Breastfeeding 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 breastfeeding 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 breastfeeding, use a reliable method of birth control if you do
not want to get pregnant. Many methods are safe to use while you are
breastfeeding, although some are more reliable than others. Options
Fertility awareness is not recommended
for birth control during breastfeeding. 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 breastfeeding.
For more information, see the topic Birth Control.
CitationsKennedy 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 MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 16, 2017
Current as of:
March 16, 2017
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017