Ortho Micronor and Breastfeeding

Since the quality and quantity of breast milk are not affected by Ortho Micronor, breastfeeding women should be able to safely use this form of birth control. Combined oral contraceptives are likely to cause problems in breastfeeding women, so it is generally recommended that breastfeeding mothers use a progestin-only pill (such as Ortho Micronor). Ask your healthcare provider when to start Ortho Micronor after delivery.

Is Ortho Micronor Safe During Breastfeeding?

Ortho Micronor® (norethindrone) is a prescription oral contraceptive (birth control pill). Unlike many other birth control pills, Ortho Micronor is usually considered to be safe for breastfeeding women.
(Ortho Micronor is equivalent to Errin®, Jencycla™, Jolivette®, and norethindrone birth control pills. The information in this article applies to each of these medications as well.)

What Does the Research Say About Ortho Micronor and Breastfeeding?

Studies have shown that the hormones in birth control pills pass through breast milk, although usually in low amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in breastfeeding infants.
Importantly, progestin-only contraceptives (including as Ortho Micronor) are not likely to affect the quantity and quality of breast milk. For this reason, progestin-only birth control pills are almost always recommended instead of combined contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen) in breastfeeding women. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually much less effective than combined oral contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive product (such as Ortho Micronor).
It is generally recommended to start Ortho Micronor six weeks after delivery if you are breastfeeding exclusively (if you are not supplementing with formula or other food). If you are supplementing with formula or other food, it is usually recommended to start Ortho Micronor three weeks after delivery.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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