There is a common belief among new mothers that they can avoid their period by breastfeeding exclusively. It’s time to bust few myths! The truth lies in the fact that you will, like before, soon start menstruating. At times, your period may start within just a few weeks of delivery.
The time when you are fully breastfeeding and not menstruating is called lactational amenorrhea. Read on to know more about breastfeeding and periods.
Return Of Period While Breastfeeding:
Your period shall return after the birth of your baby. If you are not breastfeeding, you can expect your cycle to return within 3 months. However, it might vary from mother to mother.
- Even if you are nursing, you can get back your periods. However, in some cases your menstrual cycle may get delayed by about a year when you are breastfeeding.
- When you are nursing round the clock, you can expect your cycles to stay away for greater lengths. Again, when you are not feeding so or offer baby a pacifier and start weaning, you may start menstruating.
- In some cases, menstruation does not return for few months unless you have stopped breastfeeding completely.
- Once your period returns, it will continue every month. It will not stop or discontinue even if you start breastfeeding again.
[ Read: First Period After Cesarean ]
Breastfeeding While You Are Menstruating:
Often, mothers have misconception that breastfeeding during menstruation is not a right thing to do.
- Nursing your baby while having periods doesn’t cause any harm to her.
- The quality of your breast milk remains the same.
- The taste of your breast milk may change because of the hormonal changes that your body undergoes.
[ Read: How To Relieve Engorged Breasts ]
- Sometimes, you may notice decrease in the milk supply. These occasional changes can make your little one a bit fussy. There is nothing to worry about. It’s all a natural phenomenon.
- If you feel your milk production reduces while you have your periods, you might try to spend more time with your baby skin to skin or offer the breast more frequently.
- You can also talk to your doctor about mineral and vitamin supplies to ensure your little one is getting sufficient milk.
- You may also notice sore nipples. It is a condition that you may experience because of your menstruation cycle.
- It might get a little difficult for you to breastfeed your baby once your period starts, mostly because of the physical pain the phase brings with it.
- Try to apply coconut or olive oil to release soreness. Regular breastfeeding helps maintain a good supply of milk and also reduces the chances of problems like engorgement, mastitis, blebs and plugged milk ducts.
[ Read: 25 Foods To Increase Breast Milk ]
First Period After Breastfeeding:
With the return of your periods, returns your fertility. You need to keep in mind that your chances of getting pregnant remain high even when you have not started menstruating. Strange it may sound, but human body doesn’t follow a stringent rule. Here are few points you should learn about:
- You may start ovulating even before your period begins.
- In case you are not adopting the birth control measures, you may expect again without getting the first postpartum period.
- If you do not wish to plan another pregnancy, rely on contraceptives.
- You can talk to your doctor about the birth control options. Make sure to tell the doctor about the type of birth control you use, since it might interfere with your milk production.
[ Read: Chances Of Pregnancy While Breastfeeding ]
If you are yet to have a talk with your doctor, make sure to fix an appointment at the earliest.
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