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Do I need birth control if I am breastfeeding?

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In general, progestin only pills are one alternative for birth control while breastfeeding. There are many doctors who will not prescribe any form of hormone for birth control while breastfeeding as some estrogen containing pills do cross into breast milk. You should talk with your doctor in detail about the risks versus benefits of the available oral birth control while nursing your baby.
Although breastfeeding itself is somewhat protective against pregnancy due to delayed resumption of ovulation, it may not provide adequate contraception for a family recognizing the need to space their children. The pill is a safe alternative for those families. Although not considered dangerous to the nursing newborn the "combined pill", which is usually prescribed for contraception may decrease the milk supply and is generally avoided. The progestin only pill (POP) will provide a safe and effective method for the family interested in an oral contraceptive.
Breastfeeding can delay the return of normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. But, like other forms of birth control, breastfeeding is not a sure way to prevent pregnancy. You should still talk with your doctor or nurse about birth control choices that are compatible with breastfeeding.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.