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Breast Feeding

Is birth control harmful for breastfeeding

03/17/2006

Question:

I am trying to wean my 14 month old and my obgyn said that birth control pills will dry up my milk. Is this true and could they be harmful to my son?

Answer:

Birth control pills may decrease your milk production. However, you should not use oral contraceptives just to decrease milk production.

Have you tried to gradually decrease the times you are breastfeeding each day? Providing liquids in a cup and not in bottle? Having someone else feed the child when first cutting out a feeding? Not holding the baby in the "their typical nursing positions" except when nursing? Talk with your child’s health care provider; since they know him they should be able to give you some advice on how to handle weaning.

There are many type of oral contraceptives, so it is difficult to say if they will "harm" your son. If you are going to use them, you should make sure that the one you are using is considered compatible with breastfeeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (either your pharmacist or healthcare provider can give you this information).

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Response by:

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