Parenting and Family Life

My Postpartum Birth Control Experience

This is not a topic that I would normally touch on, but in an effort to be completely transparent.. here I am. I’m spilling all the beans in hopes that I can help another mama avoid this situation.

I had a relatively easy postpartum recovery. I was extremely blessed, and I did not endure the rocky emotional distress that my mother warned me about. 

Before you hate my guts for finding out about all of that– hear me out!

I had a hard pregnancy and labor!! I was extremely sick throughout my pregnancy, and spent a lot of time in the hospital. My sweet boy had a lot of fluid around him that was caused by my constant dehydration. All of that is a story for another time!

My focus here is my postpartum birth control experience.

Life after labor and delivery is so different. Only 6 weeks postpartum you have to start thinking about your options for birth control.

Birth Control Postpartum

My OBGYN and I discussed my postpartum contraceptive decision at my 6 week post-op appointment. Typically between 6 and 8 weeks the average woman is healed and released for intercourse. 

I chose to take the pill postpartum because that is what I took before my pregnancy, and it worked for me. 

To each their own.

I don’t want to spark a debate about which form of contraceptive is better because what works for me might not work for you. 

I hope that you find what is effective for your family– that is all that matters!

The Mini Pill

If you are breastfeeding and want to start taking the pill postpartum, then you are put on what is referred to as the ‘mini pill’. 

The mini pill is not considered a full strength birth control because it doesn’t contain estrogen and progestin. It is progestin ONLY because that is considered safer for breastfeeding mothers.

I had a lot of acne during my pregnancy, and I felt that the mini pill better regulated my hormones and decreased my acne. I did not experience weight gain on the mini pill.

I took the mini pill for a 3 week term, and then took the placebo pills. I never had a menstrual cycle. 

 

The Switch To Full-Strength

Around 6 months postpartum my son went through a nursing strike. He was a busy body, and preferred to have the freedom of a bottle. 

I enjoyed the bonding time that my son and I experienced during nursing, so I pumped during the day and nursed at night. 

Routinely pumping was hard on me, and I constantly battled with mastitis. Ouch. 

Around 10 months my son was no longer interested in nursing at all, and my milk supply had decreased drastically. 

As heartbreaking as it was for me, I decided to stop nursing and pumping. 

My OBGYN said she didn’t need to see me until a year postpartum unless I was having any issues, so I decided to plan a visit to my primary care doctor.

My primary care doctor and I had a short discussion about how I was doing, and then she put in a prescription for full-strength birth control for me. 

Before my pregnancy I took my pills for 3 months at a time before I took the placebo pills and had a menstrual cycle. She was fine with me returning to that schedule. Her only request was that I allow my body a week to have a period before I switched back to the full-strength pill.

Cool, no problem!

My Experience With Birth Control

WELL.. I waited that week, but my period never came. Without a second thought I switched over to the full-strength birth control.

Hello nausea like never before.

A busybody little boy combined with morning sickness that always resulted in puking..It was a total disaster. 

I had to start taking my pill right before I had dinner to avoid extreme sickness. I took it around 5pm. Any later and I was done for. 

Month 2 of full-strength birth control I experienced some spotting, so I decided to allow my body the opportunity to have a period. 

I had thoroughly enjoyed my 19 months period free, but I knew it was time. 

Wow. I seriously kicked myself in the teeth. 

Nausea. Cramping. Lower back pain.

More nausea.

Light sensitive headache. Extreme bleeding. NAUSEA.

If my husband hadn’t been in the field for the last 3 months I would’ve thought I was pregnant all over again!

The Birth Control Lesson

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!

Don’t find yourself glued to the bathroom floor because you thought you were escaping your periods. It isn’t worth it. 

When you make the switch from the mini pill to full strength birth control, let yourself have a period. 

Head my warning!

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My little corner of the internet where motherhood & military mix. Full-time wife & boy mama. Part-time content strategist. All the time chatty Camille.

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