Is Seasonale Safe During Breastfeeding?
(levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill
. Specifically, it is classified as a combined oral contraceptive
because it contains both a progestin and an estrogen. The vast majority of birth control pills on the market today are combined oral contraceptives. Although they are effective at preventing pregnancy, combined oral contraceptives (including Seasonale) are not recommended for breastfeeding women.
What Does the Research Say About Seasonale and Breastfeeding?
Studies have shown that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk in low amounts. These tiny amounts are probably too low to cause significant problems in breastfeeding infants. However, there have been cases of problems (such as breast enlargement and jaundice) 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 product, such as Seasonale.