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Contraception. 2019 Feb;99(2):87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2018.10.008. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

The effect of immediate postpartum levonorgestrel contraceptive implant use on breastfeeding and infant growth: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, San Francisco, California; Center on Gender Equity and Health, University of California, San Diego, Department of Global Public Health and Medicine. Electronic address: saverbach@ucsd.edu.
2
Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kampala, Uganda.
3
Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Atlanta, Georgia.
4
University of California, San Francisco, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, San Francisco, California.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study assessed whether immediate postpartum insertion of levonorgestrel contraceptive implants is associated with a difference in infant growth from birth to 6 months, onset of lactogenesis, or breastfeeding continuation at 3 and 6 months postpartum compared to delayed insertion at 6 to 8 weeks postpartum.

STUDY DESIGN:

We conducted a randomized trial of women in Uganda who desired contraceptive implants postpartum. We randomly assigned participants to receive either immediate (within 5 days of delivery) or delayed (6 to 8 weeks postpartum) insertion of a two-rod levonorgestrel contraceptive implant system. This is a prespecified secondary analysis evaluating breastfeeding outcomes. The primary outcome of this secondary analysis was change in infant weight; infants were weighed and measured at birth and 6 months. We used a validated questionnaire to assess onset of lactogenesis daily in person while participants were in the hospital, and then daily by phone after they left the hospital, until lactogenesis was documented. We used interviewer-administered questionnaires to assess breastfeeding continuation and concerns at 3 months and 6 months postpartum.

RESULTS:

Among the 96 women randomized to the immediate group and the 87 women to the delayed group, the mean change in infant weight from birth to 6 months was similar between groups: 4632 g in the immediate group and 4407 g in the delayed group (p=.26). Among the 97 women who had not experienced lactogenesis prior to randomization, the median time to onset of lactogenesis did not differ significantly between the immediate and delayed groups (65 h versus 63 h; p=.84). Similar proportions of women in the immediate and delayed groups reported exclusive breastfeeding at 3 months (74% versus 71%; p=.74) and 6 months (48% versus 52%; p=.58).

CONCLUSION:

We found no association between the timing of postpartum initiation of levonorgestrel contraceptive implants and change in infant growth from birth to 6 months, onset of lactogenesis, or breastfeeding continuation at 3 or 6 months postpartum.

IMPLICATIONS:

This study provides evidence that immediate postpartum initiation of contraception implants does not have a deleterious effect on infant growth or initiation or continuation of breastfeeding.

KEYWORDS:

Breastfeeding; Contraception; Implant; Lactogenesis, postpartum; Progestin

PMID:
30408456
PMCID:
PMC6419727
[Available on 2020-02-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.contraception.2018.10.008

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