Contraception and Lactation

Joyce King, CNM, FNP, PhD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2007;52(6):614-620. 

In This Article

Early Initiation of a Contraceptive Method

An important factor to consider when initiating contraception in postpartum women is the typical breastfeeding pattern of women in the United States. In a prospective, nonrandomized trial of 319 women, Halderman et al.[11] reported that by week 6 postdelivery, 23.5% of women had discontinued breastfeeding, and of those who had continued breastfeeding, 64.5% were supplementing. In the 2005 National Immunization Survey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that at 7 days postpartum, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 59.4%, and by 42 days postpartum, the rate had dropped to 46.4%.[12] This underscores the need for early initiation of a contraceptive method. Ideally, during the last trimester of pregnancy, the provider will review contraceptive options with the pregnant woman. Having this opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of each contraceptive option will help her make the most appropriate choice.


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