How Can a Partner Help?

The client’s partner is welcome to participate in counseling and learn about the method and what support he can give to his partner. A male partner can:

  • Support a woman’s choice of LAM
  • Understand how LAM works and when it will no longer work
  • Encourage her to breastfeed often and without giving her baby any supplementary food for the first 6 months
  • Make sure that she has extra nutrition and fluids while breastfeeding
  • Discuss and plan what method to use when one of the LAM conditions is no longer met – that is, her monthly bleeding returns, she introduces other foods, or the baby reaches 6 months old—or sooner if she prefers
  • Start or remind her to start another family planning method as soon as one of the LAM criteria is no longer met
  • Help to make sure she has ECPs on hand in case one of the LAM conditions is no longer met and she has not yet started to use another contraceptive
  • Use condoms consistently in addition to LAM if he has an STI/HIV or thinks he may be at risk of an STI/HIV

"Come Back Any Time": Reasons to Return

Assure every client that she is welcome to come back any time—for example, if she has problems, questions, or wants another method; she has a major change in health status; or she thinks she might be pregnant. Also, if:

  • She no longer meets one or more of the 3 LAM criteria and so cannot keep relying on LAM.

Helping Clients Switch to a Continuing Method

  1. Female patient breastfeeding baby while talking with partner and healthcare professionalA woman can switch to another method any time she wants while using LAM. If she still meets all 3 LAM criteria, it is reasonably certain she is not pregnant. She can start a new method with no need for a pregnancy test, examinations, or evaluation.
  2. To continue preventing pregnancy, a woman must switch to another method as soon as any one of the 3 LAM criteria no longer applies.
  3. Help the woman choose a new method before she needs it. If she will continue to breastfeed, she can choose from several hormonal or nonhormonal methods, depending on how much time has passed since childbirth (see Chapter 24 – Maternal and Newborn Health, Earliest Time That a Woman Can Start a Family Planning Method After Childbirth). After 6 months, if a woman wants to continue breastfeeding, she can consider the progesterone-releasing vaginal ring.