ATTENTION BREAST FEEDING MOMS ONLY:What type of birth control is best while you are breast feeding?

Rachelle - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 92 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 month old daughter that I started out breast feeding...I was first on the Depo shot then switched to the pills, after doing that my breast milk stopped producing, plus I was trying to pump breast milk so it could have been the combination. We are expecting our second child in December and I was wondering if your form of birth control has affected the way you breastfeed?

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April - posted on 07/20/2010

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My doc told me I could use Mirena and it wouldn't affect my milk supply. That was wrong - Mirena caused my supply to crash. Honestly? If you take anything with hormones in it at all you're taking a risk. The best way to go while you're breastfeeding is with the tried and true - condoms, diaphragm, spermicide, etc.

Dora - posted on 07/16/2010

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My doctor did not recommend the birth control pill. The only form of birth control he recommended were condoms while breast feeding. His concern was what can pass through your breast milk and get to the baby.

Lizelle - posted on 07/18/2010

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We're using condoms. Worked wonderful after my first. Only got pregnant once we started trying for another at 16 months, My second is now 15 months and it still works. I tandem breastfed and I'm still breastfeeding my daughter.

Kelley - posted on 07/20/2010

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I'm EBF with my almost 6 mo old, have been on the Depo shot most of that time and it hasn't affected my milk supply

Carol - posted on 07/20/2010

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I got depo. It was that or an iud or to stop. I didn't want to stop brestfeeding with my son I took the mini pill and couldn't breastfeed. My husband wasn't to comfortable with the iud neither was I my sister has merina and ended up with ectopic pregnancies so I got depo. My milk is doing fine and I'm able to pump just incase I can't feed my daughter in public but my son steals it.

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92 Comments

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Allison - posted on 03/07/2011

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Nuva ring. Awsome. I absoluetly love it. Easy to use, change every 4 weeks.

Nancy-Suzie - posted on 07/20/2010

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My ob suggested the depo shot for me, since I was pumping, and I needed a good milk supply. and it's a very effective contraceptive, which I need simply because I am very fertile and get pregnant easily.

Koriynn - posted on 07/20/2010

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nuvaring works pretty well if you start out on the pill for the first month after the birth.

Jaclyn - posted on 07/20/2010

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mine is called errin. small little pills. everything seems to be good with this one and breastfeeding hasnt been a problem

Racheal - posted on 07/20/2010

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caution with the hormones, no matter how deemed safe they are they can still screw up your milk supply...the pop almost dried me out completly!! so i stopped taking it and my milk increased 3fold!!

Dawn - posted on 07/20/2010

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I have been using the Nueva Ring since my son was 8 weeks old. He was 20 months old yesterday and is still nursing.

Gemma - posted on 07/20/2010

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I was on Depo before getting oregnant and am using it again now at Dr's advice, even though bf. I react badly to the pill but was successfully on Depo for 8 years. It took 3 months to return to a regular cycle and another 3 to fall pregnant so it shouldn't affect my choice to have a second child in a few years. The Depo has not affected by milk supply either. LO continues to gain weight and is very happy and healthy.

Sandra - posted on 07/20/2010

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I started mini-pill 3wks after birth of my son but things never ran smoothly. At 16months I was put on the combined pill and that was a total disaster from feeling sick to reduction in breast milk so stopped that and am now expecting next baby!(very happy) Don't know what birth control I am going to use next time I think it will be the coil.

Miranda - posted on 07/19/2010

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I personally use the Mirena IUD, I love it. I have not had any problems with it, some women get irregular periods and cramping, etc. You can always ask you OB-GYN, and they can give you information. Good luck!

Serene - posted on 07/19/2010

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I went to my doctor appointment today and asked them what was safe to take while nursing and i was told that low estrogen pills and implanon(IUD) I went with the (IUD) because it lasts up to 3 years and you don't have to worry about taking a pill.

Stephanie - posted on 07/19/2010

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Minipill (progesterone only) or a non-hormonal (copper) IUD. The estrogen in other forms of birthcontrol, can (and will) effect your milk production. Or, as another post stated, you can always use external birthcontrol (condoms, diaphragm, etc).

