Can I Take Plan B While Breastfeeding To Prevent Pregnancy

  • Plan B is an oral contraceptive known as the morning after pill 
  • Currently, no studies show bad effects of Plan B on breast milk 
  • Unlike Plan B, an estrogen-only pill can lower milk production 
  • Natural birth control methods may also be explored when nursing

So it’s been a few weeks since you’ve had your little one. You and the hubs have fi​nally had a date night. You come home from that wonderful dinner and get a bit carried away. Suddenly you remember that you have gone back on your birth control pills and of course you start to panic, it’s too early for another baby. Then you think about Plan B, or the morning after pill. Is it safe?

That’s what we’re going to explore today. We’ll take a look at;

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    What are oral contraceptives?
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    What in particular is Plan B, how does it work and how do you take it?
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    Is There any effect on breast milk production? Does it affect baby through breast milk?
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    Is it necessary to take oral contraceptives while breastfeeding?
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    During the first year of breastfeeding would natural methods be safer?

What Are Oral Contraceptives?

Oral contraceptives are exactly what they sound like. They are tiny pills that women take to prevent pregnancy. But they’re not only taken for that reason. They’re also prescribed by doctors to encourage regularity in women. To treat reproductive and hormonal disorders such as PCOS, PPMS and relieve extreme pain associated with menstruation.

Birth control encourages the body to work in the exact opposite way it was designed to. Every month when a woman ovulates, a hormone called FSH is released that encourages an egg to ripen. An egg is released and travels through to fallopian tubes on the way to the uterus which has lined itself in preparation for a fertilised egg to attach and grow into a child.

When you take birth control, you will still ovulate but what happens is;

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    It will stop you from ovulating at all by not secreting FSH.
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    It makes the lining of the uterus unreceptive to implantation of an egg.
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    Some birth control will still trigger the release of an egg.
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    That egg will then be broken down and reabsorbed by the body.

What Is Plan B, How Does It Work And How Do You Take It?

Plan be, popularly called the morning after pill, works much like traditional birth control by preventing pregnancy. When taken within seventy-two hours of intercourse it will;

  • Stop or delay an egg from releasing.
  • Prevent an egg from being fertilised.
  • Prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterine lining.

Plan B taken just like a regular birth control pill. You may experience some cramping or bleeding even if it’s not your time of the month. It’s most effective the sooner after unprotected sex it’s taken, and is available over the counter at most pharmacies without a prescription

Is There Any Effect On Breast Milk Production? Does It Affect Baby Through Breast Milk?

There have been no studies showing that taking a one time dosage of Plan B has any effect on the breast milk production or on the breast milk itself. The drug contains a relatively small dosage of hormones that have no effect on the baby. It also quickly leaves the body once it has accomplished its assigned task.

Is It Necessary To Take Oral Contraceptives while Breastfeeding?

Common wisdom is that you can go up to six months after delivery without taking any oral contraceptives, so long as you’re breast feeding. Unlike Plab B, an estrogen only pill will lower your milk production, it’s mineral content and cross the to your baby in the milk. Although there have been no studies that show harm to babies from the additional estrogen.

The Mini-Pill, a progestin only pill is a lower dosage pill that can also be taken after delivery, although it’s not as effective as as estrogen only pill. It won’t impact milk production nor affect the mineral levels in breast milk. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can cause some damage to baby’s liver and kidneys, which are unable to process progestin.

During The First Year Of Breastfeeding Would Natural Methods Be Safer?

Because most birth control has so little effect on the baby without prolonged use, it’s difficult to say with surety. If you’re afraid that you may do some long lasting damage to your child, erring on the side of caution is likely the best option. There are many natural methods that can be used to prevent pregnancy such as;

erring on the side of caution
  • Barrier Methods such as condoms, sponges and other cervical blockers that will prevent sperm from entering the cervix and fertilising an egg. These methods are generally about ninety-eight percent effective, but that number lessens with each subsequent pregnancy.
  • An intrauterine device (IUD) which releases either copper or progestin into the uterus which acts like spermicide. However is you’re nursing, you may want to opt for the copper version to be on the safe side.
  • The Rhythm Method is perhaps the most natural form of birth control requiring no pills, procedures or anything else. It’s unfortunately not the most reliable method to use and accidental pregnancies while using the Rythm method are quite common.

Ultimately, the choice of birth control you end up using is your choice. It comes down to what is best for you and your nursing baby. If you’re ultimately a cautious person and would prefer ​​​​​to avoid any harm that may prefer to opt for a more natural method of contraception.

I hope this was an informative article that helped to make clear just what Plan B and other contraception methods are. My hope is that it’s taken some of the confusion out of making the decision on whether to take Plan B or any other oral contraception while breastfeeding. As always, don’t forget to pass on your newfound knowledge.

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