Having a baby who wakes up every two hours to nurse may feel like all the protection you need to avoid getting pregnant, but deep down you know that wishful thinking is not effective birth control. You may feel comfortable with the pill if that is what you used before getting pregnant, but now that you're using your body to feed your child, you want to be cautious of what you put in your body. But can you take the pill while breastfeeding? It's a good thing to consider before you refill your prescription.
Throughout pregnancy, delivery, and your postpartum months, your hormones have been on a wild ride. Remembering how they affected your moods and appetite, you may be hesitant to start pumping more into your bloodstream. But it seems that doctors have cracked the code on how to make breastfeeding and birth control pills live in harmony. Depending on which type of oral contraceptive you take, it's completely safe to take the pill while nursing your baby, according to the website for Dr. Sears. Even though those baby-blocking pills may look the same, there are many different kinds with varying ingredients. With so many different types of birth control pills, it's important to know which one works best for breastfeeding mothers.
So what should you expect your doctor to prescribe? Known as the minipill or progestin only pill, this form of oral contraceptive is the top choice for lactating moms, according to Mayo Clinic. This type of pill contains no estrogen, and even though research hasn't proven estrogen affects milk production, most doctors still feel the minipill is the safest bet. But it seems as more studies are conducted, many of the myths surrounding what can happen when a breastfeeding mother takes the pill are being busted.
As Today's Health pointed out on their website, a common misconception is that the hormones in the pill will be passed through the mother's milk and on to the baby. However, this is not what concerns doctors most. The biggest priority on your care provider's mind is how the pill will affect your milk production. New moms are advised to wait six months after delivery to start taking oral contraceptives to give their milk supply enough time to become steady, according to Baby Center. This is considered a safe amount of time to avoid the pill interfering with the production breast milk.
As with all decisions that effect you and your baby, you will want to be sure to talk with your OB about what options are best for you. When it comes to birth control and breastfeeding, both are equally valuable in your long term parenting plan. Make sure to consider all your options and discuss your concerns with a medical professional you trust.