Being a mother is completely a different phase of your life. We welcome you to motherhood! This phase of motherhood is going to bring a myriad of challenges and changes, out of which some might worry or concern you.
A lot of new mothers come up with questions relating to their first period after pregnancy, period during or after breastfeeding, issues with missed periods, sporadic periods, etc.
If you are also one of the new moms asking the above questions, then this article is going to be of great help to solve your anxieties. During your pregnancy, you will not get your menstrual flow. Know that for sure.
But after a long pause of 9 months, will periods return to you? Or when actually will it get normal like before. The monthly menstrual cycle? What are the changes you will see?
These are some of the things that you might be hankering about to know the reasons and it is good that you want to know their answers, or else unnecessary thoughts will disturb your mind.
To help you out, let us get started and know the whys and whats of the period after pregnancy(postpartum period) and breastfeeding!!!
When Can You Expect Your First Period After Pregnancy?
Pregnancy of 9 months without menstrual flow is what a great relief!!! Every maiden would understand the leeway you had those 9 months.
But a year or more, without periods when you have not even reached near your menopause age is quite distressing.
How early your period after pregnancy is going to happen will depend on whether you breastfeed or not.
Breastfeeding and period
Do you think you have missed periods while breastfeeding?
If you practice exclusive breastfeeding then chances are there that you will not have periods for as long as you continue breastfeeding.
Exclusive breastfeeding is when your baby is only consuming your breastmilk, which means your baby’s only food; breastmilk.
If you breastfeed as well as provide other supplements or formulas to your baby as food, then you will have a sporadic period cycle. Inconsistency of the cycle will continue until breastfeeding is completely done.
If you are someone who does not breastfeed and directly go for formulas then you will have your periods back within 4-6 weeks after giving birth.
The very first flow after pregnancy is going to be heavier than you normally use to have.
What is the reason behind breastfeeding women not getting their periods quickly?
When a mother breastfeeds her baby, there are certain hormonal disbalances that take place in her body.
To produce milk, the mother’s body generates prolactin hormone (needed to produce milk), and this milk-making hormone is capable of suppressing the reproductive hormones.
Hence the prime reason why you will not get frequent periods while breastfeeding is the lack of estrogens.
Will your period affect your breast milk?
When you don’t get your monthly periods, you may notice some changes in your milk supply or the taste. This change in breast milk is due to the change in hormones.
Your baby might make faces after you milk or might not want to nurse as often as earlier but do not worry, this is just because of the slightest change in the taste. The effect of periods on your breast milk is so minute that you will seldom see your baby reacting to such changes.
Is it safe to breastfeed your child during periods?
It is perfectly safe to milk or breastfeed your kid while you are on your periods. There are no harmful effects of periods on your breast milk, vis-a-vis, no harmful effect of breast milk on your menstrual flow.
Moreover, breast milk is a super nutrient for your kid. It is always the safest source of nutrition. It is true that in those days you might notice some change in the pattern of breast milk supply and your baby wanting to drink but this is just because of the change in hormones.
Postpartum period: what are the changes?
The period after delivery might not be similar to the one you had before pregnancy. It is obvious to expect changes because for a long period of at least 9 months your body will not get the menstrual flow.
This is again the stage where your body will be adjusting to the menstrual cycle. Some of the changes that you might notice the postpartum period are:
- Heavy or light cramping than you used to have before pregnancy
- Small blood clots
- Heavier menstrual flow than usual
- Sporadic and irregular menstrual cycle
- Fluctuation flow that might look like stopping but again starts
Women who had endometriosis prior to pregnancy have chances of lighter menstrual flow after giving birth. Two other rare conditions that lead to lighter flow are Asherman syndrome and Sheehan syndrome.
Asherman syndrome causes scar tissues to the uterus, whereas, Sheehan syndrome is the outcome of damage to your pituitary gland, which may be the result of serious blood loss.
What should you expect out of the postpartum period?
After your kid’s delivery, whether that was vaginal or cesarean delivery, you can expect some level of bleeding and vaginal discharge. These blood and tissues that your body continuously discharge at that time lined your uterus while you were pregnant.
The first period after pregnancy is for sure going to be heavier and might appear to be like clots. Subsequently, with weeks passing by, you will notice vaginal discharge known as Lochia.
Lochia is a bodily fluid that can appear clear to creamy white to red in color. These bodily fluid discharges may continue for about 4-5 weeks which is sort of time for your next menstrual flow.
If you see no more Lochia discharge and then you see blood flow, this is most probably your normal period.
Everything will get back to normal. Stop worrying and let your body adjust to the new changes. Sooner or later, depending on the above-mentioned things, your periods will get back to normal. You can also consult your provider in case things are disturbing your mind.