The first period after pregnancy is one of the most important moments after birth. Menstruation, and especially the first period after pregnancy, is one of the main women’s health criteria. And new mums very often ask the question: when should the first period after pregnancy come and what should it be like? So, let’s figure out this issue!
Why don’t you have a period after pregnancy?
Many women very often confuse postpartum bleeding with menstruation. But actually, these are different phenomena. The postpartum bleeding is usually bright red, then it darkens and its amount becomes less. Such bleedings can be bothering you within a month. If you had a Caesarean section, this term can be longer.
After the baby’s birth, mum’s organism experiences hormonal changes again. And now it is prolactin that is responsible for such changes and mainly lactation. An increased prolactin level suppresses ovarian function, and that’s why there is no menstruation after birth. Nature cares about the woman and her child in such a way that all the organism’s forces are aimed at breastfeeding.
When should you expect the first period after pregnancy?
Of course, there are a lot of aspects that influence the first menstruation after pregnancy, such as stresses, diseases, hormonal level, and so on. But the most important of them is lactation. It’s possible to define the following time indicators:
- You won’t have a period after birth during the whole lactation period. The exception takes place only if you continue to breastfeed your baby after 1 year. In this case, periods can resume.
- If there is a significant lack of mother’s milk and you have to use formula, menstruation can begin in 4-5 months after birth.
- Artificial feeding is not unusual. Some mothers can’t breastfeed because of health problems, and some of them, unfortunately, refuse to breastfeed. In such cases, the period will come in 1-1.5 months after birth.
- After Caesarean section, the beginning of menstruation also depends on the baby’s feeding. If you breastfeed, the period won’t come until the end of lactation.
But there are also other factors that you should take into account, for example, your lifestyle and diet, your age, chronic diseases, emotional state. Every organism is individual, so it’s impossible to figure out the exact time of the first period after pregnancy.
The intensity and duration of the first period after pregnancy
Let’s find the answers to other important questions about the first period after pregnancy, such as: how long will it last and how intense should it be? Most often, the new mums notice that the unpleasant sensations during a period have disappeared and a regular cycle has established. The first period can have some changes, and doctors don’t consider it an abnormality. For example, the menstruation can be too heavy and last longer than before pregnancy. Nevertheless, it’s better to consult a doctor and discuss all the peculiarities of your first period after pregnancy. Try to do it sooner if the first menstruation after pregnancy is accompanied by weakness, dizziness or arrhythmia.
Actually, it’s not so important how long the first period after pregnancy lasts: it can be about 7-8 days or even 2-3 days long. But the duration of the period should become normal after about 2-3 months. It’s much more important.
The signs of danger: when is it better to consult a doctor?
Despite the fact that you naturally don’t have much time after giving birth, you should regularly visit your gynecologist. And there are some cases when it’s better to do it as soon as possible:
- The menstruation after birth is too heavy;
- The discharge has an unpleasant odor;
- Too scarce menstruation or its absence 3 months after the end of lactation.
All the cases mentioned above are serious reasons to consult a doctor!
The absence of menstruation after pregnancy: is it an effective contraception?
Unfortunately, no. A lot of couples, to their surprise, discovered a new pregnancy in an advanced stage during the absence of a period after pregnancy. The point is that the ovulation occurs two weeks before the first period after birth and you are not aware of it. And then the news of the second pregnancy shocks the new parents. The mum’s body isn’t ready for the new challenges at the time – it takes from 1 to 2 years for its full rehabilitation. So it’s better to plan another pregnancy, taking into account this circumstance.
All in all, the time of the first period after pregnancy is individual. So, don’t worry if your friend has already had the first period after giving birth, but you still don’t have any signs. Also, don’t compare another indicator – how long the first menstruation after pregnancy lasts. It depends on a lot of individual factors as well. But if you’ve noticed one of the signs of danger mentioned above, consult a doctor as soon as possible and take care of your health! Now you have a baby who needs a healthy mother!