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Q&A: What Forms Of Birth Control Can I Take While Breastfeeding?

Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.


Q I heard there is a birth control pill out there considered "safe" for nursing mothers. My OB says the low dose pill will DRY up my milk.

A Let me congratulate you for breastfeeding. Although it is not for every new mother, it is the most healthy way of feeding your baby and as you know, the benefits are numerous.

There are birth control pills that are considered safe for nursing mothers. These are referred to as the "progesterone only pills". Some brand names of this type of pill include Micronor, and Nor-Q-D.

The regular birth control pills contain estrogen. While it has not been definitively proven that this will cause any harm to the baby, it is possible that these pills can significantly decrease the amount of milk that you produce. The progesterone only pills may slightly decrease milk production, but this is not a significant problem for most women who use them, and they are considered safe for the baby.

You should realize that while you are taking these progesterone only pills, that you will not have regular periods. In fact, you may not have any at all and that is OK. Once you have completed breastfeeding you can re-start the regular pills.

Let me also point out some other alternatives for contraception during breastfeeding. These would include the intrauterine device (IUD), condoms, male vasectomy, and female tubal ligation.

Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.
Coffee Women's Center, P.C.

Click here to Ask Dr. Goldberg your pregnancy questions.

Dr. Bradley G Goldberg is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Goldberg is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Goldberg is Chief of Staff of Coffee Regional Medical Center. Currently, he is serving as Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and he is the Chairman of the Perinatal Committee. Dr. Goldberg graduated from the University of Florida in 1989 as a member of The Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He received his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta.

Dr. Goldberg is a contributing author to, the largest women's health site on the Internet. In addition, Dr. Goldberg is the author of an article on "Urethral Carcinoma," which is in press with the Journal of Urology, and he co-produced an instructional video on Norplant removal that he presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Goldberg is a member of the American Medical Association, The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, The Medical Association of Georgia, and The Atlanta Medical Association. Dr. Goldberg's wife Kimberly is a pediatric nurse. Together, they enjoy traveling and spending time with their family.

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