The Latational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) is a good option for mothers who do not want to take birth control pills during the first months after the baby is born. When you exclusively breastfeed after birth, hormones in your body change and prevent an egg from being released. Your chance of getting pregnant using this method is less than 1% as long as you follow the instructions below:
- This method can be used up to the first 6 months. It is not recommended for use when the baby is past 6 months of age.
- The baby must be exclusively breastfed, at the breast. This means if you provide your baby with formula or use a pump for breast milk and feed your baby with a bottle, it is no longer an effective form of birth control. Use of a pacifier could interfere with this method of birth control.
- Your baby must breastfeed every 4 hours during the day and at least every 6 hours at night. Your baby must continue to feed during the night. if your baby stops feeding at night, this method is no longer effective.
- This method can be used for the first 6 months unless you have a period before the first 6 months of your baby’s life. After your resume normal periods, this method is no longer effective.
If these conditions are not all met, another birth control method must be used if you wish to avoid pregnancy.
LAM prevents pregnancy when all of your baby’s sucking is on the breast. Exclusive breastfeeding means no formula feedings and little or no pacifier use. Your baby should feed regularly, throughout the day and night. Even with 100% breastfeeding, some mothers have their first period within a few months after childbirth. Others will not have a period for 12 months or longer even if the baby does not breastfeed regularly. While this is normal, getting pregnant is still possible during this time.