Birth Control Choices After You Have a Baby

when to start birth control after baby


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When Can i Start Birth Control After Having a Baby

There is a popular belief that you can’t get pregnant during those first months after baby birth, when you’re still breastfeeding and have no period yet.

Basically, it’s true, but the following 4 conditions should be met to exclude a possibility of pregnancy:

  • A child should be only breastfed, no formula allowed;
  • A child should be breastfed every 3 hours during the day and 1 time during the night, with intervals no more than 6 hours between the night breastfeeding. The more often you breastfeed the more likely you will succeed;
  • No period;
  • First 6 months after baby birth.

If any of these conditions is not met, a woman might become pregnant again. It is not an ideal situation because the new pregnancy will affect the breastfeeding. A short interval between two pregnancies can lead to complications and even to an incomplete pregnancy. Doctors believe that a minimum of two years is required between two pregnancies. Ideally, you need to wait between 2.5 and 3.5 years before you can get pregnant again.

Sex and Contraception After Baby Birth

It is widely known that you need to wait at least 4-6 weeks after baby birth before you can have sex. Still some couples start having sex soon after having a baby. You need to be really careful in this case, because you can get pregnant even before the first period.

Don’t test your fate, start using contraception right from the first time you have sex. When choosing a birth control method, you need to remember that you are breastfeeding. The contraception should not affect the quality and quantity of the breast milk.

An Intrauterine Device

The best birth control method is an intrauterine device (IUD). It is very efficient (90 %) and doesn’t affect the breast milk production. If you had a normal baby birth and have no other contraindications for IUD, it can be inserted as soon as 6 weeks after a baby birth.

Like all other methods, IUD has its cons. You can’t use IUD if you have pelvic inflammatory disease or excessive and painful periods.

IUD can’t be inserted at home. Trust that job to a professional gynecologist.

Barrier Contraceptives

Cervical cap or diaphragm doesn’t affect lactation (breast milk production) or baby’s health either. If you used those products before your pregnancy, you might need a bigger size now. It’s better to wait till your postpartum period is over (6 weeks after a baby birth). A doctor will choose the right size and insert the diaphragm for the first time.

You can use a condom contraceptive, but you might experience some complications with this method because lubrication is poor during the breastfeeding period. It can be easily fixed with using spermicides (“Pharmatex”, “Contraceptin”, “Pathentix oval”). Those spermicides not only immobilize and kill sperm but also affect sexually transmitted disease agents. The spermicides used alone are 80-95 % safe and 99,9 % safe if used together with condom.

Hormonal Contraception

Most of the birth control pills (combined) contain two female hormones: estrogen and gestogen. It’s long time known that estrogen decreases breast milk and lactation period and can affect baby’s growth. Those women who want to breast-feed as long as they can, should avoid combined pills. There are so-called mini-pills that contain only gestogen.

Unlike the combined pills, the mini-pills have less contraceptive potential and require some patience, because you need to take them exactly at the same time of the day. You can start taking them 6 weeks after the baby birth.

Hormonal injection (Depotprovera) doesn’t affect lactation either. The first shot is can be done 6 weeks after a baby birth if a woman is breastfeeding and 4 weeks if she is not breastfeeding. One shot protects you from unwanted pregnancy up to 3 months. However this method might affect your menstrual cycle, so it will take longer to recover afterwards.

Sterilization

This birth control method is the only one that gives you 100 % guarantee. It’s a tubal ligation or having your tubes tied. It can be performed at the same time with C-section or right after the baby birth with a surgical method that leaves no scars, which is called laparoscopy. Sterilization is a safe birth control method that is popular all around the world. But you need to be absolutely sure that you won’t want to have children in future.

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