Safe Birth Control Options After Pregnancy

For nine months during pregnancy, women have not had to worry about birth control. They only had to focus on the health of themselves and their unborn babies. But after women deliver their babies, one of the first questions they are asked by their healthcare providers is which birth control option they are thinking about using so that they do not become pregnant too soon after the birth of their baby. And with all the options available for birth control out there, new moms may not know which birth control options are safe for women after pregnancy.


Before making the choice to get pregnant, women were likely using the same birth control method for years. Because the goal was not to become pregnant, as long as the method was safe and did not cause any side effects for the user, second thought was not given to what was being taken.

But for women who are breastfeeding, there is a concern that what they are taking for birth control will not be safe for their little ones. And this is why a conversation is warranted with a healthcare provider when the decision is made to use a contraceptive after delivery.

RELATED: Breastfeeding As Birth Control: What Moms Need To Know About Lactational Amenorrhea

Here are some safe birth control options for women after pregnancy.

When To Start Taking Birth Control After Delivery

While there are some women who do not get their period until months after they give birth as a result of breastfeeding, there are others that regardless of breastfeeding get their cycle as soon as one month after giving birth, according to WebMD. Because of this, as soon as women become sexually active again after delivering their babies, they should find a method of birth control that works for them.

Per the publication, the main reason that women should take birth control after delivering their babies is so that they do not become pregnant too soon. If pregnancy occurs too close to the birth of the new baby, women’s bodies may not have had enough time to heal. When this happens, women could suffer complications with their pregnancies.

Further still, women may not be ready to care for another baby so soon. As such, getting on birth control when deciding to become sexually active again will prevent this from happening.

What To Look For In Birth Control After Pregnancy

When looking for birth control after pregnancy, there are some things that need to be considered.

Those things, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists include:

  • How soon after birth the method of birth control can be used
  • Whether the preferred method will cause problems with breastfeeding
  • How effective the method of choice is after pregnancy

After these questions are answered, it will narrow down the field as to which birth control method will be the right choice for each individual woman.

Types Of Birth Control That Can Be Used After Pregnancy

Birth control comes in many forms. Therefore, it can be overwhelming to choose just the right one after having a baby.

According to Healthlinesome of the options that are safe to use after delivering a baby include:

  • Birth control implant: The implants will be effective for up to five years.
  • IUD: Effective for five to seven years.
  • Birth control shot: Have to get an injection every three months.
  • Copper IUD: Does not use hormones. Will be effective for up to 12 years.
  • Internal condom: Placed inside a woman before sex.
  • Condom: Put on the penis every time before sex.
  • Diaphram: Placed inside the vagina before sex.
  • Sponge: One-time use condom that can stay in place for 24 hours.
  • Hormonal contraceptives: These include the patch, the pill, and the vaginal ring, according to WebMD.

With there being many options for birth control, there is a lot to consider before landing on the perfect birth control method. And women should not be surprised if what worked before pregnancy may not be the right choice after babies are born.

Birth Control Safety When Breastfeeding

Those who choose to breastfeed their babies want to make sure that the form of birth control they choose will not cause any ill effects to their babies. Fortunately, there is little to fear when using birth control after delivering babies.

According to VeryWell Healthmost methods that women would choose for birth control, including IUDs, implants, shots, and progesterone pills can be taken immediately after birth.

Other forms of birth control, however, per the publication, will need to wait three weeks after birth to begin using. Those methods include estrogen-based methods such as pills, patches, or rings.

Most women will not be sexually active in the first few weeks after birth because of discomfort and lack of sleep. As such, it likely will not make a difference which method is decided based on the timeframe in which the method can be used.

Make Sure Insurance Covers Birth Control Method

Depending upon the insurance that women have, most birth control methods may be free to very inexpensive. But, if women do not have insurance, there are still ways to get birth control at a reasonable cost.

According to Planned Parenthood, for those who are enrolled in government programs, birth control may cost nothing up to approximately $50. However, there is likely a cost that will come with a doctor’s visit which is necessary for a prescription. And that can cost anything from $35 to $250.

Places like Planned Parenthood can provide birth control for as little as $20, per the publication. However, the method of choice may not be available at all Planned Parenthood locations.

Medicaid is also another option for women who want to get birth control. But again, all methods may not be available.

Therefore, before landing on one particular birth control method, see what options are available. That will help to narrow down what the selection is and the best choice that can be made from what is available.

Source: WebMD, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, WebMD, VeryWell Health, Planned Parenthood

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