Breastfeeding as Birth Control

A person standing in the sun as they breastfeed a baby Dih Andréa/Pexels

Can breastfeeding (or chestfeeding) be used as contraception? How effective is it? This article answers common questions about a form of birth control known as “lactational amenorrhea,” or breastfeeding to prevent ovulation, with information about how it works and its risks and benefits.

“It’s important to remember that breastfeeding can only be used as birth control for the first 6 months of a baby’s life, or until your period returns. After that, breastfeeding is way less effective — especially as the baby begins to eat solid foods and sleeps longer at night.”