Many people believe that it is impossible to get pregnant while you are breastfeeding. It's true that breastfeeding does affect your fertility rate as long as you breastfeed exclusively. The hormones that produce milk decrease the amount of reproductive hormones a woman releases. If a woman breastfeeds exclusively, she often doesn't ovulate and doesn't have any periods. This doesn't last forever and many women will eventually have a period while breastfeeding. What does a woman do then?
Many women will have a period while breastfeeding and there isn't a particular time when it begins to happen. Every breastfeeding woman is different as to when she will likely have her period. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, it is possible to have an ovulation between 9 and 10 weeks after having your baby. This leads to a period exactly two weeks later, which will be at about 11-12 weeks after having a baby. Other women won't have a period until their baby is one year old.
On average, it takes about 6 months for a breastfeeding mom to begin having periods. You will be more likely to have a period while breastfeeding if these scenarios happen:
You will be less likely to have a period while breastfeeding if these things are true:
The time will also be affected by how much progesterone you have circulating in your body. If you have low progesterone levels, you may get your periods sooner than those women with high progesterone levels.
A few women will notice nothing different when it comes to the period during breastfeeding. Some women will notice a few changes, including:
Most of the changes are brief and will not be very noticeable. It all depends on your hormone levels. After you have had your period for a couple of days, the breastfeeding will seem the same as before and you won't notice anything.
This is a normal phenomenon, more related to having just given birth than actually having a period. You will have built up a lot of blood while you were pregnant, so this amount of blood loss is not considered dangerous.
This kind of bleeding occurs because the placenta has detached from the uterus and there are blood vessels that are not exposed and will bleed from the lining of the uterus. When the placenta comes out, the uterus will tightly contract so that the blood vessels are cut off and the bleeding will be reduced.
This phenomenon is also called lochia. It is like menstrual period bleeding but is quite a bit heavier than a regular period and contains tissue and mucus coming from the uterus right after birth. This starts up a few hours after birth and lasts as long as 2-3 weeks. Some women, however, will experience this type of bleeding for at least six weeks after giving birth.
You will experience lochia initially as bright red bleeding for about 4-10 days. After this period of time, the lochia will lighten and become pinker in color. Gradually, it will come to be a yellow or white color and will eventually fade away.
What to Do About It
Lochia isn't a health problem and should be considered normal. It will go away without having to do anything. But there are some things you can do to make lochia not as much of a problem. These include:
If you think your bleeding is related with lochia, watch the video below to get more info about it: