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Breastfeeding as a Form of Contraception

Now that my baby is six months old, he’s begun to eat a little cereal in addition to breastfeeding. Can I get pregnant now that my baby isn’t breastfeeding exclusively?

Breastfeeding is a reliable form of contraception if you are exclusively breastfeeding, if your menstrual periods have not resumed, and if your baby is less than six months old.

Once your baby is six months old and has begun sampling solid foods, breastfeeding is no longer a reliable form of birth control.

If you do not want to become pregnant, you will need to consider what kind of contraception you will use. It’s best to consult your gynecologist for advice on which types to use while breastfeeding, but in general, condoms, a diaphragm, a cervical cap and spermicide are considered the most preferable forms of birth control for a breastfeeding mother, because they are least likely to interfere with milk supply. Low-dose birth-control pills should not have a significant impact on your milk supply when begun at this age.

Last Updated
New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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