Is the pill safe while nursing?

Is it safe to take the birth control pill while breastfeeding?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Oral contraceptives containing estrogen are not recommended for the nursing mother. And many health care providers are concerned that all hormone combinations that suppress ovulation may have short- and long-term adverse effects on breastfeeding infants because small amounts of hormones do appear in breastmilk. The pills containing estrogen also can significantly reduce your milk supply.

Birth control pills that contain only progestin are considered compatible with breastfeeding. If you plan to use a progestin-only contraceptive, I recommend that you wait until breastfeeding is well established and start with the lowest effective dosage. Also, monitor your infant's output and weight gain to be sure they fall within the normal range.

There are various alternatives to oral contraceptives. I would recommend discussing non-hormonal methods with your health care provider. I hope this helps you in making your decision. My best wishes!

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