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You are here : home > Not Planning Baby > Related Articles for Not Planning Baby > Parenting and Contraception

Parenting and Contraception


It is necessary for parents and especially the new parents to choose the right form contraceptive. Let us take a look at the various contraception options for parents.

You must have used some kind of contraception before having your baby. But when you are breastfeeding you need to keep in mind few things and opt for safe birth control methods. Most of the breastfeeding moms decide to go for non-hormonal methods which include barrier method, surgical sterilization and family planning.

The non-hormonal methods of contraception are safe for the infant and do not effect breastfeeding and so they are opted for birth control by most of the new moms. Even though some of you might not be thinking of giving attention to using any kind of contraception, it is good to know about the options you have after giving birth to a child.

How quickly can you get pregnant after childbirth?

Many women think that unless their period starts after childbirth, they cannot get pregnant. However, the ovulation starts before you get periods and medically you can get pregnant after 21 days of giving birth to a child.

Secondly, there occur a number of changes in a woman’s body after childbirth and the contraceptive that you have been using before you became pregnant, might not work any longer. On the other hand, if you are breastfeeding, you should also be careful using contraceptives and use only which is safe for the infant and has no effect on breastfeeding as well.

You can discuss about which birth control method is good for you within one week of giving birth to your child. This is because some of the birth control methods take three to four weeks to become effective.

Contraceptives for New Parents

Here are some contraception options which new parents can consider.

1.  Breastfeeding 

Breastfeeding also works as a contraceptive and is included in very effective methods. However, the birth control method is effective only if you are breastfeeding your child exclusively and have not introduced formula milk, drinks or solids. Also, the gaps between feedings should not be long.

Breastfeeding is said to be 98% effective provided your periods has not returned and your child is less than six months of age. As soon as you start giving your child formula milk or other drinks or solids, you will have to depend on other means of contraception because this becomes less effective if you are not breastfeeding exclusively.

2.  Barrier Methods

Condoms – You can use male or female condoms any time after child birth.

Diaphragm or Cap – If you decide to use diaphragm or cap you will have to wait till your vaginal area has recovered completely after child birth. Make sure you choose the right size after consulting your obstetrician so that the protection is proper.

Intrauterine Device – IUD can be fitted within 48 hours of childbirth. You can get it fitted within four weeks of time. This works the same way regardless of the fact whether you had a normal delivery or caesarean. This method is effective, long-term and reversible protection and above all, it is safe for nursing moms.

Hormonal Methods

Although Progestogen-only pills can be used while breastfeeding, it is preferable to use non-hormonal methods of contraception to be on a safer side.

Progestogen-Only Pill – These are mini pills and should be taken on a fixed time every day.

Progestogen-Only Injection – If you have decided to take the injection, you should wait for six weeks after giving birth to your child in case you are breastfeeding. But if you have put your child on formula milk, you can have the injection when you wish. The only side effect of this injection is heavy and irregular bleeding.

Progestogen-Only Implant–The implant should be put within three weeks or 21 days of childbirth. If the implant is put after three weeks, it will not be effective for the first seven days. However, once implanted, it remains effective for three years.

Which contraception should you avoid?

Women who are breastfeeding should avoid contraceptive method which contains oestrogen as this reduces the milk supply. The contraceptives which should be avoided include:

Natural Family Planning Method

If you have been using this method of contraception before getting pregnant, it is advisable to consult your natural family planning doctor after giving birth to your child.

Taking the Right Decision

You can choose any contraceptive method that suits your body and lifestyle. Just keep in mind that your body has gone through changes and it is good to consult with your doctor before deciding on the contraceptive. Find out about the different methods of contraception that are available, how they work and how soon you need to start having them. Gather all details including the pros and cons as well as about any side-effects you might have by taking them.

Since you have given birth to a child recently, you need to have an effective method of contraception so that you can save yourself from getting pregnant straight away because this will not be advisable and healthy for both of you. Also, if you are breastfeeding, it is necessary to make sure that the contraceptive that you are using is safe for your baby. 

What kinds of contraceptives are safe for breastfeeding mothers? Is it safe to take progestogen-only pills while breastfeeding? Which contraceptives are not suitable for breastfeeding mothers? Discuss here.  

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