Breast-Feeding as Birth Control

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on July 29, 2014
Medically Reviewed by Patricia Geraghty MSN, WHNP, FNP-BC on July 29, 2014

What Is the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM)?

For up to six months after giving birth, and if the menstrual cycle has not resumed, breast-feeding can be an effective and natural form of birth control. This is known as the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM).

In order for breast-feeding to reduce your risk of pregnancy, you must:

  • start breast-feeding shortly after birth
  • breastfeed exclusively
  • breast-feed as your baby demands, not on a schedule
  • not have had a menstrual period since you gave birth

How Does LAM Work?

Prolactin is the hormone that  makes breast milk. It also prevents the release of the hormones that cause ovulation.