Period After Pregnancy

Submitted by Nick on January 17, 2012

The period immediately following the delivery of a child is known as the postpartum phase of pregnancy. During this phase, the mother’s body undergoes a reversal process so as to regain its original shape and size as well as its normal functioning. During this process the mother experiences bleeding heavier than a menstrual period that lasts a longer duration. Bleeding after pregnancy is the result of the detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall. When this happens, an open wound is left in the uterus that causes the bleeding and the passage of blood clots and placental and uterine tissue. As the uterus shrinks to its original size, the...

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First Period After Pregnancy
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...area of the wound reduces and so does the bleeding - going from bright red, to a pinkish hue and finally ending in a thick discharge. The shrinking of the uterus also causes abdominal cramps as well as back aches.  

The time frame for the onset of the first period after pregnancy varies from woman to woman. Some women are known to resume their first menstrual period after pregnancy after approximately two months from the date of delivery. However, women who continue to only breastfeed their babies are known to enjoy a menstruation free term of up to three years. In such cases, the first menstrual period starts only after total breastfeeding is discontinued. This acts as a natural method of family planning as the woman is infertile for this term and is called lactational amenorrhea. The first period after pregnancy is usually different from the menstrual periods experienced prior to getting pregnant. The main cause of this is that the body is still recovering from the changes of pregnancy. Many women are known to experience less menstrual pain after pregnancy due to the widening of the cervix during childbirth. A heavy period after pregnancy accompanied with pain usually occurs when a small part of the placenta remains behind in the uterus. The uterus tries its best to expel the remains resulting in severe labor-like pain. Medical intervention in the form of a D&C or a D&E may become necessary to rid the uterus of the products of conception as well as to avoid the spread of infection in the uterus. After delivery, it also takes some time for the hormonal level to get regulated within the body. A hormonal imbalance is the main cause of an irregular period after pregnancy. Irregular periods may continue until the hormonal balance is reestablished. Also see vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

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