Starting Up Your Birth Control After Baby

The postpartum period is a crazy time for a woman's body once she delivers her baby. 

Hormones are all over the place and your body is physically changing back to it's normal self, some parts faster than others unfortunately. If you've encapsulated your placenta you might be speeding the recovery process along, but there's just some things you want to know. 

Well, how long do you have to wait before becoming intimate with your partner after you deliver? 

Generally speaking, most couples wait anywhere from 4-6 weeks to have sex after baby, although this number varies. Your emotional state is under serious repair as you navigate the uncertainties of the postpartum period and transitioning to life as a new mom. There's no pressure to rush back into it, after all, you are rebuilding your identity, adding Mom to your Self. With hormones all over the place, you might be a little more in the mood than you thought and vice versa. 

But what about birth control?

Even if you're breastfeeding or your period hasn't returned, you could still become pregnant. 

A woman's body can get pregnant again relatively soon after baby; however, pregnancies too close together can create potential risks for mom and baby including premature birth. Most medical providers recommend waiting 12 months to 18 months between babies, though that recommendation may not resonate with you and families should be empowered to take control of their own family planning.

We always support different parenting choices while still encouraging families to educate themselves on potential positives, negatives and harmful risks to any pregnancy, birth or postpartum choice. Knowledge is power!

Shop around since you're starting fresh, what you're looking for in a contraceptive may have changed since your last birth control method. Ask your care provider and OB/GYN what they recommend based on your individual needs. 

You want to try and get pregnant within a year.

Committing to a new birth control for about a year only to shock your body and wean off it again to become pregnant might be more trouble than it's worth. The best birth control for parents trying to get pregnant within the first year should consider barrier methods like condoms as an effective means of "temporary" birth control. Some women report different sensitivity to condoms after birth as vaginal tissues can change after a baby and throughout the postpartum recovery period. 

Definitely baby free for a year, but things might change. 

If you're set on having another bambino soon...ish, a traditional contraceptive might be the better choice. It's relatively simple to phase out of your system when it's time to get pregnant again and there are tons of reliable options on the market. Take the opportunity to shop around and learn a little bit about different brands and types before committing. Some birth controls do more than just halt your baby production and can do wonderful things for your monthly cycle and even clear up your skin. These come in patch, pill, or ring form, and women who are less than 4 weeks postpartum should wait before starting back on the birth control bandwagon, as they are at increased risk for blood clots. 

Let's get the hang of this baby thing before we add another. At least a few years.

An IUD is an inserted device that offers pregnancy protection for several years until it is removed. This is a good option for mothers who don't want the hassle of taking a pill each day and would like the reliability, convenience and peace of mind that comes with a long term IUD contraceptive. Your care provider can give you information on different brands as well as potential risks involved with IUD insertion, and what to do if you want to have another baby. 

Whatever birth control you choose, take your time choosing one that is right for your body and your family planning goals.

Don't feel pressured by medical professionals, partners, or friends to choose a contraceptive you are uncomfortable with.  And the truth is, there's no pressure!

Take control of your reproductive health at a pace that is right for you.