May 25, 2007, Newsletter Issue #131: Breastfeeding and Birth Control

Tip of the Week

When breastfeeding a new baby or a toddler, it is important to research the various drugs you consume, including birth control. Eventually, most medications do end up within the lactating mother's milk. Ideally, the breastfeeding mom should consult her doctor, pharmacist' and pediatrician before utilizing any type of birth control drug.

That said, the progestin only “mini pill” is the birth control that is considered the best to try during breastfeeding. Administering birth control as a pill verses an injection is preferred to decrease the concentration the baby will receive. Also, consider when you take your birth control pill as that can reduce the absorption in the breast milk. Always take any type of medication immediately after nursing and/or before a long stretch of sleep, if possible.

Keep in mind that breastfeeding is well established if nursing a toddler, and the progestin hormone should not interfere with milk supply. It is the estrogen in other types of birth control pills that decreases milk supply and thus makes nursing more difficult. The only potential discussion is how comfortable you are with your child receiving additional hormones from your milk supply. At this time, there is no known research indicating any connection between progestin intake by a breastfeeding mom negatively impacting a baby or toddler. If you have concerns about nursing while consuming birth control hormones, there are many other birth control options that will have absolutely no effect on your baby, like condoms, IUDs and diaphragms.

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