Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can be effective in preventing pregnancies

Baby breastfeeding

Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is a natural form of birth control method that uses breastfeeding* to prevent ovulation. However breastfeeding is only a reliable form of birth control when all these conditions are met:

  • Your baby is under 6 months
  • Your monthly period has not returned
  • Your baby is fully or nearly fully breastfed
  • Your baby is breastfed at least every 4 hours, not going longer than one 6- hour stretch between feeds in 24 hours (day and night)

Fully breastfed means your baby gets all food from suckling at your breast. Nearly fully means in addition to breastfeeding, any vitamins, minerals, juice, water or other fluids are given infrequently (no more than 1 to 2 mouthfuls a day).

If you are not meeting ALL of these rules start using another form of birth control.

Other methods of birth control that can be used while breastfeeding include:

Pumping and hand expression are not as effective at keeping ovulation-suppressing hormone levels up so consider one of the above mentioned forms of birth control.

Speak to your health care provider or visit one of Toronto Public Health’s free Sexual Health Clinics to discuss which birth control might be right for you.

*Breastfeeding/breast milk are also known as chestfeeding/ chest milk respectively.

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