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Breast-feeding can be used as a method of
birth control, called the lactational amenorrhea
method (LAM). But three conditions must be met to ensure its
When these conditions are met, LAM has been shown to be about 98%
effective.footnote 1 But many doctors recommend that you
also use another method of birth control.
After 6 months, even if
you are breast-feeding exclusively and your period has not returned, you must
use an additional form of birth control if you do not want to get pregnant. You
can get pregnant before your first period. This is
ovulate, then have your period.
point during breast-feeding, use a reliable method of birth control if you do
not want to get pregnant. Many methods are safe to use while you are
breast-feeding, although some are more reliable than others. Options
Fertility awareness is not recommended
for birth control during breast-feeding. This method is less reliable and
harder to manage than other forms of birth control, especially with the
sporadic ovulation that may occur while you are breast-feeding.
For more information, see the topic Birth Control.
Kennedy KI, Trussel J (2007). Postpartum contraception and lactation. In RA Hatcher et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 19th ed., pp. 403–431. New York: Ardent Media.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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