Ginny - posted on 07/19/2010

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With my first and second children I used whatever pill it is that's safe while breastfeeding (some low-hormone pill, I forget the name of it). With my third it was complicated because I had an appendectomy after she was born and ended up with blood clots as a result of the surgery, and had to take blood thinners for 6 months. You can't take anything that affects your hormones while on blood thinners, so we just used condoms, and that's been fine obviously. But back on topic, the pills I took the first two times had no affect on my supply.

Candace - posted on 07/19/2010

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I acctually went for my 6 wks check up today and asked about the very same thing. My Dr. said he doesn't suggest the "mini-pill" because it causes a false sense of security being that it isn't as effective as the combination pill and the combination pill will cause problems with milk production. He suggested we either just use condoms, or, if I wanted BC to do either the Depo or an IUD. I chose the Depo so we'll se how it works out. Congratulations and good luck.

Mary - posted on 07/19/2010

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i have paragard with no effect to my milk production at all. in fact i started pumping to get a stockpile for when i go back to work & my supply has actually gone up. i have enough milk for my 22 month old, my 3 month old & i pump once a day getting at least 10 ounces.
paragard is a non hormone iud so you dont even have to worry about cycle changes, mood swings etc that hormones can cause.

[deleted account]

THe best is the Mirena IUD. Depending on how soon you want to have antoher. It lasts for 5 years and when placed it is not supposed to interfere with breastfeeding. They can place it at your 6 week appt but suggest waiting til 10 weeks after delivery to decrease the risk of expulsion, (it is inside your uterus) don't worry you can't feel it once it is there.

Briana - posted on 07/19/2010

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I have Mirena so obviously that is safe. I know they make a mini pill, but my sister got pregnant on that ;)

Kelly - posted on 07/18/2010

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I breastfeed and am about to change birth controls. I have the Mirena in currently, I had it in for a couple months after I had my son, and then have it now after the birth of my daughter. I took it out after my son because I made me a feel different. I got pregnant with my daughter almost right away. I only was able to breastfeed my son for 6 months,the doctors said my milk dried up due to pregnancy. I got it again because there really arnt great alternatives for breastfeeding mothers. The doctors told me Mirena or the mini pill. Well my daughter is 6 months and I can barely make enough milk to nurse her three times a day. I just read today that they don't know what Mirena can do to the infants, they did a test in Mexico that said that there were a lot of cases were the children had eye and neurological problems. I have looked at the website for Paraguard and spoken to friends of mine that have it. I am calling tomorrow to get an appointment with my OBGYN.

Sarah - posted on 07/18/2010

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All I know is don't use the micropill! I concieved TWICE nine months after giving birth while breastfeeding exclusively and using the micropill. The second time, thinking the first was a fluke, but wanting to take extra precautions anyway, we used a spermicide. The pill itself did not seem to affect my milk production, but the pregnancy did. I produced fine, but my babies were turned off the milk. I think the hormones affected the taste or something. This time around, I'm getting the Depo shot and using VCF...crossing my fingers that it will work. Four kids in four years is NOT an exciting thought to me! lol

Luisa - posted on 07/18/2010

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Hey there.... with my first one... the bc they put me on was the least effective for breatfeeding... but it turned into a bipolar monster... so i got off that . so the best thing was to not be on anything... bc can have a lot of bad side effects, and with breastmilk... it's something that you don't really want to mess with... chemically... which is what bc does... my hubby and I still made love... the high school way... with rubbers and they work great and there is no scary...'might happen to you' side effects either. I also did that with my second child that I breastfed... things worked out great.... just a suggestion..... bc pills aren't that great... especially when your body is still recovering from pregnancy... and to slingshot more hormones in your body... I would just take a break form the pills or shots atleast until you are done breastfeeding. just an opinion :) Good Luck !!! :)

Tatiana - posted on 07/18/2010

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I use Nora-BE (the mini-pill or Poppers)...my OB-GYN prescribed it specifically because I was/am breastfeeding. I haven't had any problems with milk production. I noticed below that someone said she hadn't gotten her period yet, but that's not necessarily from the mini-pill or from breastfeeding. I got my period when my son was 6 months old, and I was fully breastfeeding and on the mini-pill. Every woman is different.

