Contraception after you’ve had a baby

Contraception after you’ve had a baby

It’s been a while since you’ve had to think about contraception. Here’s a quick guide to your options


As a new mum, you’ve got your hands full and contraception is often the last thing on your mind. But, with your menstrual cycle starting up again, it’s time to start thinking about it - unless you want to be pregnant again very soon!


And don’t forget that even if you are already thinking of another baby, it’s important to give your body time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth.

You CAN get pregnant when you’re breastfeeding!

Of all the myths out there, surely one of the most worrying is the old wives’ tale that you can’t get pregnant when you’re breastfeeding. Err, yes you can!

Hormones and lactation do determine when you get first period. If you don’t breastfeed or don’t breastfeed for long, you’ll generally start menstruating again after 6-13 weeks. But it can also take several months. As a general rule, you’ll get your period within 3 months of stopping breastfeeding.

Contraception

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Your midwife or doctor will often talk to you about contraception before you leave hospital, but it’s often the last thing on your mind! Better to chat to your GP when you get a chance.

There are lots of options available from condoms to IUDs to caps and what you choose comes down to personal choice.

If you’re breastfeeding, that will obviously have a bearing on the decision. The combined contraceptive pill, for example, will affect your milk flow so is probably not the best option. (The progesterone-only pill doesn’t affect milk flow but a small and harmless amount of progesterone will pass to your baby in the milk.)

Changes in your cycle

After pregnancy, your cycle is often very different than it was before. Periods might be heavier or lighter or more irregular.

Don’t miss our advice on your menstrual cycle after giving birth.

We’d like to hear from you

If you’ve got anything to share on contraception after you’ve given birth, we’d love you to get in touch.

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