Known as Breastfeeding method
Medical names Lactation Amenorrhoea, Postpartum Contraception
Effectiveness Up to 98% if all conditions are met
It lasts 6 months from the birth or unless period has returned
Fertility No effect
Who can use it? Mothers who are breastfeeding
No hormones Contains progestogen
Visibility Discreet
STIs No protection
Side effects No side effects
Cost Free
Where to get it Discuss with a reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor


Lactation Amenorrhoea Method




Lactation Amenorrhoea Method

How does it work?

Lactation amenorrhoea (LAM) is 98% effective only if ALL the following criteria are met:

- less than 6 months since the birth

- exclusively breastfeeding (i.e., no formula top ups or expressing)

- breastfeeding regularly (no more than 4 hours between feeds during the day and no more than 6 hours between feeds overnight)

- period has not returned

You will still need to consider the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) every time you have unprotected sex. 

What’s it like to use?

This method requires frequent and exclusive breastfeeding. 


What if I forget about it?

If you have had unprotected penis in vagina (PIV) sex and you miss a feed (more than 4 hours during the day or more than 6 hours at night) or get your period, you may need to consider emergency contraception. 

If you introduce other methods of feeding your baby, or once your baby has turned 6 months, or if your period returns before 6 months postpartum, you will need to consider alternative methods of contraception.  


Who can use it?

People who have given birth within the past six months, whose period has not returned and who are exclusively breastfeeding their baby at least every 4 hours during the day and at least every 6 hours at night.  


Side effects

There are no side effects to using LAM as a method of contraception.  


How and where to get it

Contraception should be discussed during the antenatal period and again in the immediate postpartum to ensure you know how the breastfeeding method could work for you. Ask a midwife, reproductive and sexual health clinician, or your GP for advice.  


What if you change your mind

You can stop using this method any time. Visit a reproductive and sexual health clinic or your local doctor to talk about your other contraceptive options. There are many other safe contraceptive options available to breastfeeding people.


Reproduction & Contraception Further Support & Advice