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  • When Will My Period Return After Birth? 4 Important Things You Should Know

    Your monthly "visitor" may change after having a baby.
    by R.M. Mauhay .
When Will My Period Return After Birth? 4 Important Things You Should Know
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/La corneja artesana
  • One pregnancy “perk” that women enjoy is not having to worry about their period for nine months. But now that you’ve welcomed your bundle of joy, you may be wondering when menstruation after giving birth will start. 

    Will it come right away? Will it feel different? Here are some answers to your most pressing questions.

    When will my period return after childbirth?

    One of the major factors that will affect your period is whether you are breastfeeding or not. If you are not nursing, you can expect menstruation to restart four to eight weeks after giving birth, according to Parents.

    Mothers who choose to breasfeed their child exclusively can experience an extended delay in their period or not have it at all. Exclusive breastfeeding delays the onset of menstruation after giving birth and can act as a natural contraception. However, there are also cases when a woman's period returns after a couple of months, regardless if they’re breastfeeding or not.

    Do periods change after having a baby?

    Yes and no. Your body has changed so much during your nine months of pregnancy that your period may also change. Here’s what OB-GYN Diane Young, MD, from Cleaveland Clinic has to say on periods returning to normal.

    The use of birth control pills “often results in skipped, shorter, lighter, and/or less painful periods," according to Dr. Young. Resuming pills after pregnancy can cause lighter menstruation. Otherwise, bleeding will be normal or heavier.

    Cleaveland Clinic says that “easier periods are not always good news” due to two rare complications in some women who may experience light to no periods at all.

    • Sheehan’s syndrome disrupts the normal function of the ovary causing periods to stop. This is caused by severe blood loss or low blood pressure damaging the pituitary gland, and hormone therapy is a common treatment to this.
    • Asherman’s syndrome caused by scar tissue in the lining of the uterus may develop after a dilatation and curettage (D&C), which doctors may perform after a miscarriage or delivery.

    If you have a history of painful periods or a disorder such as endometriosis, your period might suddenly become easier in the initial postpartum menstruation. However, it may only be tempororay — hormonal changes due to pregnancy can result to manageable periods, but it will gradually revert to how it was before childbirth.

    Cleaveland Clinic also identifies these conditions which can cause problematic periods for you after you give birth:

    • Structural defects. Your doctor likely will treat defects such as polyps and submucosal fibroids with minimally invasive surgery.
    • Adenomyosis. Your doctor can manage this thickening of the uterus with minimally invasive surgery or hormone therapy.
    • Overactive or underactive thyroid disorder. Your doctor may use a range of treatments for these conditions.

    Can I get a period while breastfeeding?

    By the time you give birth, your body will be producing prolactin, which is the primary hormone responsible for breast milk production. It also prevents menstruation. So, unless you’re not breastfeeding, chances of you having a period while breastfeeding are slim to none.

    However, as your baby will need less milk and will start to eat solid foods by their sixth month, the pituitary gland (where the prolactin comes from) will sense this feeding change and produce less prolactin. Prolactin levels will then slow down and your period can restart even if you’re still breastfeeding.

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    Will my first period after birth be longer than usual?

    It depends. After giving birth, your body will once again adjust to menstruation. This means that your first period postpartum may feel different than the ones you experienced before getting pregnant. Healthline.com mentions these things you might experience:

    • cramping that might be stronger or lighter than usual
    • small blood clots
    • heavier flow
    • flow that seems to stop and start
    • increased pain
    • irregular cycle lengths

    As a first-time mom, it is important to know how crucial check-ups are after giving birth. Delivering the baby doesn’t end your pregnancy concerns. Observe yourself and contact your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

    • soaking through more than one pad every hour
    • bleeding that’s accompanied by sudden and severe pain
    • a sudden fever
    • bleeding continuously for more than seven days
    • blood clots that are bigger than a softball
    • foul-smelling discharge
    • severe headache
    • trouble breathing
    • pain while urinating

    If you experienced a miscarriage and wondering when you will get your period, click here.

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