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Ortho-Novum and Breastfeeding

Because the production and quality of breast milk can be affected by Ortho-Novum, breastfeeding women should avoid this drug. Also, the hormones in combined oral contraceptives, including Ortho-Novum, pass through breast milk and may cause problems in a nursing infant, such as jaundice and breast enlargement. Most healthcare providers recommend that women use a progestin-only birth control pill instead of Ortho-Novum while breastfeeding.

Is Ortho-Novum Safe While Breastfeeding?

Ortho-Novum® is a prescription birth control pill. There are two basic types of birth control pills: combined oral contraceptives and progestin-only contraceptives. Four different types of Ortho-Novum products are available, all of which are combined oral contraceptives. Combined oral contraceptives are not a good choice for women who are breastfeeding.
 

Ortho-Novum and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Combined oral contraceptives are the most popular type of birth control pill used today and are effective at preventing pregnancy. However, combined contraceptives, such as Ortho-Novum, may decrease both the production 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 from a progestin-only pill to a combined contraceptive pill such as Ortho-Novum.
 
Research indicates that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk in low amounts. These amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in nursing infants. 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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