Sex and Contraception after Childbirth

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After you have a baby, it is likely that the last thing on your mind is having another one any time soon. However, for many women this is something that must be thought about immediately so that they can plan for a contraceptive that will be used after pregnancy. Your baby will take up a lot of your time and dealing with a second pregnancy during this time will make the transition into motherhood even more stressful.

It is also unwise to become pregnant within 18 months after having a caesarean section, so contraceptives are important for women who fall into this category as well. Luckily, there are many things that you can do, both naturally and with a prescription that will help you avoid pregnancy while you are recovering from giving birth.

1. Breastfeeding

If is important to understand that breastfeeding alone will not keep you from getting pregnant. While many believe that this is one of the best methods to use when you are avoiding pregnancy, in reality it is not. Even for women who are breastfeeding 100% of the time, they find that they begin ovulating regularly once more three or four months following delivery.

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Likewise, it is not a good idea to rely solely on the signs that your body gives you either. After you have given birth, the hormones in your body may provide you with contradicting signs that you are ovulating. While during a normal period in your life, you would be able to chart your ovulation cycle and avoid becoming pregnant this way, this may not be possible right after you have given birth.

2. Condoms

Condoms are extremely popular and are a great choice when you are trying to avoid pregnancy. These may be preferable to prescription medication because many women may not want to pass the medication on to their baby in the form of breast milk. However, when you choose to use condoms rather than traditional birth control, it is important that you follow the instructions carefully and always use one.

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3. The Pill

The pill is very effective in avoiding pregnancy. However, you must be aware that there are only certain types that you can take while you are breastfeeding. You should talk to your doctor about the options that you have and be sure to inform him if you are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding, you may find that it is better to use a different source of birth control during this time. It is also safe to take the pill and use a condom at the same time for added protection.

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4. IUD – Intrauterine Device

These are extremely effective and can be administered shortly after you give birth. However, you should keep in mind that these devices are intended to block pregnancy for quite a while and you should consider when you are planning to have another child, if you are considering this option. There are many types of IUDs and you will want to talk your options over with your doctor so that you will know what to expect and how long they will last.

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5. Injectable Contraceptives

These are also very effective in preventing ovulation. These shots are only taken every three months and can block ovulation for around six to nine months afterwards. These are another item that you will need to consider when you are planning to have another child. Because they take so long to work out of your system, you may find that it takes a long time for you to conceive when you are ready to have another child.

Injectable drugs are pictured inside an injection room at a hospital in Shanghai

6. Conclusion

The only sure way to avoid pregnancy is by practicing abstinence after you have given birth. However, you can increase your chances of avoiding pregnancy with the items above. Some can even be combined to help increase your chances of becoming pregnant after you have given birth.

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If you are ready to get pregnant quickly after giving birth, it is important that you give your body enough time to heal from the pregnancy that you just had. Also, you will need this time to bond with your baby and get to know each other. Be sure to take these items into consideration after you have given birth and while you are recovering.

Sex and Contraception after Childbirth, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Valerie Wisniewski, RN

Ms. Wisniewski has over 15 years experience as a labor and delivery nurse, having also worked previously as a nurse midwife in the Philippines and India. She enjoys empowering women and providing family centered care to women from all cultural and educational backgrounds.