As much as I love and adore my sweet, little girl I am in no rush to provide her wish a sibling – at least not for another year or more, and so down the birth control road I must head. I sat down with my doctor prior to making a decision so that we could discuss all of the options and when I say “all” I should probably actually say “few”, since there aren’t many birth control options for women who are breast feeding as certain hormones can affect your milk production.
Read more about post baby birth control options and my experience after the jump!
So, here are your birth control options when breast feeding (I thought I’d share them since I didn’t know before my appointment):
1. Condoms - obviously the easiest option, but I dislike them myself and would prefer not to use them in my monogamous marital relationship.
2. Diaphragm – You must be fitted for this even if you’ve already had one prior to pregnancy because it may not fit the same and it’s dependent on using spermicide as well. I myself didn’t like the idea of having to put it in hours before having sex, which would kind of kill the spontaneity of it in my opinion, and then leave it in for hours afterward.
3. Mini Pill – I’ve always taken birth control pills, but I’m not a fan and have had many side effects with all the variations I’ve tried. Also, because the mini pill is a progestin-only pill it isn’t quite as effective as pills that also have estrogen and must be taken at precisely the same time each day, which I didn’t think was very practical for my lifestyle.
4. The Ring – The Nuvaring must be inserted vaginally each month, but then you don’t have to think about it until you put in a new one the next month. This is a great option for many people, although I was on it years ago and one month ended up “losing” the ring. Not sure what happened to it – it was just missing when I went to put in a new one the following month, definitely a little too unpredictable for my liking.
5. IUD – An intrauterine device (it looks rather like a little fishing hook) is placed in the uterus and is effective at preventing pregnancy for up to five years. There is a copper non-hormonal version (ParaGard) and a hormonal version (Mirena).
My doctor said there were a few other options, but that they weren’t ones that she personally advocates for, so in the end I went with an IUD – the Mirena. Most people who go the IUD route do so because they don’t want to get pregnant for a few years, but in my case, I think we’ll probably want to consider baby #2 in a year or so, but the IUD is so easy and it was only $30 through my insurance! Cheaper than buying any of the other options each month.
I was a little bit nervous about having the IUD inserted, but I figured that if I can birth an 8 lb. 7 oz. baby with a brow presentation and no drugs, then a little IUD should be no biggie and I was right. The most uncomfortable part was the tool they used to measure my uterus and even that just felt like cramping. I ended up having a bit more pain than most people would simply due to the fact that I had scar tissue left over from birth related tearing, so my doctor had to cauterize that and it was definitely less than awesome. The typical person probably wouldn’t even notice any discomfort within an hour or so though I would imagine.
Is this TMI? Maybe, but I thought I’d share since I would’ve liked to have read this information prior to heading into my doctor’s office. Hope it was helpful!