Did you know that most unplanned and unwanted pregnancies happen right after childbirth? So, even if sex is the last thing on your mind right now, it pays to be prepared.
Here, in today’s article, you can find all that you need to know about contraceptives after giving birth.
When do periods start after childbirth?
If you’re not breastfeeding, then your periods will resume at five to six weeks after giving birth. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, then your periods are further delayed. It all depends on the individual and other factors like how often you feed your baby, the feed duration and more.
However, remember that you can get pregnant even if your periods haven’t resumed. This is because ovulation generally occurs two weeks before you start your period.
When to start with Contraception after giving birth?
Generally, it’s recommended to start using contraception 21 days (three weeks) after delivery. Your chances of getting pregnant before this are slim. However, there are several contraceptives that can be started immediately after delivery. It all depends on the method of contraception you choose.
Which Contraceptive to Choose after Delivery?
This varies from individual to individual. It depends on several factors like your medical history, whether you’re breastfeeding your baby, whether you faced any problems in your pregnancy and more. Consult with your ob-gyn to find the best method that works for you.
Here are the recommended times to start using different methods of contraception post-delivery:
Methods that can be started or used any time after delivery
- Female condoms (internal)
- Male condoms (external)
- Contraceptive implants
- Mini-pills (progestogen only)
- Contraceptive injection – However, if you choose this method before six weeks after delivery, then you’re likely to have irregular or heavy bleeding
Methods that can be started three weeks after birth, if you aren’t breastfeeding or six weeks after birth if you’re breastfeeding
- Birth control pills (combined pills)
- Contraceptive vaginal ring – since your risk of blood clots (thrombosis) is high post-partum, most ob-gyns recommend you wait at least six weeks, before opting for this method
- Contraceptive patch
Methods that can be started after four weeks of delivery
- Intrauterine system (IUS)
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
Methods that can be used after six weeks of delivery
- A Cap or a diaphragm – But, you have to make sure that it fits properly. This is because your vagina and cervix change shape after delivering a baby.
What if you want to get pregnant again?
By choosing birth control pills as your contraception after delivery, you are in full control of when you want to get pregnant. If you wish to have another baby, then you can stop taking the pills and your fertility returns to normal. This is not possible with a few other contraceptive techniques like injections, where it takes a year or more for your fertility to revert to normal.
Will Contraception affect Breastmilk Production?
If you use a hormonal method of contraception like the pill, then a small amount of hormone will enter your milk. However, studies show that this doesn’t harm the baby in any way. Doctors recommend waiting for six weeks to start the pill, because the hormone estrogen in it can affect milk production. However, after six weeks, the pills do not impact milk production in any way. In fact, if you use the mini-pill which contains Progestron only, it in fact helps in milk production. Hence, they are safe and good too, in case you are lactating.
Don’t Ignore and Choose the Right Contraception after Childbirth
Choosing the right birth control after delivery is crucial if you want to avoid getting pregnant again or if you want to space pregnancies. Most ob-gyns recommend waiting at least one year before getting pregnant for a healthy pregnancy and baby. So, consult with your ob-gyn and choose the right contraceptive that suits your body and lifestyle.