Back to Pregnancy. If you bottle feed your baby, or combine bottle feeding with breastfeeding, your first period could start as soon as 5 to 6 weeks after you give birth. If you fully breastfeed including at night without any bottle feeding, your periods may not start again until you stop breastfeeding, or until you stop night-time breastfeeding. This is because the hormone that causes your body to make breast milk can stop your body making the hormones that control your periods. As your baby starts breastfeeding less often, around 3 feeds a day, you may start "spotting".
Jones and Bartlett Learning. Weaning will almost certainly cause a resumption of the menstrual cycle, but for most women is not a necessary condition, just a way to accelerate the process. Facebook Pinterest Twitter. Lawrence, Ruth A. Send to: is required Error: This is required Error: Not a valid value. How to Fall Asleep in 10, 60, or Seconds. These same babies may nurse less often or less enthusiastically during this time as a result. Then, your child should settle back into her regular breastfeeding routine.
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With pregnancy, this glandular tissue growth occurs to a much bigger degree. During this time, nearly anything is Menstrual cycles and breastfeeding as a normal occurrence. The Office on Nude girl pictuers Health is grateful for the medical review in by:. I started to bleed or spot; I don't know what it was, at 6 Months. There are others you will see their first period when their babies start to take supplemental foods or sleep longer during the night. Hopefully this article has helped to reassure you about things you Menstrual cycles and breastfeeding have worried about with breastfeeding and your menstrual cycle. Crying or pulling off This much calcium should never be taken alone. Your email address will not be published. Copyright - breastfeeding-problems.
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- Menstruation after pregnancy is usually delayed by weeks in non-nursing mothers and up to years in breastfeeding mothers.
- Breastfeeding showers a number of benefits on your child as well as on you.
- Human beings have known for centuries that breastfeeding affects fertility, and this has been borne out in recent studies.
- Almost anything is considered normal when it comes to your periods while breastfeeding.
- Want to know about the menstrual cycle while breastfeeding?
- Have you ever noticed your breastfed baby being a bit fussier while feeding or your supply dropping a bit at certain times of the month?
Menstruation is connected to fertility , pregnancy, and even breastfeeding. Then, if you decide to breastfeed , your period may stay away for weeks, months, or longer. So, when should you expect your period to return and how will menstruation affect breastfeeding and your baby?
You may have many questions about what to expect once your baby is born. Here's what you need to know about breastfeeding and your period. The bleeding that you'll have right after your baby is born may seem like a period, but that's not actually what it is.
It's called lochia, and it's a mixture of blood, mucus, and tissue from the lining of your uterus. Lochia starts out as bright red bleeding. It can be very heavy, and it may contain blood clots. After a few days, it will start to slow down and turn pink or lighter in color. As the days go on, it will become brown and eventually yellow or white.
Lochia and spotting can last for up to six weeks. You could get your first real period as early as six weeks after you have your baby.
However, everybody is different, so the time frame varies from one woman to the next. Breastfeeding could hold off your period longer. However, even if you do breastfeed, you could get your period back right away. When your period does return, it doesn't mean you have to wean your baby. Breastfeeding while you have your period is perfectly safe. It's not harmful to you or your child at all.
Your breast milk is still healthy and nutritious for your baby. However, hormone changes in the days leading up to your period can affect your breast milk and your baby's breastfeeding pattern for a few days.
You may not notice any difference in breastfeeding when your period returns. And, even if there are some changes, your baby may not mind and continue to breastfeed as usual. However, it's also possible that the return of your period can cause:. Research shows that the composition of breast milk changes around ovulation mid-cycle. So, the breast milk becomes saltier and less sweet during this time. Also around the time of ovulation and just before the start of your period, estrogen and progesterone levels change which can affect your breasts and your breast milk.
When estrogen and progesterone levels go up, it can make your breasts feel full and tender. Higher estrogen levels can also interfere with milk production. Studies also show that calcium levels in the blood go down after ovulation. So, for a few days before your period starts, it may be a little uncomfortable to breastfeed. The decrease in your milk supply related to your period is usually temporary. You may notice the dip during the few days before your period arrives. Then, once you get your period, your supply should begin to increase again as the hormones balance out.
