How can a breastfeeding mother protect herself after childbirth?
A few weeks after giving birth the mucous membranes of the uterus recover. The first postpartum ovulation can take place without a period. A girl can get pregnant again. What methods of contraception after childbirth are effective for breastfeeding? Contraception after childbirth is a fairly relevant and important topic for new mothers.
Options for contraception after childbirth:
- Lactational amenorrhea.
- Intrauterine devices.
- Barrier contraception.
- Low hormone preparations.
Lactational amenorrhea as contraception after childbirth
This method is based on the assumption that the woman’s body produces the hormone prolactin, which blocks the maturation of the egg. With this option of protection, you need to feed the baby at least every 3-4 hours, regardless of the time of day.
The method is considered relevant in the first months after birth. By the age of 5 months, the baby eats every 5 hours. This makes the lactational amenorrhea method impossible.
With this method of protection, there is a chance of getting pregnant. Prolactin may not block ovulation.
A non-hormonal intrauterine device is used during breastfeeding. The method is 85-95% effective. There can be contraindications.
IUD with hormones (progesterone). Doctors recommend waiting a couple of months after natural childbirth before insertion, and six months after cesarean section. There is a myth that the hormones will get into the breastfeeding girl’s milk and affect the baby. Doctors deny this assumption. There may also be contraindications.
In both cases, you need to consult a specialist.
These include suppositories, tablets, gels and creams. The main active ingredient is benzalkonium chloride. It is responsible for the neutralization of sperm. With this option of protection, it is necessary to strictly follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Nuances of application:
- You need clean water without soap, gel, lotion and other things to wash.
- A suppository, gel, pill or cream should be inserted strictly for the time before contact, which the manufacturer indicated (usually 5-10 minutes).
- One pill (suppository) is designed for 1 contact.
Barrier contraceptive options include female condoms, diaphragms and cervical caps. The diaphragm is placed for several weeks. Condoms are selected at the appointment. Do not use if you are allergic to latex. The cap can be placed just before intercourse.
If a woman used caps before pregnancy, you need to see a doctor to adjust the size. After all, after childbirth, the volume of the uterus has changed.
There are several types of such drugs: pills, implants and injections.
Postpartum birth control and breastfeeding
Contraceptive pills after childbirth during breastfeeding can be used. You should pay attention to the composition, which should not contain estrogen. The “right” pill contains progestogen. It does not get into the milk. The disadvantage of the pills is to take them by the minute. You should consult your doctor before using it.
Injections and implants
Implants(capsule or plate) are sewn under the skin. They last about 5 years. They do not contain estrogen. A small amount of the drug is released into the blood each day. The injection works for up to 3 months. The injection causes a menopause-like reaction in the body (no periods or ovulation). It is better to refrain from this method if you plan to have another baby.
- Interrupted intercourse. Not always effective (your partner does not have time to navigate).
- Abstinence. Affects the psychological climate in the family.
- Sterilization of one of the partners – ligation of the fallopian tubes or the seminal cords. There is no guarantee that the couple or partner will not want children again.
For the selection of contraception, you need to consult a doctor.
The website momslab.com is useful for girls after childbirth. It has informative articles, a recovery program, and a free chat on Telegram.