Krystal - posted on 07/18/2010

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I was on the pill after I had my two & my doc prescribed one that had half a life that way it wouldn't dry up my milk. They told me full strength birth control could dry it up. The only thing about it is you have to take it by the same time everyday or it could mess up

[deleted account]

I went for the implant as I was using Depo before I conceived but as I would like to have a 2nd baby I didn't want my fertility to take time to return. The implant I can forget about and I have fed my son for 11 months with no problem to my milk supply. I have had no side effects and I would recommend looking into to see whether it would work for you.

Kelly - posted on 07/18/2010

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yes, my milk decreased alot the first week of the pill, so we just use condoms now. i was on the progesterone only pill, but it still effected me.

Jasmine - posted on 07/17/2010

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We just used condoms, that is when we actually had time for lovin' LOL I plan to go back on Nuva-ring once I have a good stash of expressed milk and my daughter eats more solids. There is a "mini-pill"that shouldn't effect your supply because they don't have estrogen. Ask your doctor about it :)

Desiree' - posted on 07/17/2010

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idk my obgyn told me he wouldnt prescribe me birth control while i was breast feeding

Ashley - posted on 07/17/2010

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there are a few methods the nuvaring plus the implants that you can use, they use progesterone and not estrogen, estrogen is what depletes your milk. Talk to your doctor they can put you on what is best. also talk to your lactation consultant, if your doctor will not work with you then they can suggest a doctor that will!!! i think i have heard of some pills that are no estrogen, but i'm not sure. talk to your doctor!!!

Rachelle - posted on 07/17/2010

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Thank you to all, I think I am just going to stay away from any form of hormonal BC. The IUD's kind of freak me out due to all of the stories I have heard through your posts, so no IUD for me. I had trouble with the DEPO and mini pills with my daughter the first time so most likely I think we will do the Family Planning Method, condoms, or diaphram sounds interesting! Thanks for all of your suggestions moms!

Renee - posted on 07/17/2010

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whatever you do, dont take the depo or pills! I too pump and breast feed, which makes my milk production increase so i dont think that was the problem. 9 times out of 10 it was your birth control method, I dont use birth control though...

Rebekah - posted on 07/17/2010

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I used the mini-pill (Micronor) for the first 12 months of nursing and then switched to a very low hormone birth control (Microgestin, I think) to get my period to return. Well, that was the idea, but my daughter is 15 months old now and I still haven't had a period.

Katie - posted on 07/17/2010

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There are only a few birth control methods that you can use while breastfeeding. Other wise it will decrease and/or stop your milk production. Both IUD's are one form. The other is a progesterone only pill. You cannot take anything else and breastfeed. So make sure you inform your dr of your plans to long term breastfeed.

Tiffany - posted on 07/17/2010

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I got the paraguard IUD. It's a non hormonal form of birth control that is just as effective as the pill. It has worked wonders for me and my husband. I've almost had it for 2 years with no problems. I just got it put in 2 months after birth (I was heavily breast feeding and thus hadn't had my period yet) and it was a quick 10 min procedure to put it in and it's good for 10 years. Best part is that as soon as they take it out you're able to get pregnant the next day! I plan on having it for another 2 years then getting it removed for my next one then getting a new one. ^.^

Olivia - posted on 07/17/2010

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Do any doctors care about the hormones coming off in your breast milk? I don't think so. Yeah it may not lessen your milk but honestly does anyone think of the hormones you are giving your child? The effects this will have, it seems like no one is worried about it. This concerns me very much.

Jessie - posted on 07/17/2010

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I tried to take the mini-pill (which is the one they give you that is supposed to be safe for your baby while nursing) he was about 3 months old when I started taking it. in a matter off about 2 weeks my supply decreased dramatically and I threw the damn pills away. we have been using strictly condoms since then. our son just turned one and we're arent pregnant again yet. seeing as I got pregnant taking regular birth control we figure a condom isnt going to be any less effective than that was (cuz we got pregnant anyways). I will most likely start taking regular birth control again after he is weaned and also use condoms in addition for awhile. yeah they suck and it's better without one but we dont plan on having another child for a least a couple more years.

