Is breastfeeding a form of birth control?

breastfeeding louisville

After you've had a baby, sometimes the first thing on your mind is how not to have another baby-- maybe just for now, maybe for good.

Your six week postpartum doctor appointment is an excellent time to discuss various options for birth control with your doctor. Some things (among others) that will be taken into account will be how temporary or permanent of a method you want, any side effects that you've experienced from birth control in the past, and whether or not you're breastfeeding.

But did you know that breastfeeding can be a form of birth control on it's own?

Lactational Amenorrhea Method, also known as "LAM" is a safe, effective, and completely free method of birth control when used correctly.

Notice I said "correctly". Usually when this topic comes up on online forums, one or more people will pop up saying "Well I breastfed and I still got pregnant again!" Just like any other form of birth control, this method needs to be used as directed to be fully effective.

In this case that means that breastfeeding can be used as a form of birth control for the first six months after the birth of your baby as long as:

  • You don't supplement any food or formula and your baby is exclusively breastfed.

  • You feed your baby at least every four hours during the day and every six hours over night.

  • You have not yet had a period since your baby was born.

Less than 1 out of 100 women that use this method perfectly will become pregnant, but we all know how hard it is to do anything perfectly, especially when you're a new parent. About 2 in 100 women will become pregnant in six month's time if they don't always practice continuous breastfeeding perfectly.

So there you have it--a truly free method of post baby birth control that doesn't involve just abstaining. As always, check with your doctor or midwife if you think that this is a good option for you and your family.

Happy love making without baby making!

oUR POSTPARTUM DOULAS CAN HELP YOU COMPILE A LIST OF QUESTIONS FOR YOUR SIX WEEK APPOINTMENT, AND SUPPORT YOUR BREASTFEEDING EXPERIENCE. cONTACT US TODAY TO SET UP A CONSULTATION.