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Postnatal Care

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When Is The First Period After Birth?

Most women wonder when their first menstrual period is expected to come after delivery. Well, the truth is that there is no definite answer for this question since every woman is unique. Thus, the timing is different for every mother and it could depend both on your body and how you are breastfeeding your baby.

There is however a link between breastfeeding your baby and when your first period shows up after childbirth. Shreds of scientific evidences have indicated that periods take longer to come for women who are breastfeeding their babies, whereas, it takes a shorter time for mothers who do not breastfeed their children.

If you are breastfeeding round the clock, it could take as long as over a year for your first period to come. Nevertheless, breastfeeding mothers who are lucky enough to have children who sleep through the night from an early stage may experience their first menstrual flow earlier. In such situations, the first period could come anytime between three and eight months after childbirth. The reason is simply the fact that when your baby sucks on your breast, it suppresses the hormones that trigger ovulation. Thus, any gap between feeding, even if its overnight, may prompt the body to release hormones that could start your menstrual cycle. In other words, if your baby breastfeeds more often, and the more time she spends on your breast, the longer it is for you to get your periods again.

Some mothers are actually using breastfeeding as a method of contraceptive and it’s known as Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM). Of course, the effectiveness of LAM depends on how often, as well as how long your baby sucks during each feed. Nonetheless, you can only try this approach of birth control if you are comfortable with the possibility of becoming pregnant again during the first year. The reason is that there are possibilities for you to still ovulate and conceive even if you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby.

On the other hand, mothers who formula-feed their babies may start their periods earlier. In most cases, they may experience their first period anytime between five weeks and three months after delivery. Therefore, if you are feeding your baby with formula exclusively, you could be pregnant again just three weeks after having your baby.
It is worthy to note that irregular period is common after childbirth and it takes some time for your cycle to become regular again.

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