Loestrin and Breastfeeding
"Combined" oral contraceptives, such as Loestrin (Junel, Microgestin), are not usually recommended while breastfeeding. This is because combined contraceptives may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. If you are taking Loestrin and breastfeeding or thinking of breastfeeding, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the best solution for your particular situation.
Loestrin® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. There are two basic types of birth control pills: combined oral contraceptives and progestin-only contraceptives. Like all combined oral contraceptives, Loestrin is not a good choice for breastfeeding women.
(Loestrin is equivalent to Junel™ and Microgestin® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to both of these medications.)
Combined oral contraceptives are the most popular type of birth control pills and are effective at preventing pregnancy. However, combined contraceptives such as Loestrin may decrease the production and quality of breast milk. For this reason, progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") are almost always recommended instead of combined contraceptives in breastfeeding women. 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 from a progestin-only pill to a combined contraceptive pill, such as Loestrin.
Research suggests that the hormones in birth control pills pass through breast milk in low amounts. These amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in nursing infants. There have been cases of problems, such as jaundice and breast enlargement, in babies whose mothers took other combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.