To prevent pregnancy, which could be draining on both your body and spirit so soon after childbirth, use condoms during sex until you’ve had a chance to discuss with your doctor or midwife what the best birth control option is for you. If you’re nursing, you’ll need to avoid combined contraceptives—those that contain both progestin and estrogen, including combo pills, the patch and the ring—because they can affect milk supply. Your practitioner will likely recommend one of these progestin-only options as your best fit:
- The “minipill”
- Depo-Provera shot
- IUD (intrauterine device)
Nursing moms can generally begin using these methods six weeks after giving birth. If you’re supplementing with formula or not nursing regularly, your care provider might recommend getting started sooner.
Not breastfeeding? Wait at least four weeks before beginning any birth control method that uses estrogen because it increases the risk of blood clots during the earliest weeks postpartum.