How Safe Is Breastfeeding As A Form of Birth Control

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If you are breastfeeding, one of the biggest concerns is the things that you may be passing on to your new baby through breast milk. One of the main items that worry new mothers is contraceptives and their potential to harm the baby if they take them.

While not always an effective method, breastfeeding itself can work as a contraceptive. Women have been able to get pregnant while they are breastfeeding, but it is estimated that only one out of every one hundred women does so.

1. How does it work?

Breastfeeding can be a natural birth control method when a woman breastfeeds exclusively after giving birth. It is important that you feed the baby ever three or four hours in order for this to work as a birth control method. By continuously breastfeeding, your body will change the hormones and will prevent your body from releasing an egg. Pregnancy will not occur if an egg is not released.

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2. What do I need to do?

The first thing that you need to remember is that this method will not last for very long. In fact, it is only effective for the first six months after you have given birth. After that point, you will need to find a different form of contraceptive.

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However, during the first six months, there are a few things that you will need to do to make breastfeeding a more effective birth control method. For example, you must not substitute your baby’s breast milk for other foods. You will also need to feed your baby every four hours during the day and every six hours at night.

You should also remember that breastfeeding will not keep you safe from sexually transmitted diseases. You should use a condom in order to protect you from these. Also, if you have had a period since you have given birth; breastfeeding will no longer be a viable form of birth control.

3. Pros and Cons

The best thing about using breastfeeding for birth control is that it is safe and convenient. For most women it is also simple to do. However, there are also many other advantages to using birth control. For example, your natural hormone levels will not be affected. Also, it is free and begins working immediately without a prescription.

Also, you will not need to do anything to prepare for sexual intercourse. In general, it is also good for your body because it can reduce the amount of bleeding that you see after you deliver your baby and you will not need any supplies or medical supervision.

When it comes to the health of the baby, there are also many health benefits ofbreastfeeding as well. First, there is less of a chance that your baby will consume any germs that might be found in water or formula. It also increases the amount of time that you spend physically touching your baby and some of your antibodies will be passed on to your baby.

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Research also shows that it will help reduce the amount of illness that a baby sees and may protect against the development of asthma and allergies. Breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for your baby and it is the best choice when it comes to promoting good health for your infant.

The disadvantage of relying on breastfeeding for birth control is mainly due to the fact that you can only rely on it for the first six months. It may also be difficult for some women to exclusively breast feed and not use a supplemental formula as well. Breastfeeding may also affect the way that a woman feels sexually and it may be harder for her to become aroused.

4. Conclusion

If you want to avoid birth control and are looking for an alternative, continuous breastfeeding may be the answer for you. However, it is best to exercise extreme caution when you choose this method. It is probably best to also use a natural form of contraceptive such as condoms or by tracking your ovulation on a calendar.

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With a combination of methods, you will be able to prevent pregnancy more effectively and will also be able to avoid passing medication on to your baby through your breast milk. However, the only true way to guarantee that you will not become pregnant is by abstaining from sexual intercourse at all during the time that you are looking to avoid pregnancy.

How Safe Is Breastfeeding As A Form of Birth Control, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Dr. Lynette Weiss, MD

Dr. Lynette Weiss is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician and Scientific Director. She is certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.