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Lactational amenorrhea birth control method (LAM)

What is lactational amenorrhea method (LAM)?

Lactational amenorrhea is a natural, short-term birth control method for breastfeeding mothers. A woman who has recently given birth, is exclusively breastfeeding her infant and has not restarted her menstrual cycle is temporarily infertile (unable to get pregnant). This is because the hormones that produce breastmilk also stop the ovaries from releasing an egg for the first 6 months after giving birth.

Who can use LAM?

LAM can be used by mothers who:

  1. gave birth within the last six months (it’s only effective from 0 to 6 months after giving birth), AND
  2. have not started their monthly period since giving birth, AND
  3. only feed their babies breastmilk (exclusively) and who feed them at least every 4 hours during the day and at least every 6 hours at night

How effective is LAM?

LAM is 98% effective in preventing pregnancy during the first 6 months after giving birth.

What are the possible side effects of LAM?

There are no side effects to using LAM.

What are the advantages of LAM?

  • LAM is natural.
  • It does not interfere with breastfeeding.
  • There are no negative health side effects.

What are the disadvantages of LAM?

  • LAM is a short-term birth control method. Once your period returns or your child reaches 6 months of age LAM is no longer effective.
  • Supplemental feeding, pumping and feeding solids can reduce the effectiveness of LAM.

*LAM does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS.