You just had a baby and life is quite different and is all about feeding schedules and new sleeping habits. With all of this new mom craze (and joy!) You probably have a ton of questions about the weird body stuff that is happening to * you * in those first few months as well. Example: WTF is running with your postpartum periods?
Your body will get used to not being pregnant again in the first month or two after giving birth, and the bleeding will be fairly persistent. But this isn’t really your period returning to your pre-baby schedule. The first phase after pregnancy will likely take a few months to get back on track, although it will vary from person to person and will depend on whether you are breastfeeding or not. In some cases, it may be different than it was before pregnancy.
Ahead of you, a gynecologist will explain everything you should know about postpartum bleeding and what to expect from this first real phase after pregnancy.
The bleeding immediately after having a baby is not your period, FYI.
While it feels like you’ve had a long period after giving birth (and using a * tonne * of pads), the bleeding you’re experiencing isn’t your period. This postpartum bleeding is called LochiaYour uterus is all of the lining that was built up during pregnancy. “The blood, mucus, and discharge from these makeup lochia can persist for up to six to eight weeks after giving birth,” explains Dr. Kameelah Phillips, a gynecologist and founder of Calla Women’s Health.
Lochia can drain and drain during this postpartum period (pun intended), says Dr. Phillips. It starts to turn red, then turns to pink, and then turns to a yellowish-white color. After this course, which usually lasts a month and a half or two, you may find that your periods return, which are generally bright red again or the color you are used to. In other cases, it will also take longer to menstruate again.
When your actual period returns may depend on breastfeeding.
“The return of your menstrual period depends on the person and the regularity of breastfeeding,” says Dr. Phillips. Sometimes the longer you breastfeed, the longer it takes for your period to get back on schedule. That’s because breastfeeding releases a hormone called prolactin, which can send a message to the brain to delay the hormonal process of ovulation (because you are literally feeding a baby).
“Lactation amenorrhea, ie the absence of breastfeeding, can last up to a year or more, depending on the person,” adds Dr. Phillips added. Some people consider lactation amenorrhea a form of birth control (when your baby is younger than six months, doesn’t eat solid foods or formula at all, and you are not getting your menstrual period), but it’s * not * considered a safe way to prevent pregnancy .
Other people get their periods back faster, even when they are breastfeeding. Your periods usually don’t affect your milk supply, says Dr. Phillips (however, if you have milk production or feeding problems, it is best to consult your gynecologist who can refer you to a lactation advisor). It means that as soon as your periods return, you can get pregnant. You will likely start ovulating regularly once your period is back on schedule.
When your first postpartum period arrives, you can expect it to be back to what it was before you had your baby, although it may be a little heavier.
At first, your first postpartum period could be heavier, especially if you’ve had a c-section, says Dr. Phillips. The uterus may still lose its lining after pregnancy, so there may be extra blood.
However, there is usually no increase in pain during your postpartum periods, says Dr. Phillips. The Lochia discharge period usually involves cramps as your uterus contracts and returns to its normal size. But often, once it comes, your actual period will be about the same for pain, cramping, and PMS symptoms as it was before you were born (unfortunately for some people).
In terms of regularity, you will most likely experience regular periods after giving birth, says Dr. Phillips, with a cycle of around 21 to 35 days (or whatever “regular” means to you). But this, too, can fluctuate due to breastfeeding. Sometimes your period will stop and start a few times before going back to normal. However, your second postpartum period is more similar in flow and length to your pre-pregnancy periods.
You can usually return to birth control six to eight weeks after the delivery if you wish.
Returning to birth control really depends on you and what kind of birth control you did (or didn’t) before pregnancy. However, it is entirely possible that after the lochia ends, you will immediately jump back and get pregnant again in the first few months after giving birth – whether you plan to do so or not.
If you don’t try, speak to your gynecologist about birth control options. “We usually start using birth control six to eight weeks after giving birth,” says Dr. Phillips. “However, depending on the patient, we can start contraception immediately after the birth.” It’s completely patient-specific – you need to decide what works for you, whether or not to use hormonal birth control, and how to clear out births if you want more children.
It is important to have a thorough discussion with your doctor about postpartum contraception as it will affect your menstrual cycle and may also change your bleeding patterns, adds Dr. Phillips added.
Ultimately, tHere you will find a wide range of information that is considered “normal” for both postpartum bleeding and your first real periods after pregnancy.
There is usually nothing to worry about if your periods don’t look or feel quite the same as you used to before the baby. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your doctor.
- Profuse bleeding. In the first few weeks after giving birth, bleeding is common. However, if the severity persists beyond that six to eight week period, call your doctor.
- Big lumps. Passing blood clots is also normal, but if blood clots are accompanied by abnormally heavy bleeding and are larger than a walnut, it could be cause for concern, says Dr. Phillips. Pay attention to the severity of the blood as well as the size of the blood clot.
- Bleeding through multiple pads. You will be using some pads both during your lochia period and at the beginning of your period. However, if you need two pads after giving birth (during lochia or when your period starts again) and you still have blood through them, talk to your doctor.
- Drowsiness or fainting. If you feel particularly weak, light-headed, or passed out after giving birth, it may be due to excessive bleeding. This could be a sign of anemia. Therefore, contact your gynecologist for a blood test.
The bottom line: Most women start menstruating again about a month and a half to two months after giving birth, although this can vary and depend on breastfeeding. Your periods may be heavier and more irregular at first, but will likely return to what you experienced before pregnancy.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com
READ MORE ON: Health health advice menstrual periods