Sex and contraception might be the last thing you want to think about after giving birth, but planning postpartum contraception is also part of your postnatal care.
As soon as three weeks after childbirth, you can already get pregnant once again even if you’re breastfeeding and haven’t gotten back your periods yet.
Unless you want to have another baby real soon, it’s good to use contraception every time you have sex after giving birth — even during the first time.
What is postpartum contraception?
Postpartum contraception prevents unintended and closely spaced pregnancies within the first 12 months after childbirth. Pregnancies within this period hold the greatest risk for mothers and their babies, which is why postpartum contraception is important.
How to choose postpartum contraception?
There are a few things you need to consider when choosing a contraceptive method after giving birth. These are:
Timing. Some contraceptive methods can be started right after giving birth, while others may need a few weeks’ interval before you can start.
Breastfeeding. SomeAll contraceptive methods are not recommended during the first few weeks of breastfeeding because they may slightly affect the quantity of breast milk produced.
What postpartum contraceptive methods can I choose from?
Condoms can be used anytime after childbirth. They are safe and affordable, and do not affect a woman’s natural hormones.
Progestin-only pills can be started on the 21st day after giving birth. They do not affect breast milk production, and do not interfere with sex.
You can ask your doctor or midwife to insert a postpartum IUD immediately after giving birth. Once it’s inserted, you’ll no longer have to worry about contraception. IUDs do not interfere with sex, and you’ll barely notice that it’s there.
Contraceptive injectables can be immediately injected right after childbirth. The following shots are then given in three-month intervals.
If you and your partner have decided that you don’t want more children, you can opt for tubal ligation.
This is permanent contraception that involves closing the fallopian tubes, to prevent egg cells from being fertilized by sperm cells. Since it’s permanent, you’ll have to think about it very thoroughly. Your partner may also want to consider getting a vasectomy instead.
What’s the best postpartum contraception?
The best contraceptive method for you depends on your lifestyle and medical history. Having a chat with your doctor about it will give you a clearer idea of which contraception will work best for you.