Table of contents:
- How long after childbirth does menstruation come
- Is it possible to menstruate while breastfeeding?
- Common postpartum period changes
Postpartum menstruation varies depending on whether a woman is breastfeeding or not, since breastfeeding causes spikes in the hormone prolactin, which can inhibit ovulation and, consequently, delay the first period.
Thus, if a woman exclusively breastfeeds every day until 6 months after giving birth, she does not menstruate, this period being known as lactational amenorrhea. However, when breastfeeding stops being exclusive, which happens around 6 months, or when it stops completely around 2 years of age, menstruation may stop.
Nevertheless, it is also possible for a woman to menstruate a few months after giving birth, even if she is exclusively breastfed, since hormonal changes can vary from woman to woman, so menstruation can happen regardless of breastfeeding.
In the first 2 to 3 days after delivery until around the 3rd week, it is normal for women to bleed, however, this bleeding is not considered menstruation, as it does not contain any eggs and is due to the exit of the structures lining the uterus, as well as remnants of the placenta, being scientifically called lochia. Learn more about postpartum bleeding and when to be concerned.
How long after childbirth does menstruation come
The first period after childbirth depends on how the woman breastfeeds the baby, since if breastfeeding is exclusive, there are spikes in the hormone prolactin, responsible for milk production, which can inhibit ovulation and have as a consequence the delay in menstruation.
However, if breastfeeding is mixed, that is, if the woman breastfeeds and gives the bottle, menstruation may stop because the baby's stimulation of milk production is no longer regular, altering the prolactin peak.However, as hormonal changes vary from woman to woman, it is possible for menstruation to occur regardless of breastfeeding, and may occur a few months after delivery.
In general, the onset of menstruation depends on how the baby is fed, the most common times being:
How the baby is fed
When will menstruation come
|Drink artificial milk||Up to 3 months after giving birth|
|Exclusive breastfeeding||Around 6 months|
|Breastfeeding and bottle||Between 3 to 4 months after the baby is born|
Is it possible to menstruate while breastfeeding?
In general, the longer the baby breastfeeds, the longer the first period will be after delivery, but as soon as the baby starts to decrease feedings, it is possible to have ovulation, with menstruation coming soon after. However, this is not a rule, because hormone levels can vary from woman to woman, so you can start menstruating again even if the baby is fed exclusively through breastfeeding, although infrequent.
A popular belief is that menstruation decreases the amount of breast milk, but the opposite is true, because the less milk a woman produces, the greater the chance that she will ovulate and that menstruation will come.
Common postpartum period changes
Menstrual flow may be a little different from what the woman was used to before becoming pregnant, and the amount of blood and color may change.
It is also normal for menstruation to be irregular, coming in greater or lesser amounts for 2 or 3 months, but from then on it is expected to become more regular.If this does not happen, it is important to consult the gynecologist for an evaluation to be carried out and to know the reason for the dysregulation of menstruation.
However, as the first ovulation after childbirth is unpredictable, the woman must adopt some contraceptive method, even if she exclusively breastfeeds so as not to run the risk of becoming pregnant again, and the contraceptive method must be prescribed by the gynecologist to adapt the best method to the woman, taking into account whether she breastfeeds or not or possible hormonal changes that were left after childbirth.
In addition, the regularity of menstruation can be influenced by the use or not of contraceptives, that is, if the woman breastfeeds, about 6 weeks after giving birth, she can start taking a contraceptive, the most used contraceptive breastfeeding, which contains only progesterone and not estrogen, since this can cause a decrease in milk production and change its quality.
If the woman does not intend to breastfeed, she can start some contraceptive methods, such as normal contraceptives, right after childbirth, or 48 hours after birth, the IUD, which will help regulate menstruation. Know which contraceptive to take while breastfeeding.