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Nordette and Breastfeeding

Instead of taking a combined hormonal contraceptive like Nordette, breastfeeding women may want to choose a progestin-only contraceptive. This is because studies show that combined contraceptives may decrease the quality and quantity of breast milk. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, you can ask your healthcare provider to switch you back to a combined contraceptive product, such as Nordette.

Nordette and Breastfeeding: Is It Safe?

Nordette® (levonorgestrel/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. Like most birth control pills, Nordette is a "combined" oral contraceptive (meaning that it contains both a progestin and an estrogen hormone). Although combined oral contraceptives are very effective at preventing pregnancy, they are usually not recommended for use during breastfeeding.
(Nordette is equivalent to Altavera®, Kurvelo®, Levora®, Portia®, and Levonorgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol Tablets USP, 0.15 mg/0.03 mg birth control pills. The information in this article also applies to all of these medications.)

What Does the Research Say About Nordette and Breastfeeding?

Research suggests that the hormones in birth control pills pass through breast milk in low amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in breastfed infants. There have been cases of problems (such as jaundice and breast enlargement) in babies whose mothers took other combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding. In general, these problems have not been serious.
Combined contraceptives (such as Nordette) may decrease the quality and quantity 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 to a combined contraceptive product (such as Nordette). Most birth control pills currently available are combined oral contraceptives; only a few are progestin-only contraceptives.
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