The need for contraception is the last thing that is most likely to occupy your mind soon after giving birth. This is simply because your sex drive remains low. However, it is something that becomes very necessary. You need to talk with your partner on the best way to prevent another pregnancy so as to give your baby enough time to develop and grow as part of planning your family.
It is particularly important to consider contraception options available to you even if you are not ready to resume your normal sex life. This is important because some contraceptives take some time before they become active in your body and it is only appropriate that you know which one you will use and the best time to start using it. It is important to point out that a contraceptive you were using before you attained pregnancy may not be appropriate for use once again because of breastfeeding.
- Natural Method – First method of contraception after birth is the natural method. Apart from being natural, this is the safest contraception method at your disposal. Indeed, it is the best to use when breastfeeding since it does not interfere in any way with the production of breast milk. However, the method can be hard to master since it involves counting of days. It is also only effective if your menstrual flow is regular, meaning that you know the date when it occurs. Furthermore, it may not be effective soon after giving birth.
- Barrier Method – Your second option is to opt for a barrier method. This involves the use of male/female condoms, diaphragm and intrauterine device (IUD). Condoms are easy to use since you can use them anytime after giving birth. Use of diaphragm requires that your cervix recovers fully, which can take up to six weeks. Similarly, IUD can be inserted within the first two days after giving birth or at least four weeks after birth.
- Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding can also help you stop unplanned pregnancy for up to six months after giving birth. However, there are conditions you must fulfill or else the method becomes ineffective. Not only do you need to feed your baby on breast milk only without introducing any other foodstuff: you also need to breastfeed your baby after every four hours day and night. Your menstrual flow should also not have started, not even slight spotting.
- Hormonal Injection/Pills – Your fifth option is to use a hormonal method of contraception. However, you need to avoid any hormonal method that contains estrogen since estrogen lowers production of breast milk. You, therefore, need to avoid using combined oral contraceptive pill, vaginal contraceptive ring, and contraceptive patches. The best hormonal methods to choose from include the progesterone-only pill, the hormonal intrauterine system (IUS), progesterone-only implant or progesterone-only injection.
- Abstinence – The fifth and last option, although difficult for many, is abstinence. Believe it or not, there are moms who avoid engaging in sex completely after giving birth. However, it is not usually out of their preference but circumstances. These happen to be women approaching menopause who for one reason or another attain pregnancy. Some single moms are also forced to take this route for different reasons.