Most Recommended Birth Control Options for Moms

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What is the best kind of birth control for you?

The answer to this question varies based on your personal family goals and your individual body — but moms who have already made their choice can provide some insights to help you find a solution that works for your life.

We asked the Mothering community to tell us what methods are working for them and here is a breakdown of the three most popular choices.

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning or NFP  is by far the most recommended method of birth control in the Mothering community.

NFP is a rejection of artificial contraception in favor of utilizing the natural times of fertility and infertility in a woman’s cycle to achieve or avoid pregnancy. Many women use a simplified form of this method and do not even realize they are utilizing NFP. By simply paying attention to your cycles and recognizing the changes in your body each month you can avoid sex, or use other methods of birth control such as condoms, directly before and during ovulation. For others, tracking their cycles is more detailed and often involves using monitors to ensure accuracy. 

Both the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and Lady Comp Fertility and Ovulation Monitors were suggested by members to help in your Natural Family Planning.

Many women like this method because it can be used for both avoiding and achieving pregnancy. You may, for instance, be trying to avoid another child for several more years and use NFP to stay on track, but find it just as easy to use the same methods to help you conceive when you are ready.

Members pointed out that there are some special considerations for those interested in trying Natural Family Planning:

  • You need to be willing to pay attention to your cycles and, depending on your goals and body, this can take a fair bit of time and effort.
  • You need to be willing to control your libido during times of fertility — NFP won’t work if you don’t work with it.
  • NFP works best for many women when combined with the use of charts, monitors and other tools — but for some it can be as simple as paying attention to your body’s rhythm.
  • Some women find that because NFP involves some abstinence, though the use of another form of birth control during certain times of the month may be helpful when abstinence is not possible.

For more more information on Natural Family Planning, the different methods of use and tips for getting started check out our helpful article on the topic

Here are some product recommendations from the Mothering community that can be used to aid NFP. 

Lady Comp Fertility Monitor    Read Reviews  |  Buy Now


Member TsMom11 says:


I received my Lady-Comp as a wedding gift and have used it for both contraception and conception.  Even with my some-what irregular cycles it has been completely safe for me.

The Lady-Comp encompasses the values of NFP, but does all the work for you.  The alarm wakes you up and reminds you to take your temperature then calculates and stores all of your data.  You get a green light on days you’re infertile, a red light on days of high fertility, and a yellow on days that there may be a slight chance of getting pregnant.  With its hi-tech internal computer it literally learns your cycle and can predict your fertility a few days in advance (so you can skip a day here or there). Read more.  



Clearblue Fertility Monitor     Read Reviews  |  Buy Now


Member BryMama says:


My husband and I purchased this monitor just before we got married, and have used it (against its recommendation) to prevent pregnancy, as well as to get pregnant. We have had great success, so far- we were able to keep from conceiving when we were not wanting to, and the first time we tried to get pregnant, we did. Our son is now 7 mo!

The monitor will tell you when your fertility signs are “low” “high” and “peak”.  If you want to conceive, having intercourse on the high and peak days will likely accomplish this. For preventing, you have to be a little more conservative- we usually used condoms during high days and most often abstained during peak days. But after your peak, you can be pretty confident that you will not conceive. Read more.

 Basal Digital Thermometer  

Read Reviews  |  Buy Now

Member Bugglette says: 


This thermometer is very accurate, and I love the AccuBeep feature which tells you that you have the thermometer positioned correctly and also when it is done.  The beep can be a little loud when taking your temp orally, but it is easy to cover the speaker with a finger.  The volume of the beep is perfect when temping vaginally.  I can easily hear the beep through the sheets and blankets, but it is not loud enough to disturb my husband.  The display lights up when you turn it on, and when you press the button. Read more.


The use of condoms was the second most commonly used method of birth control mentioned when we asked members for suggestions. Our moms said that while this solution may seem simple, it worked for them because it did not require any long term commitments and was a safe, natural and relatively inexpensive option.

Some tips and reminders when using condoms:

  • If you plan to use condoms for your main form of birth control make sure you keep some on hand! Privacy is rare enough for most parents, nobody wants to waste precious time running to the store at the last minute.
  • Condoms are effective only when used properly. If you haven’t used them in a while make sure you familiarize yourself with proper usage before counting on them as your only form of birth control.
  • While some partners feel condoms are uncomfortable or reduce sensitivity, condoms so come in different sizes, materials and sensitivity levels. Try a few kinds to find what works.
  • If you feel uncomfortable counting on condoms only, try using them in combination with Natural Family Planning or withdrawal.

Intrauterine Device: ParaGard or Mirena

ParaGard and Mirena are both intrauterine devices that are popular with Mothering moms for their ease of use and general effectiveness. And while both systems work similarly, there are major differences to consider.


