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Contraception while breastfeeding: what is suitable?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 403 views

What is the ideal form of contraception while breastfeeding ? On the other hand, what methods are not suitable for breastfeeding women to prevent re-pregnancy? You can read the answers to these questions here.

How can I prevent after childbirth?

Contraception is probably not an issue right after the baby is born. After all, giving birth is exhausting – for mothers and fathers. When everyone has recovered sufficiently after the birth, the desire for sex usually grows again .

During the weekly flow (usually four to six weeks) you should avoid sexual intercourse if possible, since the secretion is very infectious. For those who still want to give free rein to their lust, we present the contraceptives that are suitable after childbirth.

These methods work!

Contraceptives used during breastfeeding should not affect milk production and quality, nor harm mother and/or child. Therefore, not every contraceptive method is suitable for breastfeeding women.

mechanical methods

Condoms are a suitable contraceptive during breastfeeding. They can be used immediately after birth and have no effect on breast milk.

After the confinement phase, other barrier methods are also suitable, such as a diaphragm , cervical cap (small dome with a rim that the gynecologist adjusts to the cervix) or the Lea Contraceptive (a variant or further development of the cervical cap).

Women who have used a diaphragm before giving birth and now want to “reactivate” it should have it re-fitted as the appropriate size may have changed. But that only happens about three months after the birth.

Mothers also have the option of having a copper IUD inserted from six weeks after the birth .

Hormonal methods

Pure progestin preparations are a contraceptive option that is fine when breastfeeding. In contrast to the classic pills, estrogen-free preparations do not affect the flow or quality of breast milk. So far, no harmful influence on the development and health of the child has been proven.

The pure progestin preparations include mini-pills , hormone sticks ( contraceptive sticks ), three- month injections and hormone coils . Advantages of the latter: Compared to conventional IUDs, the hormone IUD causes bleeding disorders less often. And unlike oral pills or depot injections, it keeps hormone levels consistently low.


After the birth, some couples are certain that family planning is complete and they do not want any more children. In this case, one of the partners can be sterilized. Male sterilization is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia.

Sterilization in women, on the other hand, requires general anesthesia because the patency of the fallopian tubes is interrupted by laparoscopy, which is also possible immediately after childbirth: most of the fallopian tubes are removed through a small incision in the navel. If a caesarean section is planned, the sterilization can also be carried out during this procedure.

In this case, you should definitely inform your doctor at the beginning of the pregnancy of your wish to be sterilized. After sterilization, you no longer have to worry about contraception while breastfeeding.

These methods are not suitable!

Estrogen contraceptives

These include the combination preparations under the contraceptive pills, but also vaginal rings and contraceptive patches – are unsuitable when breastfeeding. The female sex hormones can disrupt milk production, i.e. reduce the amount of milk. There is also a risk that the composition of breast milk will change.

Natural birth control methods

Natural contraceptive methods such as temperature measurement ( temperature method ) are not necessarily safe while breastfeeding – especially if you have little or no experience with them. But even in women who are experienced in these methods, the body can react in an unusually different way while breastfeeding.

For example, the sleeping rhythm can get so confused that the meaningfulness of the temperature when you wake up in the morning is far too low. In any case, contraceptive methods that require regularity and self-discipline are difficult to maintain during this time. Because breastfeeding, caring for the baby and the new life situation rob most young mothers of enough strength.

breastfeeding as contraception

Breastfeeding as a birth control method isn’t entirely a myth because the mother’s brain releases prolactin during breastfeeding. This hormone inhibits the production of those messenger substances that allow the egg cells to mature (FSH) and trigger ovulation (LH). In other words, the release of prolactin deactivates the ovary.

However, breastfeeding can only work as a contraceptive method if certain requirements are met:

  • The woman has not had a menstrual period since giving birth (menstrual flow does not count!).
  • The child must be exclusively breastfed, i.e. around the clock at least six times within 24 hours.
  • The child must be breastfed at least every six hours at night and at least every four hours during the day.
  • In total, you have to breastfeed for more than 80 minutes a day.
  • It is not fed.

Otherwise, the cycle usually does not even out. That means menstruation starts again and you can get pregnant again. The first period counts as the first period

Attention: Even with full breastfeeding, it cannot be ruled out that egg cells will mature and that the breastfeeding woman will become pregnant again.

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