Family Health Guide

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Birth Control: Birth Control After Baby

If you’re a new mom, you’re probably still focused on the fact that you just delivered a beautiful and healthy baby! Getting her to sleep, eat and stop crying may be at the forefront of your mind, but don't forget about your needs. If adding another baby to the family right away is not in your game plan, you need to think about birth control. It's important to talk with your partner about how many more children you want to have and when so you can choose the birth control best suited to your mutual family wishes.

Talk to your doctor to figure out which type is best for you. She'll probably bring up the subject at your 6-week postpartum visit but it's a conversation you can have at any time, especially if you're not happy with your current method. In fact, you should consider talking about birth control before you deliver. You might not get your period right away but it's possible to ovulate and get pregnant within 4 to 6 weeks. In fact many of women ovulate in that time after giving birth, especially if they aren't breastfeeding.  If you are nursing, you're more likely to ovulate and get a period 6 months postpartum. And if you're considering permanent contraception you should discuss it with her doctor way ahead of your due date, in case that procedure can be done right after delivery.

The contraceptive conversation will continue for a while: You'll need to think about and use birth control until you reach menopause (the average age is 51). Because ovulation stops gradually, you can become pregnant well into your 40s.