A woman who breastfeeds may be able to reduce her fertility enough that other contraceptive methods are not required. Amenorrhea occurs if the woman does enough breastfeeding.


Requirements for this method:

(1) complete ("fully") or almost complete breastfeeding (no significant use of formula) both day and night

(2) amenorrheic (absence of regular menses; bleeding before the 56th postpartum day is not counted)

(3) interval between delivery and the 6th postpartum month (0 to 180 days)


After the 6th month postpartum breastfeeding tends to decline. The woman then becomes more likely to be fertile before the first vaginal bleed. However, some women remain infertile for over a year while breastfeeding.



(1) limited resources available

(2) other forms of contraception contraindicated



(1) taking a potentially toxic medication that is secreted in the milk


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