The return of your period may not have any effect on your baby or your milk supply all. Some infants continue to breastfeed well and without any issues. On the other hand, some infants will not like the taste of the breast milk or the drop in the amount of breast milk that can happen when your period returns. Your baby may:. These changes in your baby's behavior should only last a few days.
Then, your child should settle back into her regular breastfeeding routine. If you do not see any improvement in a few days, you should talk to your doctor. Breastfeeding can put off the return of your menstrual cycle for many months, a year, or even longer. Your period may stay away longer if you:.
Although, some women don't get their period for a few months after breastfeeding has completely ended. When it finally shows up, breastfeeding more often will not get it to stop again. Pumping or expressing breast milk by hand does not have the same effect on your body as breastfeeding does.
If you choose to pump and bottle feed your baby, it will not hold off your period. When your period returns, you should consider yourself fertile.
Your doctor will most likely talk to you about your birth control options during your first postpartum doctor visit at approximately four to six weeks after your baby is born.
If not, bring it up and be sure to tell her that you're breastfeeding since some types of birth control can interfere with your supply of breast milk. You can release an egg from your ovary ovulate before your period returns.
Therefore, there is a chance that you can become pregnant while you're breastfeeding even before your period comes back. Breastfeeding can affect your period, and your period can affect breastfeeding, your breast milk, and your baby. While many women do not notice any changes when their period returns, some women experience inconvenient or concerning issues.
Luckily, the most common breastfeeding problems that result from the return of your period are temporary. Breast tenderness might be uncomfortable, and a dip in your milk supply might mean a fussy baby or breastfeeding very often. But, if you can hang in there, the issues usually only last a few days and go away on their own.
At least until the next cycle. Of course, you may decide that the sore nipples and extra work it takes to keep up your milk supply are just too much. While it's still safe and beneficial to breastfeed when you have your period, some moms choose to wean once their period returns.
It may even be easier if the baby is breastfeeding less due a lower breast milk supply and change in the flavor of the milk. It's true that the longer you can breastfeed, the better it is for you and your child. But, it's really up to you and what works best for your family. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter.
Puerperal loss lochia in women with or without inherited bleeding disorders. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Jackson E, Glasier A. Return of ovulation and menses in postpartum nonlactating women: a systematic review. Obstet Gynecol. Acute changes in the composition of milk during the ovulatory menstrual cycle in lactating women. J Physiol Lond. Dullo P, Vedi N. Changes in serum calcium, magnesium and inorganic phosphorus levels during different phases of the menstrual cycle.
J Hum Reprod Sci. American Pregnancy Association. Gross BA, Burger H. Breastfeeding patterns and return to fertility in Australian women. Danforth DN. Danforth's Obstetrics and Gynecology. Gibbs RS, editor. Ellison PT. Breastfeeding, Fertility, and Maternal Condition.
Breastfeeding: Bicultural Perspectives. Lawrence, Ruth A. Elsevier Health Sciences. Riordan, J. Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Fourth Edition. Jones and Bartlett Learning. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Random House Digital, Inc. More in Babies. Post-Labor Bleeding. The First Period After Birth.
Breastfeeding on Your Period. Dealing With Nipple Tenderness. Increasing Milk Supply on Your Period. Fertility Following Childbirth. View All. You are more likely to get your period back sooner if:.
This much calcium should never be taken alone. Subscribe Now! Find Help Get breastfeeding help Get health care Get health insurance Get help with family planning Get help with mental health Get vaccines Find girls' health information. The return of menstruation does not mean the end of breastfeeding. Updated: December 6, Resources Menstrual cycle resources. Yes, breastfeeding successfully delays your menstrual cycles and you can breathe freely for a few months postpartum.
Menstrual cycles and breastfeeding. Related Articles
Find out more below. Breastfeeding suppresses the menstruation period for a while. Some mothers may not menstruate while breastfeeding for weeks, months and maybe years. Some even have to wean their baby completely before the first period returns. There are others you will see their first period when their babies start to take supplemental foods or sleep longer during the night. There are several factors that will determine when your first period will return after you give birth. Menstruation is more likely to return quickly after the stimulation is decreased on the breast, especially at night.
