If you’re a new mum you might be wondering when to expect your first period after baby, and how breastfeeding might effect that. If you’re breastfeeding it can take several weeks to several months for your period to return, and that time frame is unique to every woman. Here’s what you need to know about your first period after baby, and what that has to do with breastfeeding.
When will I get my first period after baby?
If you’re breastfeeding, when you get your first period after baby depends on a lot of factors – and, it’s unique to every woman. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding you may not see your period for months (or longer!) especially if you’re breastfeeding on demand and through the night. If feedings decrease and you’re going for extended periods of time without breastfeeding, like if your baby sleeps through the night, you may start your period. Of course, you may not – some women have to completely wean before they start their periods. There’s a wide range of what’s considered normal. If you’re at all concerned, you should talk to your care provider.
If you’re not breastfeeding or pumping, you should expect your first period after baby within 1 – 3 months. If you haven’t gotten your period during this time and you’re not breastfeeding, you should talk to your care provider.
Do I have to wean to get pregnant again?
You don’t have to wean to get pregnant again, even if you haven’t started your period yet. Breastfeeding has a unique effect on each woman’s menses cycle. Some women ovulate without ever having their period or any signs of ovulation.
Breastfeeding isn’t always a reliable form of birth control, either. In fact, don’t rely on breastfeeding ONLY if it’s important to you not to conceive. Our founder conceived several times at 4 months postpartum while breastfeeding exclusively!
Hormonal birth control might delay your period even longer
If you’re breastfeeding and taking hormonal birth control, then your period might be delayed even longer. This is especially true if you’re taking a continuous dose, like if you’re on the pill and there aren’t any “dud” pills at the end of the pack. Or, if you have a hormonal IUD.
Your first period after baby might be more (or less) intense than normal
Like most things that have to do with the human body, your first period after baby will be unique to you. However, you should expect it to be different than what it used to be before you conceived. A lot of women experience a heavier flow with more intense cramping during their first period after baby. Other women get a much lighter flow, but still have the cramping. It all just depends, and again, there’s a wide range of what’s considered normal.
It may take a while for your normal cycles to resume after baby
Once you’ve had your first period after baby, it may take a while to resume your normal cycle – even if you’re on the pill and have a regular break of “dud” pills during which you’d normally have your period. You might skip a cycle or two, or you might have an irregular cycle. If you’re still breastfeeding while you’re period has returned, this could make your cycles sporadic as well.
Milk supply might dip during your period
Levels of prolactin, the milk producing hormone, naturally decrease during your period. Because of this, many women experience a temporary dip in milk supply while they’re on their period. This is completely normal, and rarely enough to effect your baby. You may notice your baby wants to feed more – this is just the natural way to signal your body to produce more milk. Your supply should go back to normal the week following your period. Not all women experience a dip in supply.