Your post-pregnancy birth control options are similar to your options before you gave birth. However, your life will be pretty different after your baby is born and your birth control needs may shift. You may be more tired (actually, you’ll definitely be more tired) and you may not have the same focus or time to think about birth control.
For example, before your baby was born, your birth control choice may have been a pill that you popped every morning before work. After the baby, you may not return to work immediately and your mornings will most likely run on a different schedule. Plus, if you’re breastfeeding, you may have concerns about what things or hormones you put in your body. And, you may be asking if breastfeeding in itself will protect you against pregnancy.
Here’s what you need to know about effective and safe post-pregnancy birth control:
You can use breastfeeding as a birth control method. However, you need to exclusively breastfeed your child every four hours during the day and every six hours at night for your child’s first six months of life. You can’t use formula or feed your child food during this time to make this method effective.
Also, this method is only good for six months, or until you get your period for the first time after you give birth, whichever comes first. Afterward, you’ll have to choose another form of birth control.
Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC)
LARC is also known as forgettable birth control because it these types of birth control can be inserted immediately after giving birth so that new busy mothers are protected against unwanted pregnancies without having to think about it for years. LARC, which include IUDs and implants, need to be implanted by a healthcare professional and can last anywhere from three to 12 years, depending on the type you use.
They are safe and effective for moms who want to breastfeed and can be inserted before you leave the hospital with your newborn or at your follow up visit.
The Pill and other combined hormonal methods
The Pill, the patch and the ring use a combination of both estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancies. However, there is a chance that estrogen can seep into the breast milk and, therefore, using the Pill or another form of estrogen-based birth control is not advised for the first four to six weeks after giving birth if you plan to breastfeed. Plus, you need to take the pill every day at the same time, which may be challenging with a newborn.
Good old condoms and diaphragms work just fine to help prevent unwanted pregnancies after giving birth. The drawbacks to condoms are the same as they were before giving birth in the fact that you need to apply or insert them before intercourse physically. It’s important to note that if you used a diaphragm before giving birth, you might have to be refitted afterward.
For more information on birth control post-pregnancy, call Eve Medical in Miami, Florida, or make an appointment online.