Know what contraceptives to take while breastfeeding

During the breastfeeding period, one should avoid using hormonal contraceptives and prefer those that do not have hormones in their composition, as is the case with the condom or the copper intrauterine device. If for some reason it is not possible to use one of these methods, the woman can use the contraceptive pill or the implant with only progestin in the composition, such as Cerazette, Nactali or Implanon, for example, which are considered safe and can be used during this period .

On the other hand, combined oral pills, which have estrogens and progestins in their composition, should not be used during breastfeeding, because the estrogenic component can impair the quantity and quality of breast milk, by suppressing the production of prolactin, which is a hormone responsible for milk production.

How to use contraceptives in breastfeeding

The use of contraceptives during breastfeeding depends on the method chosen:

1. Pill

The period in which the contraceptive must be started depends on the hormone chosen:

  • Desogestrel (Cerazette, Nactali): this contraceptive can be started between the 21st and the 28th day after delivery, with one tablet daily. During the first 7 days, a condom must be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies;
  • Linestrenol (Exluton): this contraceptive can be started between the 21st and the 28th day after delivery, with one tablet daily. During the first 7 days, a condom must be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies;
  • Norethisterone (Micronor): this contraceptive can only be started from the 6th week after delivery, with one tablet daily.

2. Implant

Implanon is an implant that is placed under the skin and that will release etonogestrel for 3 years.

  • Etonogestrel (Implanon): Implanon is an implant that can be inserted from the 4th week after delivery. During the first 7 days, a condom should be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

3. IUD

There are two different types of IUDs:

  • Levonorgestrel (Mirena): The IUD must be placed by the gynecologist and can start to be used from the 6th week after delivery, as indicated by the doctor;
  • Copper IUD (Multiload): The copper IUD must be placed by the gynecologist, immediately after delivery, or from the 6th week after normal delivery or from the 12th week after a cesarean section.

Learn more about these two types of IUDs.

Contraceptive effects on breastfeeding

Some of the side effects that can occur when using the contraceptive pill with progestins are:

  • Decrease in breast milk;
  • Pain in the breasts;
  • Decreased sexual desire;
  • Headache;
  • Mood changes;
  • Nausea;
  • Weight gain;
  • Vaginal infections;
  • Appearance of pimples;
  • Absence of menstruation or minor bleeding, several days a month.

Does breastfeeding work as a contraceptive method?

In some cases, breastfeeding can work as a contraceptive method, if the baby is exclusively breastfed, without eating any other type of food or bottle. This can happen because when the baby suckles several times a day, frequently and with a lot of suction intensity, the woman's body may not release the hormones necessary for the maturation of a new egg, for ovulation to occur and / or for them to give favorable conditions for pregnancy.

However, this does not mean that the woman cannot become pregnant and, therefore, doctors do not indicate breastfeeding as a contraceptive method.