During pregnancy, your menstrual cycle goes on hiatus. When it resumes, it’s good to be prepared for some changes.
The biggest reward of pregnancy is going to be your adorable newborn baby. But if you’re like many moms-to-be, another huge bonus is that you no longer get your period. Wondering when will it return, and how will it be different?
Keep reading to learn more about your post-baby period!
When Will I Get My Period Again?
Whether or not you breastfeed will be the most significant factor affecting when you’ll get your period again. Prolactin, the hormone that produces breast milk, suppresses ovulation. If you don’t plan on breastfeeding, you can expect your period to return around 4 to 8 weeks after post-birth. For women who breast-and formula-feed, it could take anywhere from a few weeks to months for their period to return. If you’re breastfeeding exclusively, it’s normal not to menstruate for six months or longer. Many new moms have found that they don’t get their first period until after they stop breastfeeding.
Can I Get Pregnant Without It?
Just because you’re not having your period doesn’t mean there’s no risk of pregnancy. Some women find this out the hard way and are already pregnant again at their six-week postpartum visit!
Ovulation happens before menstruation. Once you ovulate, you’re fertile, so you could get pregnant even if you haven’t had a period yet. This is true for nursing moms too, so it’s not wise to rely on breastfeeding as a form of contraception.
Make sure to use another method of birth control. Ask your doctor about which form of birth control would work best for you because some aren’t recommended for nursing moms. For example, birth control pills that have estrogen might interfere with breast-milk production. So, the estrogen-free “mini-pill” may be a better choice.
Will My Periods Be the Same?
Every woman is different; your period may change a little, a lot, or stay the same. Your post-baby period could be longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, and even how long it lasts could be different.
You might also experience increased or decreased cramping since your uterus grows during pregnancy, then it shrinks after you deliver. Your endometrial lining (which sheds during a period) has to remodel itself as it goes through these changes. This process happens with each pregnancy, so you might notice changes in your period after each baby.
If you’d been on hormonal birth control before you got pregnant, your period might be heavier after childbirth. This is because of hormonal contraceptives thinning the endometrial lining. If you give birth via a vaginal delivery, a tampon might sit differently or feel different. But typically, most women don’t need to size up their tampons. As time passes, using a tampon should feel as natural as it did before.
How Will I Know if Something’s Wrong?
With your first post-baby period, you can expect some heavier bleeding and increased cramping. But alert your doctor if you need to change your tampon or pad every hour or more. It might be a sign of an infection, fibroids, or polyps.
Also, contact your doctor if you skip a period after menstruation has restarted; have a period that lasts longer than seven days or contain clots larger than a quarter; spotting between periods; or if you haven’t gotten a period three months after childbirth or three months after you stop breastfeeding.