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Estrostep Fe and Breastfeeding

If you are taking Estrostep Fe and breastfeeding at the same time, you should know that the contraceptive can decrease the quality and quantity of breast milk. Studies have shown that the hormones in birth control pills pass through breast milk. However, these amounts are not likely to cause serious problems in a nursing infant, although there have been some reported side effects, such as jaundice.

Is Estrostep Fe Safe During Breastfeeding?

Estrostep® Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. A few types of birth control pills are okay to take while breastfeeding, but many are not recommended. In particular, "combined" oral contraceptives (such as Estrostep Fe) should usually be avoided. Combined oral contraceptives contain two different kinds of hormones (an estrogen and a progestin hormone) and are the most common type of birth control pill used today.
(Estrostep Fe is equivalent to Tri-Legest® Fe and Tilia™ Fe birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to Tri-Legest Fe and Tilia Fe.)

Breastfeeding and "the Pill"

Although combined oral contraceptives such as Estrostep Fe are effective at preventing pregnancy, they are usually not recommended for use while breastfeeding. Combined contraceptives may decrease the quantity and quality of breast milk. For this reason, healthcare providers almost always recommend progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") instead for women who are breastfeeding. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually much less effective than combined oral contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive product, such as Estrostep Fe.
Also, research has shown that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk, usually in very small amounts. These amounts are probably too low to cause long-lasting or significant problems in nursing infants, although more research is necessary to confirm this. There have been cases of problems, such as jaundice and breast enlargement, in babies whose mothers took certain types of combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
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Estrostep Fe Birth Control Pills

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