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Fertility can return much more rapidly than many women assume after giving birth, and myths still abound about what contraception can and can't be used while breastfeeding. The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) has developed a pamphlet providing guidance on postnatal fertility and contraceptive options for new mothers, after noticing a rise in women experiencing unplanned pregnancies shortly after birth.
bpas has seen a particular increase among breastfeeding mothers with some believing it provided full contraceptive cover, while many women are unsure which methods are safe to use while nursing their baby - especially when it comes to emergency contraception.
The pamphlet advises:
A cross-party parliamentary inquiry into unplanned pregnancy led by Conservative MP Amber Rudd last year highlighted the need for new mothers to be given the full range of contraceptive options to enable them to make the choice that is right for them. The inquiry also recommended improvements to contraceptive advice post birth and highlighted the importance of finding opportunities in the antenatal period for these discussions.
Tracey Forsyth, bpas lead contraception nurse, said:
It's vital that new mums are able to access reliable information about contraception after they have had a baby. We know that for many women the dramatic change in their life means that they want to reconsider which method to use. For some it becomes hard to fit in the routine of taking a daily pill after the arrival of their baby, others may be unable to use their previous contraception if they choose to breastfeed, and some women are falling pregnant because they believed breastfeeding would automatically provide full contraceptive cover.
At bpas we are concerned to see women experiencing the turmoil of an unplanned pregnancy while looking after a new baby. All women should have access to clear, accurate advice about which contraception can be used after giving birth, the effectiveness of breastfeeding as a method of contraception, and information about safe methods of contraception that they can use in the postnatal period."
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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bpas. "Contraception needed 3 weeks after giving birth, new mums warned." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 23 Oct. 2013. Web.
7 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267757>
bpas. (2013, October 23). "Contraception needed 3 weeks after giving birth, new mums warned." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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