Breastfeeding and contraception

Breastfeeding and contraception

  • Contraception that contains the hormone progesterone -the mini-pill, Depo-Provera or Implanon - doesn't affect your milk supply and is safe to take while you breastfeed as the tiny quantity of hormone that goes into your milk will have no effect on your baby.
  • This style of contraception can be started straight after birth.
  • The combined oral contraceptive pills shouldn't be used while you breastfeed as they can have an impact on your milk supply.
  • As condoms are a barrier contraceptive, they are a good choice for breastfeeding mothers as they have no impact on your body or your milk supply.
  • Using a diaphragm after birth can be ineffective because of possible stretching of the pelvic floor.

There is a 2% failure rate when using exclusive breastfeeding as contraceptive method, but it does generally work when:

  • Your baby is less than 6 months old.
  • Your baby is still consistently feeding overnight -there should be no long periods of time between breastfeeds.
  • Your periods have not begun again since the birth of your baby.
  • Once one of these conditions alters, you can no longer count on breastfeeding to work as an effective contraceptive.


Common Sense Advice. Share your experiences, tips and advice on the Kidspot Forum.

This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government's Parenting and Child Health.



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