Baby snuggles, kisses, and healing have characterised your newborn's first few weeks since birth. You probably haven't had much time to think about yourself, but as your six-week check-up with your midwife or OB approaches, you might be beginning to wonder: What's the deal with getting your period after pregnancy?
How soon after giving birth do you start getting your period?
You might be surprised to learn there isn't actually a definitive response. There is a sizable difference between women's periods, with some starting as soon as eight weeks after giving birth and others taking a year or longer.
The biggest determinant of when you start getting your period after giving birth is whether you're breastfeeding, though there are countless other factors that can play a role as well.
If I'm breastfeeding, when will I start getting my period?
Although it usually happens much later than for mothers who are not breastfeeding, you can still get your period while nursing. Most breastfeeding mothers do not start having periods until at least 3-6 months after giving birth, according to both research and anecdotal evidence.
The hormone that regulates periods, prolactin, which is responsible for milk production, has the power to suppress it. Amenorrhea from lactation is the term for this.
Things that affect when a breastfeeding mother gets her period after giving birth:
- Schedule for baby's sleep - The more baby wakes up at night to eat, the more milk mama makes, and prolactin, the hormone that causes milk to be produced, suppresses menstruation. When a baby begins to sleep through the night, the mother's body gradually produces less prolactin and milk, which may result in the return of the mother's period.
- Introducing solids - When solid food is introduced, it can also have an impact on periods if the baby consumes a lot of it while nursing less. Baby eating more and nursing less instructs the mother's body to produce less milk, and that small change may be sufficient to start menstruation. Around six months, most infants start eating solid foods.
- Hormone composition of mom - Despite the averages, every mother must take into account her unique hormonal profile because everybody is different. Two or three months after giving birth, some mothers who nurse all night long still experience menstruation. Some mothers may wean their children without getting their period for months. Speak to your doctor or midwife if you are worried about your hormones.
If your period fluctuates, don't be shocked.
Further complicating matters, a breastfeeding mother's period may come and go. Mom might start having periods again if her child begins sleeping through the night at three months. But if the infant's sleeping habits change (4 month sleep regression, anyone? ), the mother's hormones and milk production will also change, which may cause her period to stop again. Once the baby begins taking longer naps during the night, it will return.
If I'm not breastfeeding, when will my period start?
Your first period may arrive earlier, sometimes as early as 8 weeks after birth, if you are formula feeding or supplementing. You may not experience your first period until your child reaches their first birthday if you are exclusively breastfeeding, nursing all through the night, and not using any formula as a supplement. Before their children are weaned, some breastfeeding women don't even start their periods!
Irregular menstrual cycles following pregnancy
In order to become pregnant again, if you haven't had your period in a while, you might be anxious for it to start up again. If you've always had predictable periods, it can be especially frustrating. First of all, be aware that some irregularity during the first year postpartum is entirely normal. Keep in mind, during pregnancy, labour, delivery, postpartum healing, and breastfeeding, your body underwent significant hormonal changes.
Following are a few typical anomalies:
- An alteration in flow: Your first period after giving birth could be heavy or scant
- Longer-than-average cycles: Your first cycle may last 45 days, followed by 40, 35, and so on until your cycle eventually returns to normal
- Changes to the number of days you bleed: You may now bleed for 4 days rather than 6, or the opposite may be true
Natural ways to control your menstrual cycle
Even though irregularities are common, you might want to regain your equilibrium. You can use this to try for a second child or use natural birth control. Further, you should control your menstrual cycle naturally, which is a good thing. For all the information you need on boosting your fertility and chances of conception, talk to your gynaecologist.
When to consult a doctor
During the postpartum period, you should get in touch with your provider with any queries or worries. However, you should see a medical professional immediately if you encounter any of the following:
- Any period where you must swap out your pads, tampons, or cups every hour.
- more than seven-day-long bleeding
- More substantial clots
- The act of skipping a period after several spotting in the middle of a cycle
It's time to see your doctor if you are breastfeeding or using formula and haven't had your period three months after weaning. At Neo Fertility Clinic, we offer all types of support to females before and during pregnancy, and after the delivery of a baby. Feel free to consult our doctors.