Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Lactational Amenorrhea Method


LAM is considered an effective, safe, short-term, natural method of birth control as the return of the woman’s menstrual cycle is delayed depending on her breastfeeding habits. When used correctly, it is 98% effective.

 
This method of contraception is called Lactational Amenorrhea Method
                    L = Lactational means breastfeeding
                    A = Amenorrhea means having no monthly period
                    M = Method

Can Breastfeeding really be used as a method of contraception (birth control)?
YES! Breastfeeding can be used for birth control, but only if you answer “YES” to ALL of the four statements below:
  1. My baby is less than 6 months old.
  2. I have not had a period since my baby was born
  3. My baby is fully* or nearly fully** breastfed
    *Fully breastfed means that your baby gets all food from suckling at the breast.
    ** Nearly fully breastfed means receives no more than one or two mouthfuls of liquids other than breastmilk per day, including vitamins and minerals.
    (+This does not include vitamins, minerals or medications. Giving your baby the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D [400 IU/day] is okay.)
    Your baby MUST feed at the breast. Pumping breastmilk does NOT have the same effect.
    Your baby MUST feed at the breast. Pumping breastmilk does NOT have the same effect.
  4.  I breastfeed at least every 4 hours during the day and at least every 6 hours during the night.
If you answer “NO” to any of these statements, begin another method of birth control. To learn more about other contraceptive methods Click Here or Book an Appointment with a Public Health Nurse to learn what options are best for you.

To use LAM effectively, it is important to plan ahead and consider what other method of birth control you will start using when any one of the above criteria are no longer met.

Birth control and STIs
LAM can protect against pregnancy, not STIs or HIV/AIDS. It is best to always use a condom when having sex even if you are using birth control. Free condoms are available through the Northwestern Health Unit. 
 
Speak to your doctor or contact the Sexual Health Clinic to talk about what method of birth control is best for you.
 
Source: The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Retrieved from www.sexualityandu.ca.

Learn more: