You can get pregnant as little as three weeks after the birth of a baby, even if you're
breastfeeding and your periods haven't started again. Contraception may be the
last thing on your mind when you have just had a baby, but it is something you
need to think about if you want to delay or avoid another pregnancy. Many
unplanned pregnancies happen in the first few months after having a baby. If you
had your baby in hospital, you will probably have discussed contraception with a
family planning advisor before being discharged home.
You'll also be asked about contraception at your six to eight week postnatal check,
but you can discuss it at any time with your health visitor, midwife, GP or local
family planning clinic.
If you are breastfeeding, the combined pill, vaginal ring and contraceptive patch
may affect your milk supply and you are usually advised to wait until the baby is six
months old. These methods contain oestrogen which may reduce the milk flow.
You can usually have a contraceptive injection or start using a diaphragm or cap
around six weeks after giving birth or condoms. If you used a diaphragm or cap
before becoming pregnant, see your GP or family planning clinic after the birth to
ensure that it still fits correctly.
You can talk with your health visitor or GP if you need some more help or get
advice on contraception from the local family planning service.
We don’t want another baby for some time
If you don’t want to get
pregnant again for some time
you might want to try using a
contraceptive (the contraceptive
injection, the IUD, the IUS).
These methods are very
effective. You don’t need to
remember to take or use them.
Thinking of having another baby?
If you are planning a pregnancy it’s never too early to start taking folic acid
and vitamin D. It is the best time to make other lifestyle changes such as
stopping smoking, stopping drinking alcohol, eating a healthy diet and
being more active.
There are support services that can help you make lifestyle changes.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause problems for your baby. Yorkshire
Smokefree Calderdale can help you to quit smoking and offers specialist
support for pregnant ladies. Call 0800 612001.
If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 27.5 or above
the Better Living Team in Calderdale can help you create a healthier
lifestyle. They offer a ‘Better Living Mums’ pre-natal course and post-natal
support and exercise classes for mums wanting to lose weight. Call
I have just had a baby and I
am breastfeeding, so do I
need to use contraception?
It's important to use some
kind of contraception every
time you have sex after
You ovulate (release an egg)
about two weeks before
your first period after the
baby arrives, so your fertility
may have returned before
you realise it.