Birth control is a personal choice that every woman makes, especially when it comes to having children.
If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve probably already had a baby (or are about to have one)! So, this probably means that you’d given up birth control in favor of having a child or had a happy accident. But what are you supposed to do after having a baby when it comes to birth control? How are you supposed to make a decision about taking it? And when can you start taking it after giving birth?
Well, here are a few important questions that you need to ask yourself before you start looking at birth control options post-baby.
How has your body changed?
Pregnancy is an insane journey that your body goes on to create another little person. After pregnancy, you can expect your body to behave differently. Not only is your body forever changed after giving birth, but your body will go through a lot of hormonal changes as you adjust to a life as a new mother. Your body may not respond well to the kind of birth control you’ve previously used!
Since your hormones have changed and gone through a rollercoaster of fluctuating levels, hormonal birth-control that you’re used to taking may have different effects on your skin, body, and mood.
And if you’ve used rings, IUDs, or other kinds of implants, you will need to wait until your body heals before you can look into those options again. This may not be something your partner is particularly thrilled with because that might mean using condoms (which you may have forgone while you were pregnant).
Think about your future plans for your family
When thinking about birth control options, you may want to think about what your plans are for your family. You’re already a baby deep, so the next thing you need to decide is if and when you want to have more children.
If you’re not looking to have a child for a while, then I would recommend looking into options that are longer lasting (like implants or IUDs). These can always be removed if you change your mind and want to have children, but spontaneously changing your mind isn’t something you’ll be able to do. You’ll have to make an appointment to get it removed.
If you’re looking to have a child again soon, pills or condom usage paired with another form of birth control (like withdrawal or cycle-tracking) can be a great option. This way if you do decide that you want to have more kids, you can toss the pills and get busy making a baby!
What are you comfortable with?
When it comes down to it, birth control is a personal choice. Birth control is something closely tied with female identity, power, and decision. Ultimately, whatever you feel comfortable with doing to your body is what you should do.
If you want to have kids sooner rather than later, why even bother buying pills? But if you want to wait or have unprotected sex with a partner without the fear of pregnancy, a more permanent option or pills may be the solution.
Examine what your goals are and what you’re comfortable with and keep in mind that what has always worked for you may not work the same for your post-baby body and mind.