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Femcon Fe and Breastfeeding

Studies on birth control pills (including Femcon Fe) and breastfeeding have shown that the hormones in these pills pass through breast milk in low amounts. Although these amounts may be too low to cause serious problems, jaundice and breast enlargement have been reported in babies whose mothers took these contraceptives while breastfeeding. Femcon Fe can also decrease the production and quality of breast milk.

Can I Take Femcon Fe While Breastfeeding?

Most healthcare providers do not recommend Femcon® Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) for women who are breastfeeding. Femcon Fe is a birth control pill that is classified as a combined oral contraceptive because it contains both estrogen and progestin hormones. Although combined oral contraceptives are effective at preventing pregnancy, they are usually not recommended for women who are breastfeeding.
(The information in this article also applies to Zeosa™, a generic version of Femcon Fe.)

Research on Femcon Fe and Breastfeeding

Studies have shown that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk in low amounts. Although these amounts are probably too low to cause significant problems, there have been a few cases of side effects, such as jaundice and breast enlargement, in babies whose mothers took certain types of combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
More importantly, combined contraceptives may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. 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 contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive, such as Femcon Fe.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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