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Modicon and Breastfeeding

Healthcare providers typically recommend that women use a progestin-only oral contraceptive instead of a combined oral contraceptive (such as Modicon) when breastfeeding. Modicon may decrease the production and quality of breast milk and may also cause problems in a breastfed infant (such as jaundice). If you are breastfeeding (or plan to start breastfeeding), check with your healthcare provider before taking Modicon.

Is Modicon Safe During Breastfeeding?

Modicon® (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. It is not usually recommended for use in women who are breastfeeding. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding (or plan to start breastfeeding), check with your healthcare provider before taking Modicon.
(Brevicon®, Necon® 0.5/35, Nortrel® 0.5/35, and Wera™ birth control pills are all equivalent to Modicon. The information in this article applies to these other medications as well.)

Breastfeeding While on "the Pill"

Although a few types of birth control pills are safe to take while breastfeeding, combined oral contraceptives (including Modicon) are typically not recommended. Combined oral contraceptives contain two different kinds of hormones (both a progestin and an estrogen).
Although combined oral contraceptives are considered to be the most effective type of birth control pill, they are not usually recommended for use during breastfeeding. Combined contraceptives may decrease both the production and the quality of breast milk. It is thought that the estrogen component of combined oral contraceptives is responsible for such problems. For this reason, healthcare providers almost always recommend progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") instead of combined contraceptives for women who are breastfeeding. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually less effective than combined oral contraceptives. Of course, there are other forms of contraception (other than birth control pills) that are also appropriate for women who are breastfeeding.
Additionally, research has shown that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk, usually in very small amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause long-lasting or significant problems in breastfed infants, although more research is necessary to confirm these findings. However, 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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