  • claims to be more than 99% effective for up to 5 years
  • releases a synthetic form of progesterone (levonorgestrel) into your uterus to prevent pregnancy: partially prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucas to prevent the entrance of sperm into the uterus and thins the uterine lining to prevent a fertizlized egg from attaching
  • uses a very low dose of hormones compared to oral contraceptives
  • will affect your normal menstrual cycle
  • once removed, may continue to prevent pregnancy for weeks or months
  • can cause pelvic infections
  • is considered safe for breastfeeding in most cases


  • claims to be more than 99% effective for up to 10 years
  • is made of copper and contains no hormones: disrupts sperm and the uterine lining to prevent pregnancy
  • may increase bleeding during your normal cycle but does not disrupt the cycle on a hormonal level
  • conception is possible almost immediately after removal
  • can cause pelvic infections and uterine perforation
  • is safe for breastfeeding

If you are trying to avoid hormones and plan to conceive another child quickly after removal, ParaGard may be a better solution than Mirena. Overall, if you are interested in an IUD the best option will come down to your personal needs. Both are generally covered under insurance. You can find more information on Mirena and ParaGard on their websites or from your doctor.

Looking for more?  Ask questions and find help in Mothering’s Natural Family Planning forums

15 thoughts on “Most Recommended Birth Control Options for Moms”

  1. I have been successfully using the Fertility Awareness Method/Symto Thermal Method (a branch of NFP that’s secular and allows for barrier methods during the fertile phase) since the start of my marriage, and I LOVE IT!!!! I have learned so much about my body, my cycle, my sexuality, my hormones, and myself!!! I cannot say enough good things about this method!!!!! I learned this method by reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility and then by asking questions to a FAM instructor, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since.

  2. I have a question for everyone! I absolutely hate being on the pill, but I also can’t do condoms, I just suck at them 😉 I would love to do NFP, and have researched it quite a bit. The problem is, I lost a fallopian tube due to an ectopic pregnancy; I don’t think that I can chart accurately due to the unaccountable time it might take my other fallopian tube to reach over and get it. (For those who don’t know, yes that can happen; and yes, I know that it does happen to me.) Does anyone have any first hand experience with this?

  3. For Oliviafae-
    Yes, you can still use NFP. You would chart the same way as everyone else, by paying close attention to your body’s signals (cervical mucous). THe amount of time you are fertile would be the same with one fallopian tube or two, as the egg is only viable for a certain time, regardless of how far it needs to travel.

  4. jtapc90: you would continue to chart your cervical mucus and watch for signs that your body is getting ready to ovulate (such as patches of fertile quality mucus). It also depends on how much you are breastfeeding. If you are exclusively breastfeeding (the baby doesn’t take a bottle or any other foods besides breast milk) and you are feeding at regular intervals throughout the day AND night, your body won’t ovulate again for up to six months after pregnancy. There are a few rules to using NFP during breastfeeding, but they aren’t too complicated. I would check out Shelia Kippley’s book Ecological Breastfeeding–she explains in depth how to use it.

  5. Hmm i’ve never heard of the lady comp fertility monitor! What a nice alternative to hormonal birth control which i’ve always disliked. Besides the weight gain and constant bloating despite my best efforts, it just doesn’t feel right to always be synthetically pumping hormones in my body. Especially because I’m weary of the long term consequences.
    A higher risk of cervical cancer is really not worth it. That and I have a sneaking suspicion that its the cause of my generation’s fertility issues. I know they say that it doesnt affect fertility but a lot of my friends have struggled with becoming pregnant

  6. I love, love, LOVE Natural Family Planning. We’ve used it to both avoid and conceive with 100% success with both. My FAVORITE resource for NFP and FAM is They have a wonderful, affordable class for both beginners and experienced charters and a free forum for those trying to avoid and trying to conceive, pregnancy, experiencing pregnancy loss, postpartum, adoption, coming off hormonal birth control methods, engaged–learning to chart, and those not married or engaged but just curious about their cycles. LOVE the ladies there and am blessed to call many of them friends and sisters in Christ.

  7. I’m disappointed to see NFP at the top of the list. Every time we take a break from medicinal birth control and try this baby happens. This does not work for every one. You must be very predicable in your schedule. And some of us are not! There is only one way to make sure and that is surgically.

  8. I practice NFP using condoms during the fertile days. Has worked for over 2 years. To help regulate my period, I use chaste tree prescribed by my naturopath, and then use a nifty app on my iPhone called Period Planner which tells me when my fertile days are (because I can’t really tell).

  9. I use and love Cyclebeads for our bc. I have them hanging on my bedroom mirror so I can just glance over and be reminded of whether or not we should use protection during my fertile days. When we do use something, I prefer the vcf (vaginal contraceptive film) I’m not a fan of condoms. If it ain’t fun for me too, it ain’t worth it. lol.

  10. jtapc90 I would be very hesitant to rely on nfp without a cycle. I personally use vcf and am very happy with it. I’m a lifelong experimenter of different types of bc and this is an easy to use, no med, and highly effective method.

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