Last week's blogs talked about breastfeeding being 98-99% effective as long as you answered yes to three questions. But let's talk about other forms of birth control when you choose or need to have an alternative method.
Currently the mini-pill which contains progesterone only is the birth control pill of choice for breastfeeding mothers. Does it have any effect on your milk production? According to the manufacturer's insert, no. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Anytime you start altering hormones you run the risk of altering other hormones, which is obviously the case with some women who are breastfeeding.
In one week I had five breastfeeding mothers call me because their supplies had decreased significantly. When queried, they had all started on the mini-pill. I counseled them to seek other forms of birth control. All but one was able to recover her full milk production. Through the years I have worked with many women in the same situation. I don't have statistics, as I am not aware of any studies that have measured this, however, in my experience about 20% do not recover their productions.
Moral lesson? Be wary of using any birth control method that contains hormones, if breastfeeding is important to you. There are plenty of other ways to prevent pregnancy, including exclusively breastfeeding in the first six months-- if you can answer yes to the three questions for LAM or Lactational Amenorrhea Method of birth control.
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