After I delivered my first baby, I was quite uncertain about my menstrual cycle. You see, this would seem like a whole new thing after nine months of complete freedom from periods. So just like any first-time mom, I wasn’t sure what I should expect from my periods. Just like every pregnancy, every mom’s body is different and the hormonal changes and recovery for each mom is unique and there are a few things you can expect from your periods after pregnancy.
As a new mom living in a nuclear set-up, I had so many questions:
After asking same questions from many mummies and googling for hours, I found some answers to my questions.
Also read: Does Gaining Weight Cause Irregular Periods?
There is no fixed timeline as to when will you get your first periods after delivery. Some women get their first cycle within the first 10 weeks after delivery while some get it much later. It varies from person to person. The post-partum or lochia bleeding gets over in 40 days or 6 weeks – after which you can expect your period anytime.
Since I was breastfeeding, it took about nine weeks until I had my first cycle post the baby. For those who are not breastfeeding it can sometimes return at six weeks as well. If you are breastfeeding your baby, your periods may not return for several months after childbirth. This is because the hormone that causes you to make milk, prolactin, also stops you from ovulating and having your period.
While your periods returning may not have much direct effect on your baby, some infants don’t like the change of taste in the breast milk. Also, your supply gets reduced and babies spend more time on the breast wanting to nurse more and as a result, become cranky for not getting enough milk.
Your baby may:
The above changes in your baby’s behavior will not last for many days – so don’t get worried. If it doesn’t improve even after your periods are over, then talk to your doctor.
Since you’re breastfeeding, and producing prolactin it delays your periods as well as ovulation after pregnancy. Since your ovulation gets delayed, so does the menstrual cycle. But, never consider breastfeeding as an alternative to contraception as some women have been known to conceive even during this time.
Preferably avoid tampons at this time and use pads as they are non intrusive. Once all the postpartum checkups are done, your doctor will be able to advise you on when it is safe to use a tampon again.
Tampons have been known to cause toxic shock syndrome in some women, so you can also consider using a menstrual cup as a safe and eco-friendly alternative.
It is likely that the initial days will be a little different. I experienced a slight amount of blood clotting and a little bit more bleeding. Naturally, I was worried and spoke to several other moms and my doctor to see if it is was an issue.
Most women report a change in their periods – for better or for worse. You could experience the following:
However, after a few cycles, your periods do return to normal and you will not really feel any difference.
I had a lot of vaginal discharge post-delivery. This is quite a common phenomenon with all women. Irrespective of whether you had a normal delivery or C-section, you will bleed and experience vaginal discharge. This is a part of the recovery process as the tissue that lines the uterus need to be shed after the delivery.
Be mentally prepared for the following:
Also read: Your Reproductive Cycle: A Complete Guide
Personally, for me, the transition was not that bad. It did not take too long to get back to normal. With the help of your doctor and a good lifestyle, you will feel like your old self in no time. How long before you got your first period? Share below!
Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you