Merry - posted on 07/17/2010

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Diaphragm!!! It's never mentioned, exept by dido, it is awesome.
It is no hormones. No risks. No chance of loss of pregnancy. No chance of loss of fertility. No chance of death. No chance of needing surgery. No mood swings. No weight gain. No affect on breast milk.
So it's a barrier method. It's a cup like plastic devise you put inside you before sex. It covers your cervix and you can't feel it once it's in. It doesn't hurt to put in and my man never complains about it. You use it with spermacide and leave it in after sex at least 6 hours so it kills all sperm around. Then you pull it out, wash it and store it till next time. Please consider it. It is a lovely choice and it is so safe. I would never use hormones or IUDs after hearing all the risks. I know it's very few who have those bad reactions but I am just one person, so it could be me.
Goodluck with your decision!

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2010

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We use Natural Family Planning, and I also suggest the book TCOYF by Weschler. My baby is almost a year old, and although I only experienced about 3 mo of lactation amenorrhea, it has worked perfectly! I am a strong believer in keeping synthetic hormones out of the picture, and advise against exposing your baby to them.
Side note: My sister first got the Mirena IUD after her 3rd child. About 2 years later she suddenly experienced heavy bleeding and fever. She went to the doctor to find that the thing had slipped out, and she was pregnant! She could have lost the baby because of things being squirrely down there. Luckily he/she is due in December :) I don't know if she plans on trying unnatural BC again.

Kathy - posted on 07/16/2010

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I was on the mini-pill while breastfeeding and produced enough (and then some) to get by for her first year. Plus I never got a period, though I know that isn't always the case. I was planning on this method again while breastfeeding our next baby.

Jennifer - posted on 07/16/2010

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my doctor said that the depo was completely safe and had no effect my breastfeeding. It was either that or the IUD and I plan on having another child within the next two years so I didn't want to go that route. The only negative with the depo is that it can take longer to get pregnant once you go off of it. I guess there are benefits and downfalls to each.

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2010

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I use no hormones at all. I am using the IUD, and am very pleased with it. (It is a copper IUD)

Didi - posted on 07/16/2010

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I was told there was one type of pill you can take that shouldn't interfere with your milk (cannot remember the name). I stick with condoms and a diaphragm (I know, no one uses them anymore but they work well for me).

Heather - posted on 07/16/2010

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I'm on Depo and it has not affected my milk supply. My doc and I decided I will continue to take it until I am ready to get pregnant again.

Andreina - posted on 07/16/2010

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my dr said when breastfeeding.. only an iud or the mini pill.. i went for the iud. i got the mirena

Miranda - posted on 07/16/2010

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I just got a paraguard IUD a month ago and I love it! No fuss or muss or hormone rollercoaster!

Jess - posted on 07/16/2010

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I have been EBF for nearly nine months, and I am on the Nuva ring. When I went in for my six week check up, my OB gave it to me to try. It said on the instructions not to use while breastfeeding, but he assured me it was fine. No side effects or weight gain, and my daughter is doing just great with no baby brother or sister in sight, thank goodness!!

Lauren - posted on 07/16/2010

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the link between breastfeeding and birthcontrol is that certain hormones in some birth controls can cause you to quit lactating you should just talk with your doctor and express that u still want BC but as well you want to brestfeed they will prescribe you a bc w/o these hormones

Jessica - posted on 07/16/2010

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Jennifer- I don't believe this method is reliable in the slightest. My cycle returned to normal after two months; and I was EBF on demand. I've heard this referred to as "natural rhythm" method, and it works for some women; but others like myself have seriously odd cycles. Just my 2 cents :)

Jessica - posted on 07/16/2010

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I use Paraguard (non hormonal IUD) and I love it. It's never affected my supply. DD is 21 months now and I had it inserted at my 6 week checkup.

Colleen - posted on 07/16/2010

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Hi
I have a 1 month old, amd I'm BF. I asked my Dr. for a birth control pill that wouldn't affect my milk supply and he prescribed me micronor. I hope that helps..

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