STD Home > Nor-QD and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding women are typically advised to switch from a combined oral contraceptive to a progestin-only pill (such as Nor-QD). Breastfeeding problems are less likely to occur with progestin-only products, as combined contraceptives may affect the quantity and quality of breast milk. Since everyone's situation is different, however, you should talk to your healthcare provider about Nor-QD and breastfeeding in your particular situation.
Nor-QD® (norethindrone) is a prescription oral contraceptive (birth control pill). It is one of the few birth control pills that is preferred for breastfeeding women.
(Nor-QD is equivalent to Heather®, Camila®, and Nora-BE® birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to these medications.)
Progestin-only contraceptives (including Nor-QD) are not likely to affect the quantity and quality of breast milk. For this reason, progestin-only birth control pills are almost always recommended for breastfeeding women instead of combined contraceptives (which contain a progestin and an estrogen). 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.
Studies have shown that the hormones in birth control pills pass through breast milk, although usually in low amounts. These amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in nursing infants.
You will probably be advised to start Nor-QD six weeks after delivery if you are breastfeeding exclusively (you are not supplementing with formula or other food). If you are supplementing with formula or other food, you may be advised to start Nor-QD three weeks after delivery.