First Period After a Baby

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Having a baby is very exciting and the first few weeks after you bring your little one home are filled with questions, diapers and sleepless nights. This is also the time when a woman’s body begins returning to normal after being pregnant and having hormones changed for the past several months.

This is a gradual process, but usually after about six weeks, a woman’s body will slowly return to the way it was before she became pregnant. Eventually your period will return as well and many first time mom’s wonder what to expect when it does return.

1 When will my first period be?

Every woman is different and so is the return of your period following childbirth. Everything depends on the unique characteristics of your body, so it is difficult to determine the exact time frame as to when you should expect your first period following childbirth.

Every woman is different and so is the return of your period following childbirth

Typically, women who are not breastfeeding find that their periods return between six and eight weeks of delivery. For women who are breastfeeding this time frame can vary greatly from one woman to the next. While some new mothers find that their periods return to normal quickly, others don’t end up having periods until several months later, some even don’t have them until they are no longer breastfeeding.

2 What will my first period look like?

Usually, the first few periods after a pregnancy are pretty tough. Many women notice cramps that are more painful as well as additional discomfort that they are not typically used to with their periods. There are also some reports that the first period is heavier than normal. However, these issues should improve as you have more periods until you eventually return to your normal period symptoms and flow.

the first few periods after a pregnancy are pretty tough

3 When will I be fertile again?

Usually, fertility returns along with your period. 56 days after you have delivered or if you are having at least 2 days in a row where you are bleeding, you can assume that your fertility has returned. However, ovulation may have already started back and this means that you have the possibility of becoming pregnant once again before you even have your first period after delivery.

fertility returns along with your period 56 days after you have delivered

4 How does breastfeeding affect this?

If you are breastfeeding exclusively, this usually means that your period will take longer to return than normal. This means that your baby is breastfeeding at all times and you are not using a supplement, such as formula or solid foods. If you are supplementing or if your baby is sleeping through the night, it may not take as long for your period to return, even if you are not supplementing.

If you are breastfeeding exclusively, this usually means that your period will take longer to return

Babies who use a pacifier to satisfy their need to suck may also not breastfeed as often and this may affect how soon your period returns after delivery as well. Many women who are breastfeeding notice that there is a small decrease in the amount of milk that they produce when their periods do return.

5 Take Precautions

You should never rely on your period to let you know if you are ovulating or not. In order to avoid becoming pregnant again soon after giving birth, it is important that you practice caution and safe sex during this time.

soon after giving birth, it is important that you practice caution and safe sex

If you are ready to have another baby, you should talk to your doctor before you begin trying again. There are certain time frames as to how long you should wait to become pregnant and every woman may have a different medical history that provides a different healing process than another.

6 Conclusion

After giving birth, your body will take some time to adjust to not being pregnant any longer. It is natural for it to go through some variance in your monthly period, so you should allow your body to return to normal before asking your doctor for assistance.

you should allow your body to return to normal before asking your doctor for assistance

After your first period returns, you can begin using sanitary devices as you would have before you became pregnant and may find some relief in premenstrual pain relief medications. However, if you are breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor before you begin taking any medications because the medicine will be passed on to your baby in your breast milk. Eventually, you should return to normal periods, but if you are still having issues after a few months, talk to your doctor.

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Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.

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