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Is the 'Contraceptive Pill' safe to take while I am breastfeeding?

We advise you not to use the combined contraceptive pill while you breastfeed as the increased levels of oestrogen affect the production and the duration of the milk supply. However, the progesterone only pill (also known as the mini-pill) is safe and widely used by breastfeeding mothers. I sometimes advise that you wait until 6 weeks when your milk supply has established and you are breastfeeding well.

In order to fully protect you from pregnancy you must remember that you need to take this pill at the same time every day, which means picking a time you will most likely be up at (bare those sleepless nights in mind when choosing!) and always having it within that 30 minute window everyday. It is unlikely that you will ovulate in the first six months (up to a year) following delivery if you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby (this means feeding on demand throughout the day and night and not giving any other supplements). I don’t advise to rely fully on breastfeeding as a form of contraception, as it is possible to become pregnant when doing so.
You can discuss your contraceptive options with your GP at your 6-week postnatal check-up or, a great place to receive information and treatment, which is free, is at your local family planning clinic (check for the list in your local phone book).

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