Table of contents:
- How to use birth control while breastfeeding
- Does breastfeeding work as a contraceptive method?
- Natural contraceptive methods
After childbirth, some contraceptive options to use during breastfeeding are taking the contraceptive pill containing only progesterone, inserting an IUD or using a condom in every intercourse, in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and allow the body to fully recover from the previous pregnancy, especially in the first 6 months.
During the period of breastfeeding, you should avoid using combined hormonal contraceptives containing estrogen in addition to progesterone because the estrogenic component can impair the quantity and quality of breast milk by suppressing the production of prolactin, which is a responsible hormone for milk production.
It is important that the woman consults the gynecologist so that the contraceptive during breastfeeding is evaluated and indicated individually and that it is safe for the woman and the baby.
How to use birth control while breastfeeding
The way to use contraceptives during breastfeeding depends on the method indicated by the doctor and includes:
The most suitable and safe contraceptive pill for use during breastfeeding is the one that contains only progesterone in its composition, which is why it is known as the mini-pill.
Usually, the start of the mini-pill depends on the type of hormone indicated by the doctor, which can be:
- Desogestrel (Cerazette, Nactali): This contraceptive can be started between the 21st and 28th day after childbirth, taking one tablet a day always at the same time. During the first 7 days, an additional barrier method, such as a condom, should be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy;
- Linestrenol (Exluton): This contraceptive can be started between the 21st and 28th day after childbirth, taking one tablet a day always at the same time.During the first 7 days, an additional barrier method, such as a condom, should be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy;
- Norethisterone (Micronor): this contraceptive can only be started from the 6th week after childbirth, taking one pill a day always at the same time. In the case of women who do mixed breastfeeding, that is, who in addition to breast milk give formula to the baby, the use of norethisterone can be started 3 weeks after delivery, according to medical advice.
It is important to take the pill at the same time every day and in case of delay or forgetting a dose, a barrier method should be used, such as a condom, for example.
Also, while using the mini-pill, some side effects such as headache, irregular bleeding or decreased sexual desire may occur.
The use of the pill must always be done with medical advice and guidance.
2. Subcutaneous implant
The subcutaneous implant of progesterone, known as Implanon, is a small stick inserted under the skin, which gradually releases the amount of daily hormone needed to inhibit ovulation. As it contains only progesterone in its composition, it can be used safely by breastfeeding women.
Implanon can be inserted from the 4th week after delivery. During the first 7 days, condoms must be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
The implant is applied by the gynecologist, with local anesthesia, in a few minutes procedure, in the arm region, where it can remain for up to 3 years, but it can be removed at any time the woman wishes.
The IUD, or intrauterine device, is a very effective and practical contraceptive method, as there is no need to remember when to use it.
There are two different types of IUDs that can be used for breastfeeding:
- Levonorgestrel (Mirena): the IUD can start to be used from the 6th week after delivery, as directed by the doctor;
- Copper IUD (Multiload): The copper IUD can be inserted immediately after delivery, or from the 6th week after normal delivery, or from the 12th week week after a cesarean.
The IUD can only be inserted by the gynecologist, in the office or in the hospital, and its contraceptive effect can last up to 10 years in the case of copper IUDs and about 5 years in the case of hormonal IUDs. These devices can be removed at any time, by the doctor, when the woman wishes. Learn more about these two types of IUDs.
The diaphragm is a small flexible ring, made of latex or silicone, which a woman can place before intimate contact, preventing sperm from reaching the uterus.
This method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, and to prevent pregnancy, it can only be withdrawn between 8 and 24 hours after intercourse.
The use of condoms, male or female, is a good alternative for women who do not want to use hormones, which, in addition to preventing pregnancy, also protects women against diseases.
It is a safe and effective method, but it is important to evaluate the validity of the condom and that it is of a brand approved by INMETRO, which is the body that inspects the quality of the product. See the other mistakes that can be made when using a male condom.
6. Injectable contraceptive
The contraceptive injection, called Depo-Provera, contains medroxyprogesterone acetate, a type of progesterone, which is used to prevent unwanted pregnancy while breastfeeding.
This injection can be used from the 6th week after childbirth, applied by a he alth professional, and with medical indication.
Does breastfeeding work as a contraceptive method?
In some cases, breastfeeding can work as a contraceptive method, if the baby is exclusively breastfed, without ingesting any other type of food or bottle. This can happen because when the baby breastfeeds several times a day, with frequency and with a lot of suction, the woman's body may not release the hormones necessary for the maturation of a new egg, for ovulation to occur and/or for them to bond. favorable conditions for pregnancy.
However, this does not mean that a woman cannot become pregnant and, therefore, doctors do not recommend breastfeeding as a contraceptive method.
Natural contraceptive methods
The contraceptive methods known as natural, such as withdrawal, the method of the schedule or temperature control should not be used, as they are very ineffective and can lead to an unwanted pregnancy. In case of doubt, you should talk to the gynecologist to adapt the best method to the needs of each woman, thus avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.