Help pregnant women and new mothers decide how they will avoid pregnancy after childbirth. Ideally, family planning counseling should start during antenatal care.
- Waiting until her baby is at least 2 years old before a woman tries to become pregnant again is best for the baby and good for the mother, too.
- A woman who is not fully or nearly fully breastfeeding is able to become pregnant as soon as 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth.
- A woman who is fully or nearly fully breastfeeding is able to become pregnant as soon as 6 months postpartum (see Chapter 20 – Lactational Amenorrhea Method).
- For maximum protection, a woman should not wait until the return of monthly bleeding to start a contraceptive method. Instead, she should start as soon as guidance allows (see Earliest Time That a Woman Can Start a Family Planning Method After Childbirth).