When does period return when breastfeeding

(August 3, 2010)

Period While Breastfeeding

There are many women who often wonder when their menstrual cycle will resume while they are breastfeeding. There is nothing that is regarded as normal or abnormal, when it comes to your menstrual cycle while you are breastfeeding. After giving birth, all women face postpartum bleeding, which is quite different from menstrual bleeding. Women who are not breastfeeding should normally have their periods return soon after postpartum bleeding ends. However, breastfeeding generally delays menstruation for a while. There are some breastfeeding mothers who experience the absence of their periods for a few weeks, while others do not get their periods for months. Though rare, there are some women who do not get their periods for up to a year or two, after the birth of their babies, mainly because they are breastfeeding. While there are some women who get their periods while they are still breastfeeding, there are others who do not begin to menstruate till they wean their babies completely.

It is quite natural for a woman who is breastfeeding to get her first period, as her baby starts sleeping for longer hours through the night or once the baby is introduced to supplemental or solid foods. A decrease in the stimulation of breasts (especially during the nights) usually leads to the return or stabilization of the menstrual cycle. The return of a woman’s periods mainly depends on the woman’s body chemistry and how it reacts to the hormonal changes that are normally associated with breastfeeding. When a woman’s periods do return, they may continue to remain irregular for a while, especially during lactation. While breastfeeding, some women have shorter periods while others have longer periods. Skipping periods for anywhere between one month and six months is not unusual either.

The return of regular periods usually indicates the onset of fertility. Therefore, if you are sexually active, but do not want to get pregnant again it is advisable to take precautions against an unwanted pregnancies. However, if your periods are absent while you are breastfeeding, it does not guarantee that you will not get pregnant again. Although it is rare, it is possible to get pregnant before your first period returns.

You can definitely continue breastfeeding your baby, even after the return of your normal periods. There are some women who are apprehensive about breastfeeding, while menstruating. Breast milk does not lose any of its nutritional qualities even while you are menstruating. However, due to hormonal fluctuations, there may be a slight decrease in the supply of milk just before you menstruate. But the supply of milk usually returns to normal once menstruation begins.

Submitted by P T on August 3, 2010 at 12:41

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