Conformity with current guidelines on oral contraceptive prescribing for breastfeeding women: a New Mexico survey

Eve Espey, Tony Ogburn, Larry Leeman, Shilpa Reddy, Carisa Lee, Clifford Qualls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: National and international contraceptive guidelines reflect expert opinion that recommends against the use of estrogen-containing hormonal contraception in the early postpartum period. This study was undertaken to estimate providers' practices in prescribing hormonal contraception to breastfeeding women. Methods: A 19-item survey was mailed to 397 obstetrician gynecologists, midwives and family physicians in the state of New Mexico. The survey included items covering attitudes about the impact of hormonal contraception on breastfeeding and prescribing practices. One hundred ninety-nine (50%) providers completed the survey. Results: The majority (70%) of providers prescribe progestin-only contraceptive methods to breastfeeding women within the first 6 weeks. Despite these recommendations, a sizable minority of providers prescribe combined pills in the early postpartum period: 27% of providers have prescribed combined pills and 13% of providers, mostly those in a university setting, routinely recommend them within the first 6 weeks postpartum. Conclusion: Most providers follow expert recommendations regarding the initiation of hormonal contraception for breastfeeding women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Breastfeeding
  • Hormonal contraceptives
  • Prescribing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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