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Brevicon and Breastfeeding

Research on birth control pills (such as Brevicon) and breastfeeding has shown that the hormones in these pills can decrease the quality and quantity of breast milk. Therefore, they are usually not recommended for women who are breastfeeding. Brevicon may also cause problems (such as jaundice and breast enlargement) in babies whose mothers take this form of contraception while breastfeeding.

Can I Take Brevicon While Breastfeeding?

Brevicon® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. It is not usually recommended for use in women who are breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding (or plan to start breastfeeding), check with your healthcare provider before taking Brevicon.

Breastfeeding on "the Pill"

Although a few types of birth control pills are safe to take while breastfeeding, combined oral contraceptives (including Brevicon) are typically not recommended. Combined oral contraceptives contain two different kinds of hormones (both a progestin and an estrogen).
While combined oral contraceptives are the most popular and most effective type of birth control pill, they are not usually recommended for use during breastfeeding. Combined contraceptives may decrease both the quantity and the quality of breast milk. It is thought that the estrogen component of combined oral contraceptives is responsible for such problems. For this reason, healthcare providers almost always recommend progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") instead of combined contraceptives for women who are breastfeeding. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually less effective than combined oral contraceptives. Of course, there are other forms of contraception (other than birth control pills) that are also appropriate for women who are breastfeeding.
Additionally, research has shown that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk, usually in very small amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause long-lasting or significant problems in breastfed infants, although more research is necessary to confirm this. There have been cases of problems (such as jaundice and breast enlargement) in babies whose mothers took certain types of combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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