Saturday, February 25, 2012

Article: from Breastfeeding Magazine, Breastfeeding and Birth Control

Breastfeeding and Birth Control
Got questions regarding breastfeeding and birth control pills? Many moms do.

Although most drugs are judged by their ability to enter breast milk, some drugs (like birth control pills) can actually affect how much breast milk you make, either increasing or decreasing your breast milk supply.

Effect on Breastmilk SupplyEarly in breastfeeding, lactation is very sensitive to your body’s level of prolactin, the milk-producing hormone. Drugs that increase prolactin early on, such as metoclopramide (Reglan), domperidone, and other dopamine antagonists, may actually increase your milk supply.
However, some drugs, such as birth control pills with estrogens, are well known for decreasing milk supply if given too soon after birth. 

If You Try Breastfeeding while Taking Birth Control Pills

Discuss with your doctor options for breastfeeding while using birth control, but stay away from estrogen-containing birth control pills until at least six to eight weeks after you have given birth.

Then watch your milk supply closely. If it seems to decrease, stop the birth control pills. Sometimes just switching the type or brand of pill you are taking will help.

However, Be Warned.

I have several friends whose milk totally dried up as soon as they started the estrogen-containing pills. (I just started menstruating again as soon as I did...what a bummer!)

The Mini-Pill

Another option for breastfeeding and birth control is the mini-pill. Similar to the regular pill, the mini pill is a month-long series of progestin-only pills that must be taken every day.
Normally the mini pill is less effective than the regular estrogen and progestin pill. However, when combined with breastfeeding, it is almost 100% effective when used properly!

I used these pills with all of my children until I had reduced to breastfeeding only a couple of times a day and my sweeties were getting more than 50% of their daily intake from food other than breast milk. The mini-pill worked wonderfully and even kept me from having a period!

Just Remember

There are many options to prevent pregnancy, and you may want to consider all other options first…especially before trying regular estrogen-containing pills.

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