Baby in one hand… birth control in the other

Careful, not all methods are safe for new moms to use.

As if they didn’t have their hands full already, women who have just given birth have to be especially careful when choosing a contraceptive. The CDC has just updated it’s guidelines on which methods are safe for new moms to use, and when. While hormonal methods that don’t contain estrogen—the shot, the Mirena IUD, the implant and the mini-pill—are safe for women to use immediately after giving birth, combination pills, which contain estrogen, shouldn’t be used until three weeks after giving birth, since estrogen can increase a woman’s risk of blood clots.

The CDC now says it’s important for women who gave birth via cesarean or who have had a blood clot in the past to wait six weeks after giving birth to begin taking anything with estrogen, since their risk for developing blood clots is even higher. Nevertheless, having a birth control routine is important for new mothers since those who aren’t breastfeeding continuously can ovulate just a few weeks after a baby is born.