There are a number of birth control options for women who deliver a child and are on strict orders from their doctor to no longer use the birth control pill. Beginning with the mini-pill, a lower dosage form of the birth control pill that contains only progestin, one of two main hormones found in a full-strength birth control pill.
Birth Control Pills
A great many women use IUDs during this phase, which often contain a small but safe amount of progesterone. Disclaimers that come with most birth control pills suggest that use during a time of breastfeeding can negatively impact both the quality and quantity of a woman’s breast milk. Despite this, some women report not having any major side effects while taking the pill during this time.
A long-term study of the effects of the mini-pill on children who were breastfed while their mothers took it found no measure of negative impact in the children, through adolescent age. Although some forms of birth control injections have the same low-level of hormones as the mini-pill, the jury is still out in some respects because of the more direct way they are administered into a woman’s body.
As expectant mothers have become more concerned about the side effects of things like the birth control pill and more aggressive in their search for safe solutions, during breastfeeding times or otherwise, interest in the mini-pill has increased. It seems to many women like the most logical and convenient choice, provided its safety can be corroborated.
The organizations that have given their stamp of approval for the mini-pill during periods of a mother breastfeeding include the World Health Organization (WHO), Planned Parenthood of America, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. This is because only small amounts of the single major hormone present, progestin, pass into the mother’s breast milk and that small amount has yet to be shown to have any adverse effects on a baby’s weight or normal developmental progress.
It is recommended that breastfeeding women wait six weeks after the delivery of their child to start taking the mini-pill. For those women who plan only partial breastfeeding and want to resume an active sex life sooner, three weeks has been deemed acceptable.
Berkeley Parents Network – “IUD or Other Birth Control While Breastfeeding?”, March 2009, Retrieved October 12, 2010 from http://parents.berkeley.edu/advice/nursing/pill.html
StorkNet.com – Breastfeeding and Contraceptives, Retrieved October 12, 2010 from http://www.medicinenet.com/hormonal_methods_of_birth_control/page2.htm
BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board – The Mini-Pill, Retrieved October 12, 2010 from http://www.babycenter.com/0_birth-control-pills-the-minipill-progestin-only-pills_1472113.bc