The days you have your periods are considered the worst few days of the month by most women, but when you add breastfeeding to the equation, things get even more complicated. Parenting books don’t talk much about this matter which makes it even difficult to tackle through. So today, I am trying to clear up certain truths and myths related to this topic:
1. The Blood You See After Childbirth is Period Blood – Myth
The bleeding you experience right after the baby is born is actually a mixture of blood, mucus and tissue called locia. Since the lining of uterus is not required after the birth of baby, the body starts shedding it. It can last up to 6 weeks and starts out bright red in colour. It then takes a lighter colour and eventually becoming brown. But in the case of C-section most mothers don’t see this blood much as it is cleared up by the doctor during childbirth.
2. You Won’t Get Your Periods while Breastfeeding – Myth
One could get their first real period anywhere in between 6 weeks to 3 months if they are not at all breastfeeding. It depends on person to person. However, even if you are breastfeeding, your period generally resumes in 9-18 months.
If your child goes without breastfeeding for certain hours, such as when he sleeps through the night, or after the introduction of solid food and infant formula, you will start ovulating even while you’re breastfeeding. Once your periods return, they may be irregular, especially if you are still producing milk. It is not unusual for your periods to change in terms of duration or to skip few months.
3. You Can Breastfeed while You’re on Your Periods – Truth
You can definitely breastfeed your baby while you’re on your periods. Your milk is still safe and healthy for your baby and won’t affect you or your baby adversely at all.
4. Your Periods Don’t Affect Breastfeeding at All – Myth
During your periods, due to a dip in calcium levels, your milk supply goes down as a result of which your nipples may become sore. Due to a change in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, the breast feels full and tender. Similarly, the levels of sodium and chloride in your breastmilk goes up resulting in more saltier milk.
5. Your Milk Supply Decreases during Your Periods – Truth
Yes, it’s not your ‘mom brain’ trying to make you imagine things. Even though temporary in nature, your milk supply does reduces from few days before period to mid period.
To combat this drink herbal tea, eat well-balanced iron rich food, take calcium and magnesium supplements, keep yourself well hydrated and take natural milk making food items.
6. Your Periods Don’t Affect Your Baby in Any Way – Myth
Your baby not only has to deal with the change in the taste of the breastmilk but also has to make do with low quantity. As a result, your baby could become fussy. But this is only temporary in nature.
7. You Can’t Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding – Myth
Breastfeeding is not a 100% perfect birth control; you are fertile once your period begins. In fact, even if your period has not started you can still release an egg from your ovary. Thus, there is a chance of pregnancy. You can get pregnant even if your periods are irregular periods.
I know getting the hang of breastfeeding is very difficult and periods just mess up the whole system we have going. Not only does it affect us but it also affects our baby as well. But please stay away from myths and continue breastfeeding with ease!
Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions (including content in any form) expressed within this post are those of the author alone. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The responsibility for intellectual property rights of this content rests with the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with him/her.