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Contraception After child Birth

Contraception
For Men
Women
For Emergency
After Child Birth

Contraception after childbirth (postnatal contraception)

After having a baby, you will need to choose an effective method of contraception if you don't want to have another baby straight away. Before starting any method of contraception, you need to make sure you're not already pregnant.

The choices you have depend on your needs and whether or not you're breastfeeding. If you're not breastfeeding, you can choose any type, you just need to talk to your doctor about how soon you can start using the type you choose. If you're breastfeeding, contraception containing oestrogen isn't recommended, unless your baby is at least 6 weeks old and at least half bottle fed (see below).

Recommended options if you're breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is 98% effective in preventing pregnancy, but only if:

  • you haven't had a period since your baby was born and
  • your baby is less than 6 months old and
  • you're only breastfeeding, meaning your baby isn't having any other food or drink.
This protection reduces significantly after 6 months. Once your periods return or you start to give your baby other food or drink (supplementary feeding), you will need to use contraception if you don't want to get pregnant.

When breastfeeding, the following types of contraception are considered safe:

Pills
  • Mini pill
Barriers
  • Female condoms
  • Male condoms
  • Diaphragms
Fit and forget methods
  • Depo-Provera (injection)
  • Implanon (implant)
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Other methods
  • Natural family planning
  • Sterilisation
  • Emergency contraception
Methods which are not recommended if you're breastfeeding

Because the following methods contain oestrogen, they're not usually recommended until your baby is at least 6 months old. However, you can consider using them when your baby is at least 6 weeks old and at least half bottle fed:
  • The combined pill ('the pill')
  • The vaginal ring (NuvaRing)
How to decide Speaking with a doctor or nurse can help you decide which method best suits your needs. It's important to know:

  • the different methods available
  • how they work
  • how well they work
  • how soon you can start using it
  • the pros and cons
  • any side effects you might have.