Breastfeeding alone does not work as reliable contraception, but breastfeeding and following the lactational amenorrhoea method (LAM) rules is over 98% effective, as good as condoms. These simple rules can be a lifesaver in countries where formula costs a small fortune and bottles have to be made up with dirty water.
What’s that got to do with those of us lucky enough to have access to affordable formula milk and clean
water? Well the thing is myths (like Gangnam-style videos), get everywhere. A BPAS/Mumsnet survey
So let’s get the truth and the LAM rules out there. This doesn’t mean trying to persuade your breastfeeding clients, patients or friends to use LAM if they don’t want to. It just means spreading the word, and not rolling your eyes or telling someone they're crazy if that's the method they decide to use.
LAM is 98% effective when the rules are followed (as good as condoms), and about 95% effective (as good as the diaphragm) if the woman expresses milk. So using LAM for contraception is about as crazy as using condoms for contraception. Not crazy at all.
Want something more official than this blog post?
The evidence base is excellent (trust me - I was an NHS librarian for over 20 years). Here's my amazing (co-written) article for the journal of the RCOG Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health.