A baby is a joyous and transformative event in a person’s life. However, taking care of infants requires a lot of time and effort, especially if you also have a family and a job. Therefore, even the happiest and proudest parents could prefer to wait a while before welcoming another child following the birth of one.
You might have heard that breastfeeding prevents pregnancy. But that doesn’t tell the whole tale. Several variables affect how successfully breastfeeding functions as a form of birth control.
What to think about if breastfeeding is your method of birth control
Experts advise a minimum of 18 months between pregnancies. This is safer for the birthing mom and child and gives the uterus time to heal.
For birth control, there are numerous options. Some alter the hormonal rhythms that control menstruation and pregnancy. Nonhormonal treatments frequently slow or block sperm or stop sperm and eggs from fusing.
Many people prefer breastfeeding as a natural birth control method. According to research, it can be a helpful technique during the months when a mother is frequently nursing and the baby is solely eating breast milk and nothing else, such as formula or baby meals.
LAM, or lactational amenorrhea method, is the name in medicine. Breastfeeding is lactational, and amenorrhea is the absence of a period or regular menstrual cycle.
How does this approach function?
- Regular breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovulation or the release of an egg from the ovary. Ovulation is necessary for the conception of a pregnancy.
- All of these recommendations must be adhered to prevent pregnancy successfully:
- Your infant is under six months old and exclusively breastfed (no formula or foods).
- You should breastfeed your baby every four hours throughout the day and every six hours at night.
- You are not presently having periods (amenorrhea).
How successful is LAM?
According to studies, LAM can be roughly as effective as hormonal contraceptives like the pill when appropriately applied, as previously described. In the first six months after the infant is born, it is 98% successful. If the instructions are followed correctly, only two out of every 100 people will become pregnant while utilizing this approach. Pregnancy is considerably more likely to happen if not. Your medical team can discuss further options and assist you in determining whether this is the best birth control technique for you at this time.
picking the most effective birth control for you
Your lifestyle and medical requirements should be met by your birth control method. For instance, some people want to stay away from any hormone-containing techniques. Forms that contain estrogen should be avoided by anyone with a history of blood clots or high blood pressure. A long-term type of birth control that can be “set it and forget it,” such as an IUD or implant, may work best for busy people. And anyone who wants to avoid contracting an STI should consider using condoms with their chosen birth control method.
Tell your midwife, doctor, or other medical team members about your choices and requirements.