Would You Want an IUD Inserted Immediately after Giving Birth?

Even though the last thing any woman is thinking about in the seconds after giving birth is sex, for some women, the choice to make birth control a #1 priority at delivery is making waves.

Women can now choose to have an IUD inserted literally right after they have a baby. A doctor can place an IUD as quickly as 10 minutes after the placenta has been delivered, The Washington Post reports.  

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It seems like the logistics of implanting an IUD — which lives in a woman's uterus and either releases hormones or a continued dose of copper to dispel sperm — would prove tricky. Wouldn't you need to allow things to heal? What about infection? It's still bleeding, for crying out loud! 

And indeed, one study showed a higher risk of an IUD getting dislodged by six months if it's placed right at delivery, which seems a bit like, well, duh. But researchers still concluded that an “immediate postpartum insertion of IUDs appeared safe and effective.”

Image via Flickr/ Ryan Somma

Proponents of the postpartum birth control movement insist that the minor inconveniences of pesky things like bleeding and pain are a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to go back to the doctor's and avoiding that infamous nine-month return to the delivery unit. (It definitely happens, and I've seen it many times in my years as an OB nurse!)

It's touted as especially helpful for low-income women who don't have time or money to spend going back for birth control after they have the baby. Aside from the IUD, women can also opt to have a birth control implant placed instead. And as more and more women around the world adopt the birth-control-at-birth method, it's probably a trend that's here to stay. But before we applaud it as a decision that's right for everyone, we need to keep in mind that the impact of hormones from long-acting implanted birth control devices on a mother's milk and, therefore, her breastfeeding baby, aren't fully known and need to be taken into consideration.  

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I know in my case that I would certainly not be comfortable with sticking anything up there right after birth, and ultimately, I decided IUDs were never going to be the right choice for me anyways. I'm happy with my decision, although if I announce a pregnancy anytime in the near future, please don't bring up this article to me, OK? Thanks, I appreciate it.

Would you have an IUD inserted after birth?

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Would You Want an IUD Inserted Immediately after Giving Birth?

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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