For many women, contraception does not feel like a priority after childbirth as they and their families are busy looking after the new baby and settling into new routines.

Sex may also not be something you and you partner are thinking about at this stage and therefore contraception seems less necessary.

However thinking about contraception early after you have had your baby means there is one less thing to worry about at this busy time. You and your partner can then have space to think about whether becoming pregnant again is what you both want and when the best time for this is.


  • contraception can be stopped at any time you are ready to try for a baby and your fertility will come back to what it was before. This happens immediately with all methods except the injection when it can take up to a year.
  • it is recommended that you do not try for another pregnancy for at least the first year after having your baby to enable you to prepare as well as you can physically and mentally for another child.
  • women can get pregnant from three weeks (21 days) following childbirth, especially if they are not breastfeeding. You could start contraception straight after you have had your baby. Bear in mind that you will need contraception from when your baby is 3 weeks old if you start having sex again.
  • your midwife, health visitor or doctor can advise you which methods are available for you to choose from. The most suitable method will depend on a variety of factors, including whether or not you are fully breastfeeding, your medical history, your life style and how soon you would like to become pregnant again.

Where to get contraception following birth?

  • you may be offered a method of contraception on the postnatal ward before you go home.
  • your GP
  • Homerton Sexual Health Service At Homerton or the Ivy Centre you don’t need an appointment unless you would like an implant or IUD.
  • Postnatal Contraception Service (for women in the first six months after birth) at the Ivy Centre (Wednesday afternoons). Call 020 7683 4103 to book an appointment or just drop in.

If you are unsure what choices there are you can get up to date information from the Family Planning Association, Sexwise or Contraception Choices.