Breastfeeding and Periods

Breastfeeding

There are many factors that contribute to comfortable and effective breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers usually do not have periods as the breastfeeding suppresses the onset of periods. However, some women do get their periods even when breastfeeding. There are many factors that contribute to getting a period during breastfeeding.

When Can You Expect Your Period During Breastfeeding?

Each woman will get her first period after delivery at a different time. It could vary from between 11 to 12 weeks after delivery, to up to a year. The average time for your first period after the baby is delivered, while breastfeeding, is typically six months. There are many factors that contribute towards you becoming fertile once again after delivery. Mums with lower progesterone levels will probably get their periods faster than mums with higher levels.

Factors That Determine How Soon Your Period Returns

Factors that influence the timing of your period include:

  • Your baby sleeps for more than four hours during the day or more than six hours during the night.
  • Your baby has started to eat solid foods.
  • You are also supplementing your feeding with formula.
  • You co-sleep with your baby.
  • You carry your baby close to you so that he can latch on whenever he wants to.

Mother sleeping next to baby

In short, the things that influence how soon your period returns while breastfeeding is:

  • Nursing style
  • Hormones
  • Uninterrupted sleep
  • Bottle feeding
  • Nursing duration

Will Periods Affect Breastfeeding?

If you do get your period while breastfeeding, the chances are that you will not notice any difference. However, some women will notice a few changes. These include:

  • Increased nipple tenderness during menstruation.
  • Shortage in milk supply a few days before menstruation for a couple of days.
  • A slight change in milk tastes due to which the baby might not want to feed.
  • Your breasts may grow a little.

Menstruation should not interrupt or stop breastfeeding. The change in hormones is normal, and within a few days, your body will adjust to the changes. Nursing during your menstrual cycle will not pose any harm to your health or the babies. If you do notice a drop in milk supply, then you must consult with your doctor. She might recommend that you take some natural supplements that could boost the milk production. Be sure to also visit your baby’s physician in order to ensure that your baby is getting the right amount of nutrition. This will be usually assessed by the amount of weight your baby is gaining.

Ways to Delay Menstrual Cycle While Breastfeeding

Steps that you can take in order to delay your menstruation during breastfeeding include:

  • Make sure that you feed your baby at intervals of no more than 4 hours during the day, and no more than 6 hours during the night.
  • Let your baby feed whenever he wants to. Keep your baby close and let him latch on when he needs to.
  • Make sure that you do breastfeed during the night. Long breaks between each feeding session will cause your body to revert to its old cycle.

Breastfeeding baby

FAQs

Can I Become Pregnant While Breastfeeding, If My Period Has Returned?

Getting your periods after pregnancy while breastfeeding is a sign that your body has started to ovulate again as before your pregnancy. Every month, an egg is released by your ovaries, and your uterus thickens in preparation for a pregnancy. When the egg is not fertilised, the egg and the lining of the uterus is expelled. This is known as menstruation. Since your body is releasing eggs that can be fertilised, you can also get pregnant if you are not using any contraception. Talk to your doctor about viable contraceptive methods while you are breastfeeding.

How Can I Cope with Period Pains?

Make sure that you are getting your daily recommended dose of minerals especially magnesium and calcium. These minerals will ease the pain and tenderness associated with periods. You must discuss the same with your doctor and ask for which supplements will safe for you and your baby during breastfeeding. You can also use other coping methods that you normally would during your periods such as using a hot compress on your lower back and abdomen. You must also walk around a little as it eases up cramping.

Are Irregular Periods during Breastfeeding Normal?

Irregular periods while breastfeeding is perfectly normal and common. The stimulation of the nipple causes a change in the hormones produced that increase milk production and suppressed the menstrual cycle.

Can Periods Vanish and Then Return Again?

Having irregular periods while breastfeeding is a completely normal occurrence. You can miss a few periods while breastfeeding, and this is okay. You should consult your doctor if you are concerned about missing your period. Be sure that you have an effective contraceptive method in place in order to avoid any unwanted pregnancies.

Will the Return of My Menstrual Cycle Mean That I’ll Produce Less Milk?

Some women do experience lesser milk production a few days before menstruation. You should ask your healthcare provider about taking natural supplements in order to increase your milk supply during those days.

Will I Need to Wean My Baby Because of Change in Milk Taste?

A change in breast milk taste due to menstruation does not mean that you will have to wean. This change will not last for many days. Consult with your doctor about these changes.

Getting your period during breastfeeding is common. Make sure that you talk to a healthcare provider about the various changes that come with menstruating while breastfeeding.

Also Read: 30 Best Foods to Increase Breast Milk