraceptives (the pill, rings, and patches) contain estrogen, which may impact your break milk supply, especially right away. If you’re planning on breastfeeding, we recommend you wait at least four to six weeks to start hormonal birth control. But, if you aren’t planning on breastfeeding, it’s safe to use birth control as early as three weeks after childbirth. 

You should also wait a bit (around six weeks) to use cervical caps, diaphragms, and the birth control sponge. Your cervix needs some time to recover from labor and delivery, and you may even need to be refitted.

The best options for postpartum birth control

Before or after childbirth, there’s no one-size-fits-all birth control option. So, we talk you through your options and help you figure out which type is best for you. Consider these factors:

We can set you up with virtually any type of birth control, from condoms to intrauterine devices (IUDs). 

Other postpartum birth control FAQs

When and what are often just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to postpartum birth control. Here are a few other questions new moms ask us all the time. 

Is birth control less effective now that I’ve had a baby?

With the expectation of sponges and cervical caps, your previous family planning methods shouldn’t lose their potency once you’ve given birth. For instance, you may need to be refitted for a cervical cap after vaginal delivery.

Can I use birth control while breastfeeding?

You may want to avoid hormonal birth control if you’re breastfeeding, as it may impact your milk supply, but after the first month or so, you’re free to start using any method of contraction you’d like. 

Does breastfeeding count as birth control?

Breastfeeding does prevent ovulation, which prevents you from getting pregnant — but there’s a catch. It’s only effective if your baby’s exclusively breastfeeding. That means no supplementing with formula or pumping. To hit the 98% effective threshold, you need to nurse your baby every four hours during the day and at least every six hours at night. 

Breastfeeding to prevent pregnancy really only works for the first six months. After that, your baby’s dietary needs change, and they start eating solids, sleeping longer overnight, and dropping their frequency of feedings. 

The bottom line

Postpartum birth control can be tricky to navigate, and sometimes, you need to rethink your birth control approach altogether. The good news is that our team is here to help you determine which options are best for you and your new and ever-changing needs. 

If you have more questions about life after childbirth, we’d love to talk with you. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our Miami, Florida, office today.

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