Breastfeeding As Birth Control Method

Breastfeeding as Birth Control Method

Table Of Contents

Breastfeeding As A Birth Control Method At A Glance

  • Also sometime known as Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)
  • Can only be used by women who have recently given birth and lasts up to six months after giving birth
  • It is free, very safe, and a convenient option of birth control
  • A natural way to prevent pregnancy

How Do I Know If Breastfeeding Is The Right Method For Me?

To know if it is right for you it is important you read through the most commonly asked questions below.

There are some limitations to breastfeeding as a birth control option but it is natural, safe, and free.

How Can Breastfeeding Be Used As A Birth Control Option?

If a woman is continuously breastfeeding, her body will not produce the hormone that is required for ovulation (which is what releases the egg from an ovary).

Pregnancy will not occur if an egg is not released.

How Effective Is It?

When deciding on a birth control method it is very important to know how effective a birth control option is for preventing pregnancy.

Here are some numbers of how effective breastfeeding is as a birth control method:

  • If done continuously and perfectly less than 1 out of 100 women will become pregnant
  • If not always done correctly but still continuously about 2 out of 100 women will become pregnant within the first six months

This birth control option is only reliable for six months after giving birth and only if a woman:

  • Has not had a period since delivering her baby
  • Breastfeeds her baby at least every 4 hours during the day and every 6 hours at night
  • Does not substitute the babies breastfeeding milk for any other food (including formula)

It is important to note that breastfeeding will not protect you again sexually transmitted infections or diseases. Therefore it is important to use another form of birth control such as a condom or female condom to reduce the risk of an infection or a disease.

As mentioned it is also important to remember that breastfeeding as a form of birth control can only be relied on for six months after delivery. After that time has passed it is important to consider using other methods of birth control.

Is There Any Side Effects?

There are no side effects when using breastfeeding as a method of birth control.

The Benefits

Some of the benefits of using this type of birth control include that it is simple, safe, effective, and convenient.

Additionally here are some advantages:

  • It is a free option
  • It can be started right away after child birth and is effective immediately
  • It does not require medical supervision or supplies
  • Nothing needs to be put in place before having vaginal intercourse
  • It does not require a prescription
  • A woman’s natural hormone balance is not effected
  • It also reduces bleeding after delivery

As well breastfeeding has health benefits for the baby which includes:

  • Passes the mother’s antibodies to the baby to protect against particular infections
  • By avoiding formula the mother reduces the risk of the baby getting an infection from germs in water and other milk
  • The best nutrition a baby can receive is from breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding increases a bond between the child and his or her mother
  • Helps increase the child’s immunity against allergies

The Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of using breastfeeding as a birth control method is that it can only be relied upon for six months.

Additionally some mothers find it difficult to rely exclusively on breastfeeding and not use formula to help supplement a baby’s diet.  If formula is given to a baby there is a chance a woman can get pregnant again.

It may also make a women feel less sexual about her breasts. Breastfeeding also can reduce the vaginal lubrication when a woman is aroused.

How Do I Begin?

Normally many mothers begin breastfeeding shortly after giving birth.

If a mother is having trouble with breastfeeding it is important to seek help from a doctor or nurse as soon as possible to avoid an interruption in lactation.

There are breastfeeding experts that are available to help coach a mother through the process even with a difficult baby that is unwilling to properly breastfeed.

To learn more about how you can use breastfeeding as a form of birth control learn more at Parents.com.

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