Whether you’re deep into #momlife or you just found out you’re pregnant with your first child, birth control is probably not something that’s at the front of your mind. With so many other things to think about, it’s easy for moms to push their own needs to the end of the to-do list. As a result, some parents end up dealing with a birth control option that’s not a good fit for their lifestyle or even skipping birth control altogether.
Nurx believes that taking charge of your reproductive health isn’t something that’s just for single ladies and women who aren’t ready to start a family. As your needs and priorities change, the birth control you take might change, too. Whether that’s the birth control pill, the patch, or another type of contraceptive, Nurx has you covered with affordable birth control options you can order online. To finally get the personalized advice you need, check out this guide to the best birth control tips for moms.
Breastfeeding as Birth Control: Does it Really Work?
The first type of birth control many women use after having a baby is breastfeeding. Though you may not realize it, breastfeeding can be an easy and free way to avoid pregnancy right after having a baby. However, it needs to be done a certain way in order to be effective.
If you want breastfeeding to help prevent pregnancy, you’ll need to exclusively breastfeed your child. That means nursing at least once every four hours during the day and once every six hours overnight. Regularly breastfeeding in this manner causes your body to stop ovulating, which means you won’t get your period, either. There’s nothing wrong with not getting a period while breastfeeding. Instead, you can think of it like nature’s birth control since your body is reacting in a totally normal and healthy way.
When done correctly, breastfeeding as birth control is called the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM). The effectiveness rate of 98 percent is about the same as if you were taking the birth control pill. Put another way, only about two out of 100 women will get pregnant when they use breastfeeding as their birth control method. LAM can be used for the first six months of your baby’s life. Once six months pass (or if your period comes back before then), you’ll need to use another form of contraception if you want to prevent pregnancy.
In addition to being free, safe, and effective, breastfeeding is good for your baby, but it doesn’t come easily for all moms. It can be challenging to stick to a schedule. If you’re struggling to breastfeed exclusively, don’t worry; the most important thing is making sure your child is fed and healthy. You have other options besides LAM.
Moms who breastfeed sporadically and piggyback with formula can use most other birth control methods. However, don’t use birth control that contains estrogen for the first three weeks after birth, and don’t use insertable methods like diaphragms until after your first postpartum checkup.
Birth Control Options for Busy Moms
If you’re a mom with a packed schedule, remembering to take your birth control at the same time every day can be a real challenge. That’s why many mothers find that the birth control pill isn’t exactly the best fit for their lifestyle. In addition, there’s the risk of having a packet of pills lying around with curious little ones always nearby.
Fortunately, there are lots of other contraceptive options out there. Here are several types of birth control methods that work particularly well for busy moms:
- Patch: The birth control patch only needs to be applied once a week for three weeks, making it fairly easy to remember. You go patch-free for week four of your cycle. It’s also non-invasive and can even be obtained online when you use Nurx.
- Ring: The vaginal ring only needs to be switched out once per month, making it even easier to remember than the patch. While your doctor can show you how to use it correctly, you need to be comfortable inserting it on your own.
- Implant: Looking for something with a set-it-and-forget-it approach to contraception? The birth control implant is inserted under the skin of your upper arm and works for up to five years.
- IUD: Another option that doesn’t require weekly or monthly reminders is the IUD, which is inserted inside your uterus. It lasts from five to 10 years depending on which type of IUD you choose. Some IUDs contain hormones, while others are made of hormone-free copper.
- Condoms: If you don’t mind a little lack of spontaneity, condoms are a hormone-free and relatively cheap option for contraception. They’re also a bit easier for moms than diaphragms since you need to get refitted after each pregnancy.
I’m Done Having Kids – Now What?
When you’ve completed your family, you can consider female sterilization as a form of permanent birth control. A tubal ligation — also known as “getting your tubes tied” –permanently closes or blocks your fallopian tubes so you can’t get pregnant and don’t have to worry about birth control any longer.
IUDs can be a great alternative if you’re not quite ready to make it permanent but don’t want to think about birth control in your day-to-day life anymore. IUDs are easy to have removed if you change your mind about having more kids, and they do not affect your fertility.
Being a mom changes some of your priorities when it comes to birth control. Fortunately, there are still plenty of great ways to take control of your reproductive health after you’ve had kids. And if you’re concerned about the time and effort required to procure contraceptives as a busy mom, check out Nurx to discover an easy way to get birth control online.