After Baby Birth Control Options: What’s After LAM?

Image via Flickr/ ECohen
 
For women exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first six months of their babies’ lives, the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) of birth control is a popular choice. However, that changes once the baby turns six months old. The baby starts going more than four hours during the day without nursing and more than six hours at night. And sometimes, after six months, the mother gets her first postbirth period. When those things happen, LAM is no longer reliable. But many women still want to continue to prevent a pregnancy. So what’s after LAM? There are two main avenues: traditional or natural birth control options.
 
Traditional birth control options
 
Many women choose some traditional form of birth control. There are many options, including the pill, condoms, the patch, an IUD, or the shot. People perceive traditional birth control as having a lower risk of user error and, therefore, failure. The patch, IUD, and shot only require occasional changes or maintenance. And, as a bonus, these options sometimes result in women having fewer and/or lighter periods.
 
Birth control pills and condoms aren’t quite as reliable as the other traditional options. That’s because it’s a lot easier to forget to the take a pill exactly on time or wait a little too long to put on a condom.
 
Natural birth control options
 
For women interested in a natural birth control options, charting is often the best option. There are two popular forms of charting:
  • Natural family planning (NFP)
  • Fertility awareness method (FAM)
These are almost exactly the same thing. The main difference is that FAM allows for the use of condoms or another barrier method during fertile days. NFP requires abstinence during the fertile period. 

{ MORE: The Surprising Look of the Newborn }

 
The main advantage of charting is that it does not alter your natural body chemistry in any way. There are no hormones added to your system. You can stop at any time without a waiting period to resume natural fertility. It’s also almost entirely free — you need a basal thermometer, but a good one costs less than $10. Many women like charting because it allows them to better understand what is going on with their bodies at any given time. Plus, it makes women feel more in control of their fertility.
 
The downside to charting is that it can take some time before it is reliable enough to avoid a pregnancy. Usually about six months. It takes a while to understand the difference in certain signs your body is giving you, such as sticky or egg white cervical fluid. It also takes a few cycles to start to see the patterns in your cycle. Charting also requires a 100% buy in. Women who choose this method can’t chart half of their cycle and expect it to be a reliable method to prevent pregnancy

{ MORE: Using the Montessori Approach with Infants }

 
Did you consider more natural birth control options after having your baby?

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After Baby Birth Control Options: What’s After LAM?

Katelynne has been trying to get the hang of this raising kids thing since 2007 but spends most of her time wondering who stole her copy of Parenting 101. When she’s not playing referee for her two children or writing all the words, she fantasizes about a full night’s sleep, uninterrupted showers, and triple venti caramel macchiatos with coconut milk. ... More

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