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Contraception and Lactation

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

Abstract

The benefits of breastfeeding for both the infant and the mother are undisputed. Longer intervals between births decrease fetal/infant and maternal complications. Lactation is an effective contraceptive for the first 6 months postpartum only if women breastfeed exclusively and at regular intervals, including nighttime. Because a high percentage of women in the United States supplement breastfeeding, it is important for these women to choose a method of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies.

Both the method of contraception and the timing of the initiation of contraceptives are important decisions that a clinician must help the breastfeeding woman make.
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Effectiveness of lactational amenorrhoea in prevention of pregnancy in Manila

The natural contraceptive effect of breast feeding has been known for hundreds of years. In 1988, experts in lactational infertility achieved a consensus that breast feeding should be at least 98% effective in preventing pregnancy for the first six months post partum as long as the woman remains amenorrhoeic and is fully or nearly fully breast feeding. Guidelines for using lactational amenorrhoea for contraception are known as the lactational amenorrhoea method – the proactive, informed use of lactational amenorrhoea as a contraceptive method under the conditions stated above.
The main purpose of this analysis was to determine the contraceptive efficacy of the lactational amenorrhoea method while controlling for sexual activity.
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