Progestin-only BCP as a nursing mother — The Bump

Progestin-only BCP as a nursing mother

Anybody used/using the "mini" pill/progestin-only pill while breastfeeding?  My husband and I are at our two-and-done stage of growing our family, and while we're ultimately going the vasectomy route, that's not scheduled yet.  In the interim, I figured I'd go back to pills, as they are the form of contraception I've had the best results with. 

However, I've only ever been on combination pills.  My OBGYN's office only prescribes progestin-only pills to nursing mothers, even though I was reading research that suggests that combination pills may not suppress lactation as has been the generally accepted understanding. 

I didn't do any birth control after I had my older child, because we knew we wanted to get pregnant again as soon as possible (I was creeping toward forty).  I didn't get periods again until my son was eight months old and eating a lot of table food/nursing less, and then it took only two cycles to get pregnant, so I have no previous experience with birth control while nursing.  Just kind of looking for others' experience with this form of BC while nursing...side effects, etc. 

Re: Progestin-only BCP as a nursing mother

  • I am on the mini-pill, and I haven't noticed any side effects or ill-effects on nursing. However, I DO know a number of people who got pregnant while taking it - if you don't take it at the exact same time every day, it's ineffective. Unlike combination pills there is zero room for error. I believe even with perfect use, while breastfeeding, it's only 98% effective, or something like that. When you're NOT breastfeeding it's only 90% effective. Pretty sure you're supposed to switch to a combo pill when you wean.

    To be honest, if you really don't want to get pregnant again, I would consider using two forms of birth control - like condoms AND the mini-pill. The only reason I am comfortable taking it is because we know we want a second baby, and I doubt I would get pregnant that quickly on the pill since I only have one Fallopian tube and it took us a number of months of tracking ovulation and timing sex perfectly for me to get pregnant the first time.
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I'm using nexplanon, the arm implant. It was surprisingly easy to have put in and I like that it doesn't interfere with nursing and I don't have to worry about whether I took it or not (mom brain is real). I haven't experienced any side effects and I like it better than the pill, which made me crazy. It's only good for 3 years unlike the IUD. I was a little concerned about it before I got it, but I love it!
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • I took the mini pill while breastfeeding my first. I didn't notice any negative side effects, but I stopped taking it after three months because with how often I forgot to take it, I may as well have not been on it at all. It's like PP said, if you don't take it within I believe 1-3 hours at the same time every day, you have to use back-up contraception for SEVEN DAYS. Not like the combo pill at all. I remember missing 2 or 3 days in a row on the combo pill and not even being worried. 

    I would say the best bet is to get the arm implant or the monthly injection so there is no room for error, because the mini pill is just a ticking time bomb. You may want to consider an IUD as well. I'm not sure how soon after delivery you have to wait to have one of those though.

    Good luck mama!
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