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Breast Feeding

Hormones and nursing

03/08/2005

Question:

What are the least invasive birth controls to use with hormones while nursing and what is the earliest to start them after birth.

Answer:

Estrogen containing contraceptives tend to reduce the amount of milk produced by the woman. The earlier the estrogen containing contraceptives are started the greater the effect on lactation. It is recommended that the milk supply be well established before beginning contraceptives containing estrogen, generally thought to be 60-90 days.

Progestin containing agents do not generally cause a decrease in milk production.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that both estrogen and progestin contraceptives are usually compatible with breastfeeding. Before seeing your health care provider for this method of contraception you should discuss your plans with the health care provider for your baby.

It is also important to note that there are non-hormonal methods of contraception that should also be discussed with your personal health care provider.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati