Ah, pregnancy. The bittersweet experience women go through. Even though, there are harder experiences that follow after delivering such as the emotional toll, crying baby and all the hardships that come with breastfeeding, your biggest reward is your adorable baby. And if you’re like many expectant moms, another huge perk is having your period go on an extended vacation. No more cramping, mood swings and discomfort that comes with getting your period! But even though many women enjoy this period, some can’t help but wonder when their period will come back after delivery.
When to expect your period after delivery
According to doctors, breastfeeding is the biggest factor that affects when you’ll get your period after delivery.
If you exclusively breastfeed your baby, it may take months for your period to resume. This is because the hormone responsible for producing breast milk suppresses ovulation. It’s normal not to menstruate for six months or longer. And many moms don’t have their first postpartum period until they stop breastfeeding.
On the flip side, women who don’t breastfeed at all find that their period resumes four to eight weeks after childbirth.
Will my postpartum period be different?
Once your period resumes after delivery, you should expect some changes in your uterus. This is because when you get pregnant, your uterus grows. Then after birth, it might shrink but still be larger than before.
You can expect some heavier bleeding and increased cramping with your initial postpartum period. But if you need to change your tampon or pad every hour or more frequently, alert your doctor. This could be a sign of a bigger problem such as an infection or fibroids.
Additionally, your menstrual cycle might change or become irregular. One menstrual cycle might be 24 days, the next one might be 28 days, and then another one could be 35 days. However, this shouldn’t be a cause for you to worry. Your cycle should stabilize within a few months or after you’ve stopped breastfeeding.
Can I get pregnant before my period returns?
Definite yes. In fact, some women find out the hard way. They think that just because they don’t get their period after delivery, they can’t get pregnant. Some women have fallen pregnant as soon as 6 weeks after delivering. Yikes!
A lot of moms rely on breastfeeding as a form of contraception, but doctors don’t recommend it. Even though ovulation is suppressed when you breast feed, it could still occur. And it is during this window that you can get pregnant.
Always use another method of birth control along with breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about which form is best for you, as some aren’t recommended for nursing moms.