Safe Birth Control During Breastfeeding

After childbirth, many mothers may wonder if there is a safe form of birth control they can use during breastfeeding. Many different products are available, such as hormonal products, nonhormonal options, and natural methods.
If you are looking for a hormonal birth control option, the preferred choice is usually progestin-only products. Combined hormonal contraceptives, which contain both progestin and estrogen, may not be a safe option because estrogen can increase a woman's risk for developing a serious blood clot in the four weeks after childbirth. Estrogen also decreases breast milk production.
There are also nonhormonal options, such as condoms, cervical caps, and diaphragms. Natural methods include periodic abstinence, or the rhythm method, as well as the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM).
(For more information on other safe options, click Breastfeeding and Birth Control. This full-length article provides a closer look at various other birth control products, as well as details on their effectiveness.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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