While this may be common knowledge among those who have beautiful milk-filled breasts, I was surprised recently when breastfeeding was mentioned in one of my workshops as a method of birth control. After going to the trusty internet, I was amazed at what I found â€“ for 6 months after birth, breastfeeding will be almost as effective as the pill at preventing pregnancy.
Breastfeeding.com has the whole story, but here are the basics:
The Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM)
This can be used when your baby is less than 6 months old, as long as your period hasn’t returned, and only if you are regularly breastfeeding and not supplementing with any formula.
The old joke, of course, is that the baby IS the birth control, since the new mom will be too tired for sex. But the LAM really works, so ask your doctor about it!
Also, I would be a bad HIV educator if I didn’t remind you that HIV can be transmitted through breast milk, so make sure you keep that in mind when breastfeeding!