It's possible to become pregnant again very soon after the birth of a baby, even if you're breastfeeding and even if your periods haven't returned. You ovulate (release an egg) about two weeks before your period arrives, so your fertility may have returned before you realize it.
It's important to sort out contraception from the start. If you had your baby in hospital, you probably discussed contraception with a family planning advisor before you were discharged home. You'll also be asked about contraception at your six week postnatal check, but you can discuss it at any time with your doctor or local family planning clinic.
You can use male and female condoms as soon as you feel ready to have sex. The combined pill, progestogen-only pill and contraceptive implants can be used from 21 days after the birth. However, the combined pill is not recommended if you are breastfeeding, as it can affect your milk supply.
You can usually have a contraceptive injection or start using a diaphragm or cap around six weeks after giving birth. If you used a diaphragm or cap before becoming pregnant, see your doctor or family planning clinic after the birth to ensure that it still fits correctly, as childbirth and other factors such as weight loss/gain can have a significant effect. An IUD ('coil') or IUS can usually be fitted 6-8 weeks after giving birth.
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