This time-frame for many moms is when they start sleep training and the mom and baby are finally getting some much-needed rest. This can also start once the baby starts on solid foods , which again, is right around the same time. It is important to know that you will be fertile if you resume a normal menstrual cycle while breastfeeding. This means that you should take precautions against getting pregnant. Based on that information you should know that breastfeeding should not be used as birth control.
According to Kelly Mom , natural pregnancy prevention is at Again, you can get pregnant before you even experience your first period after delivery. Another thing to know is that nursing while menstruating will not be harmful to your baby. The breast milk will still be of good quality, but some hormonal changes can change the taste during this time. During menstruation or ovulation, you might also notice that your milk supply is reduced[ 1 ]. These changes could cause your baby to refuse the milk or become fussy on occasion, but this normally lasts for a few days.
There are some minerals and vitamins supplements that will help as well. You might want to consider adding calcium or magnesium to your diet. The reason for the additional calcium is because during your period, the calcium levels in your blood are decreased and that can cause bloating and fatigue. This supplement could help alleviate some of the issues that you are dealing with.
Some mothers will even need to completely wean before they see their first period. Others, once their babies begin taking supplemental foods or sleeping longer periods at night, will see the first period. Once menstruation returns it may continue to be irregular during lactation. Any time the stimulation to the breast is decreased, especially at night, menstruation is likely to return soon after.
When menstruation does return, you should consider yourself fertile and take precautions against pregnancy if desired. However, it IS possible to become pregnant before the first period returns, although quite rare. The return of menstruation does not mean the end of breastfeeding.
The milk is no less nutritious when you are menstruating than when you are not. Some women do notice a temporary drop in milk supply in the days just prior to a period and for a few days into one. This is due to hormonal fluctuations. Once the period begins and hormone levels begin to return to normal, the milk supply will boost back up again.
Most babies can compensate well for this temporary drop in supply with more frequent nursing. Nipple tenderness occurs for some women during ovulation, during the days before a period, or at both times. As with the drop in supply this is also hormonally influenced and therefore temporary.
Period While Breast-Feeding: What to Expect
Breast-feeding is known to delay your period. This can come as a welcome perk for mothers who wish to delay menstruation even longer than nine months. In a sense, this can be even more frustrating than planned cycles. Are you wondering why periods seem to stop while breast-feeding?
Read on to learn why hormone changes are to blame. This is often regarded as the safest, healthiest form of nutrition for newborns. While it might seem like breast milk simply appears when your baby is born, there is much more at play here.
In fact, just as hormones helped support your pregnancy, they are also responsible for breast-feeding. Prolactin is the primary hormone responsible for breast milk production. Prolactin also prevents menstruation. Breast-feeding keeps these hormone levels high, so the longer you nurse, the more likely you will experience a light period, or no period at all. On the flip side, as you wean your baby off of breast milk, your periods will likely return relatively quickly.
Your baby will drink the most breast milk during the first few months of their life. As your baby needs less milk, and also starts eating solid foods, the pituitary gland will sense this feeding change and produce less prolactin. If you do get your period while breast-feeding, you might notice other unexpected changes too. This is thought to be related to taste changes in the milk. Or, the situation can be the opposite.
Since prolactin controls milk production, you might not offer as much of a supply during your period. Then your baby might want to feed more frequently. There is no specific set timeline for a return of normal cycles since every woman is different. Chances are that if you were pretty regular before pregnancy, then your periods should return and normalize quickly after you stop breast-feeding.
According to Dr. Karen Leham, M. This is also a top contributor of surprise pregnancies in nursing mothers. While not entirely impossible, pregnancy can be difficult while breast-feeding. Keep in mind that prolactin is responsible for both milk production and pregnancy support.
It can be difficult for the body to support both at the same time. If you want to get pregnant at this time, talk to your doctor about your options. An irregular cycle really means that your cycle is either shorter or longer than the typical 28 days. They will want to rule out other causes, such as:. You will definitely need to call a doctor right away if you experience any severe pain, or if you have heavy spotting between periods.
Once you start to ease up on breast-feeding, especially after the first year as your baby gains more nutrition from foods, your periods will start to normalize again. You might even get your next period four weeks after delivery.
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