IRREGULAR PERIODS AFTER BREASTFEEDING
Your periods after giving birth can be like a lucky dip. You may come out with a gift from mother nature; lighter, less frequent and easier periods. Wouldn’t that be a treat? Alternatively, your first period after giving birth can be more painful, heavier and longer. Probably the last thing we want and deserve after creating a literal human. Cheers Mother Nature!
After 9 months sans period, fortunately for us new mother’s, our periods do not commence immediately after giving birth. This time scale typically depends on whether or not you decide to breastfeed, and how often you decide to breastfeed. And when your periods do return, typically they are irregular for a while and don’t jump back into their regular cycle from the first month.
Will my first periods after breastfeeding be irregular?
Yes. Typically, your periods after breastfeeding will be irregular.
During pregnancy and breastfeeding, our hormone levels are fluctuating. This can mean it takes our body some extra time to find its natural pre-pregnancy rhythm and return to our normal cycle. One cycle may last 24 days, the next can be 28 days, and the one after that 35 days. This is completely normal, and your period should find its natural rhythm a few months after completely stopping breastfeeding.
We recommend using a period tracker app such as Flo, Clue or Ovia to make notes of your cycle, symptoms and flow. This way you can come prepared if you spot any red flags with your post-breastfeeding periods, and provide your GP with valuable detailed information if something isn’t quite right.
Red flags to look out for on your first period after giving birth include; spotting between periods, skipping a period, a period that lasts longer than 7 days, a period that contains clots larger than a quarter or if your period has not resumed 3 months after childbirth when you aren’t breastfeeding, or three months after stopping breastfeeding.
When will my period return after breastfeeding?
A 2011 analysis found that on average, women had their first period between 45 and 94 days after giving birth. However, this can vary greatly from person to person, whether they choose to breastfeed, how long they breastfeed for and how frequently they breastfeed.
The hormone that allows us to produce breast milk also suppresses the hormone that controls our ovulation and periods. Therefore, if you continue to breastfeed consistently, you can be without your period until you decide to stop. However, if you are weaning your baby onto solid foods, and therefore reduce your breastfeeding, you can find that your periods start to return, albeit irregularly.
If you would like to learn more on this topic, you can read our blog ‘When Do Periods Start After Breastfeeding’.
First period after breastfeeding
For most Mum’s, the first period after giving birth and stopping breastfeeding is heavier, with increased bleeding and cramping. Whilst this can be quite uncomfortable, it is completely normal. However, if you are needing to change your pad or tampon every hour do not hesitate to contact your Doctor. An excessive flow on your first period after breastfeeding could be a sign of an infection, polyps or fibroids.
One way you can come prepared for your first period after giving birth or stopping breastfeeding is stocking up on FabLittleBags. Our sustainably sourced sanitary bags are made from plants and recycled materials, so you can dispose of your sanitary products in an eco friendly manner. Not only this, but our sealable sanitary bags means your little ones won’t get their hands on anything if they go rummaging in the bathroom bin while you’re trying to have a shower! One less thing to worry about!