Drugs Home > Norinyl and Breastfeeding

If you are taking a combined oral contraceptive (such as Norinyl), breastfeeding should generally be avoided. Research indicates that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk in small amounts. These amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-term problems in the nursing infant, but it may decrease the production and quality of breast milk.

Is Norinyl Safe During Breastfeeding?

Norinyl® is a prescription birth control pill. There are two basic types of birth control pills -- combined oral contraceptives and progestin-only contraceptives. Combined oral contraceptives contain both an estrogen and a progestin. Both Norinyl products (Norinyl 1+35 and Norinyl 1+50) are classified as combined oral contraceptives. Combined oral contraceptives are not the best choice for women who are breastfeeding.

Effects of Norinyl During Breastfeeding

Combined oral contraceptives are the most popular type of birth control pills used today. They are easy to take and are very effective at preventing pregnancy. However, combined contraceptives (such as Norinyl) may decrease both the production and the quality of breast milk. For this reason, healthcare providers almost always recommend progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") instead of combined contraceptives for women who are breastfeeding. However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually much less effective than combined oral contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching from a progestin-only pill to a combined contraceptive pill (such as Norinyl). Of course, there are other types of birth control (other than birth control pills) that are also appropriate for women who are breastfeeding.
Research indicates that the hormones in birth control pills do pass through breast milk in low amounts. These small amounts are probably too low to cause significant or long-lasting problems in breastfeeding infants. However, there have been cases of problems (such as jaundice and breast enlargement) in babies whose mothers took certain types of combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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