Options For Birth Control After A Baby

birth control

Our bodies change in unexpected ways after pregnancy. You’re dealing with a whole new mix of challenges and demands from your body and your new baby, including physical recovery, breastfeeding, sleep, and new routines. Everything can seem confusing and overwhelming. One question at the back of your mind may be your options for birth control after you’ve given birth to your baby.

Birth Control After Having A Baby

Here at Kernodle OB/GYN, we understand birth control might not be on your to-do list. However, birth control can help you avoid the dangers of having pregnancies too close together. Research suggests that beginning pregnancy within six months of birth can:

  • Increase the risk of premature birth
  • Cause the placenta to peel away from the uterus before delivery
  • Increase the risk of low birth weight
  • Increase the risk of congenital disorders
  • Increase the risk of maternal anemia

Common Misconceptions

There is a common misconception that you can’t get pregnant right away. The first thing to understand is you can conceive before your first period starts again. Second, several birth controls can be started right after giving birth. There are a few exceptions. Hormonal birth controls like the pill, ring, and patch need to be delayed until 4 to 6 weeks to avoid blood clots. Some hormonal options can also impact your milk supply. A cervical cap, diaphragm, and sponge can’t start until 6 weeks postpartum.

What is Safe Birth Control After a Baby?

You’ll want to consider your needs. Some birth control requires remembering to take them every day as scheduled. Other options don’t require remembering to take them, but they can stop ovulation for several months to several years. You’ll want to consider the “if and when” you would like to have your next baby. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to look for a progestin-only form that won’t impact your milk supply. 

Birth Control Categories

Hormonal Birth Control

  • The Pill is the most recognized form and is used in one or both hormones to stop ovulation and has to be taken daily.
  • The Patch includes both estrogen and progestin and has to be applied once a week for three weeks, leaving it off for the fourth week. 
  • The Ring is lower in hormones than the patch or pill, and it’s good for three weeks, so you’ll have to remember to switch to a new one monthly.
  • The Implant is a progestin-only option that’s good for nursing moms. It’s a flexible rod that is inserted in your arm for up to three years. 
  • The mini-pill is also progestin-only and works similarly to other hormone pills.
  • The Shot is effective for three months and can be given the day you give birth. You’ll have to see the doctor four times a year. 
  • The IUD releases small amounts of progestin and can last from 3-7 years. 

Non-hormonal Birth Control

  • Copper IUD is a one-and-done birth control. It’s made of copper and is effective for 10 years. It can cause heavier, longer periods and spotting that diminishes over time.

Barrier Methods

  • Condoms are an inexpensive and easy-to-use option that offers immediate protection that’s available for both males and females.
  • Diaphragm is a fitted cup that is used with spermicide and inserted. Diaphragms are fitted to your cervix, and you’ll need to get fitted after pregnancy.
  • Cervical cap works like the diaphragm, but it’s a small cup made of silicone that is also used with spermicide. 

Permanent Options

  • Tubal LIgation is also known as “getting your tubes tied.” You can have this scheduled immediately following delivery. 
  • Vasectomy is a minor procedure that prevents sperm from leaving the testicles.

We’re sure all of these options can be dizzying, which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor while you’re pregnant or soon after you’ve given birth. We’ll want to know what’s most important to you and your family so we can easily help you make the best decision. We can walk you through the potential side effects, efficacy, ease of use, and safety. 

Then after that, you have one less thing to worry about and can go back to snuggling that sweet new baby of yours. Give us a call or talk to us about your concerns at your next appointment. The physicians and staff at Kernodle OB/GYN are experienced in managing birth control options. Our obstetric services also include genetic counseling, noninvasive during the first and second trimesters, amniocentesis, and 3D obstetric ultrasounds to monitor fetal development. If you’re looking for an OB/GYN in Burlington or Mebane, NC, to manage your birth control, call us at (336) 538-2367 to make an appointment.

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