Breastfeeding & Periods - Find Out The Connection Here
Created by Urvashi Shah Updated on Jun 07, 2022
Your body goes through a number of changes after puberty, during pregnancy and after pregnancy. All of these changes are owned by the hormones. But the biggest changes that we come across are often during pregnancy and after giving birth.
The 9 months of pregnancy are a period free bliss for moms but many women do not have their periods back until they stop breastfeeding their infant. Some might discover spotting while some may have irregular periods for a long time until they stop nursing their child.
This is because the hormone that causes you to make milk, prolactin, also stops you from ovulating and having your period. If you are breastfeeding day and night, it can be up to a year before your period returns.
The factors determining when your period will return when you are breastfeeding are:
- How often you bottle feed your baby.
- The way your body responds to hormone changes.
- How often and how long your baby is breastfeeding.
Note- If your baby is being fed only using bottles, you may find your periods return shortly after birth. If your periods return they might not be regular and hence you shouldn’t be surprised when you skip a few months of menstruating. It will take a long time before your menstrual cycle will get back to normal.
Once you start reducing the time of breastfeeding your baby, you may soon notice some spotting at first which is an indication of your periods being around.
Not only this, periods have a significant amount of impact on breast milk too where women have often noticed a temporary drop in their supply before their periods begin. But this supply will increase once your hormones get back to normal.
Let us look how menstruation can be highly unpredictable during breastfeeding:
- Mothers experience postpartum bleeding after giving birth but that isn’t a period. The uterus is just shedding out the excessive blood after giving birth. A normal period might take a few months or even a few years to begin.
- Mothers bottle feeding their babies will have their periods within a couple of months of giving birth.
- Mothers who are breastfeeding can go without their periods for a few months and some might even go on without it for a few years. But this varies from one mother to another due to different composition of the hormonal levels.
- Some mothers have no periods while breastfeeding but may start their menstrual cycle as soon as they wean off their infant. But they are still prone to getting pregnant.
- Skipping a few months of periods during breastfeeding is normal. This is due to the hormonal changes in your body.
- Moms having premenstrual symptoms without any bleeding can conclude that their periods are near.
- Lactating moms can notice spotting often.
- Moms can experience a sudden but temporary drop in their milk supply before their periods begin. This will lead to fussiness in your baby as he might be experiencing hunger round the clock.
- A bit of tenderness in the breasts is common during breastfeeding during that time of the month which will get back to normal quickly. Hence, you might experience some pain while breastfeeding your little one.
- The taste of the milk might change during your periods which is why your baby can consume more or less milk at that time. This can make your child fussier where he will refuse to nurse while some will want more. But things will get back to normal soon as this change is only temporary.
Take note all of the above points and you will be good to go. These changes are however temporary and hence you shouldn’t worry much. If you wish you can seek medical attention in order to know about the correlation between your periods and breastfeeding.
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| Feb 07, 2018
Hi, i went through the article, its nice.. i have a doubt. Iam breastfeeding my 1 year 11 months daughter, but i got my regular periods in her 5th month itself. She is not bottle fed too. I was told i wont get periods till i breastfeed but its not the truth. There is a significant reduction in my weight which is under the healthy range only. Similar thing happened to my distant cousin too. I want to know the connection between the same.
| Jan 29, 2020
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