Breastfeeding exclusive breastfeeding can actually be a natural method of contraception, but its efficacy is not guaranteed for the long term. That's why you need to use other family planning devices that are more effective to prevent being broken into again after giving birth. Almost all family planning devices are considered safe for nursing mothers, including birth control pills. Even so, of the many types and brands on the market, what kind of pill for safe and effective breastfeeding mothers is like?
Which birth control pills for nursing mothers, which ones are effective and safe?
There are two types of birth control pills, namely combination birth control pills and mini pills. Combination pills contain ethinylestradiol, a synthetic version of the hormones estrogen and progestin that are produced naturally by the female body. Meanwhile, mini pills only contain progestin only.
The hormone estrogen in combination pills can reduce milk production. That is why, combination pills are rarely recommended for use by nursing mothers. Moreover, combination pills can cause blood clots if taken in the early weeks after birth. If you want to use combination pills, your doctor may advise you to wait until 6 weeks after birth.
Health experts agree that mini pills are the choice of birth control pills for safer nursing mothers. Mini pills that only contain the hormone progesterone can actually help facilitate breast milk production. You can usually start using mini pills between 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth.
However, mini pills are not very effective in preventing pregnancy
Birth control pills are very effective for preventing pregnancy. Especially if consumed consistently every day at the same time, according to the dosage and instructions for how to use it.
However, mini pills are somewhat less effective than combination birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. The efficacy of combination pills to prevent pregnancy can reach 99% if used correctly, while mini-pills are only around 87 to 95 percent. Mini pills are also not very effective for narrowing the fertile period (ovulation).
It is important to consult your doctor before you decide to use certain contraceptives. This is used to avoid side effects and risks that might occur. The doctor will check your medical history and ask for another set of things to help choose a safe and effective contraceptive method for you.
What are the side effects of mini pills for breastfeeding mothers and their babies?
The side effects of mini pills are almost the same as the side effects of combination birth control pills, namely:
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Weight gain
- Decreased sex drive
- Mood changes
Generally, these side effects are mild and transient. But in some cases, birth control pills can increase the risk of depression due to drastic mood changes and ovarian cyst formation.
The good news is that a mini pill containing progestin does not show a detrimental effect on the smoothness of the breastfeeding process or the health of the baby. Very little progestin is involved in the flow of milk, so it does not affect your baby's growth.
How do you take a mini pill?
How to take mini-pills is the same as taking a combination pill. Each package consists of 28 pills; 21 pills containing hormones, the remaining 7 in the form of empty pills. One hormone pill must be taken every day at the same time for 21 days. Continue to take empty pills for the remaining 7 days. During one week of taking this empty pill, you will menstruate as usual.
Mini pills should be taken every day at the same time to keep your body's hormone levels stable. Because, mini pills contain fewer progestins than combination pills (pills that contain progesterone and estrogen). This creates a hormone effect on the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus for only a short time, about 24 hours after you drink it.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, even if this means you take two pills in one day. Originally no more than 12 hours on the same day, no problem. Next, continue drinking the dose as usual. You need to use a condom when having sex if you have missed more than 2 days.
If you decide to get pregnant again, consult your doctor when it's the right time to stop it. Usually your fertility will return soon after stopping the dose of this pill.
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