Breastfeeding And Your Period: Understanding What Happens

Many new moms wonder when they will see their period. I was one of them.

Your period is connected to fertility, pregnancy, and even breastfeeding. Missing a period is one of the first signs of pregnancy, and while you’re pregnant, the hormones in your body keep your period away.

Then, if you decide to breastfeed, your period may stay away for weeks, months, or longer. So, when should you expect your period to return and how will menstruation affect breastfeeding and your baby?

You may have many questions about what to expect once your baby is born. Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding and your period.

There are so many questions surrounding breastfeeding and periods, with so much info out there it is hard to know when will your period come back while breastfeeding. Every woman’s body is different and every breastfeeding journey is unique.

Lets begin with after the birth of the baby. 

After birth , certain conditions make it possible for you to see your period

The bleeding that you’ll have right after your baby is born may seem like a period, but that’s not actually what it is. It’s called lochia, and it’s a mixture of blood, mucus, and tissue from the lining of your uterus. Lochia starts out as bright red bleeding. It can be very heavy, and it may contain blood clots.

When do I see my period after my baby is born?

Breastfeeding could hold off your period longer. However, even if you do breastfeed, you could get your period back right away. You are more likely to get your period back sooner if:https://277810b69f2d58b215ad5b2cdea0fc8d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Your Period and Breastfeeding: Here’s what happens

Breastfeeding after seeing your period is ok

When your period does return, it doesn’t mean you have to wean your baby. Breastfeeding while you have your period is perfectly safe. It’s not harmful to you or your child at all. There is no set time as to when your period will come back after delivery. Certain conditions will give certain results. Each woman is different.

Your breast milk is still healthy and nutritious for your baby. However, hormone changes in the days leading up to your period can affect your breast milk and your baby’s breastfeeding pattern for a few days.

You may not notice any difference in breastfeeding when your period returns. And, even if there are some changes, your baby may not mind and continue to breastfeed as usual.

It’s also possible that the return of your period can cause nipple tenderness, a dip in your breast milk supply, and for the taste of your breast milk to change.

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Research shows that the composition of breast milk changes around ovulation (mid-cycle).3 The levels of sodium and chloride in the milk go up while lactose (milk sugar) and potassium go down. So, the breast milk becomes saltier and less sweet during this time. 

Also around the time of ovulation and just before the start of your period, estrogen and progesterone levels change which can affect your breasts and your breast milk. When estrogen and progesterone levels go up, it can make your breasts feel full and tender.

Higher estrogen levels can also interfere with milk production. Studies also show that calcium levels in the blood go down after ovulation.4 The lower level of calcium may also contribute to sore nipples and a drop in the milk supply.

Here Is The Reason Why You Have No Period While Breastfeeding 

Breastfeeding can put off the return of your menstrual cycle for many months, a year, or even longer. The reason why many women do not get a period is that your body does not release hormones in your body that prepare you for a new pregnancy. It depends on your body and how often and how long you decide to breastfeed. Your period may stay away longer if you:

  • Breastfeed exclusively
  • Nurse both day and night
  • Keep your baby close to you by baby-wearing and co-sleeping
  • Avoid giving your child a bottle or a pacifier
  • Refrain from supplementing with formula or water
  • Hold off on starting solid foods until your little one is four to six months old

Once you are breastfeeding less often such as when your baby is sleeping through the night or you begin weaning, your period is more likely to start up again. Although, some women don’t get their period for a few months after breastfeeding has completely ended. When it finally shows up, breastfeeding more often will not get it to stop again.

Remember pumping or expressing breast milk by hand does not have the same effect on your body as breastfeeding does. If you choose to pump and bottle feed your baby, it will not hold off your period.( Paid link)

Period Return Equals- Fertility Is Here Again

When your period returns, you should consider yourself fertile.6 If you’re not ready to have another baby right away, you may want to look into birth control.

Your doctor will most likely talk to you about your birth control options during your first postpartum doctor visit at approximately four to six weeks after your baby is born. If not, bring it up and be sure to tell her that you’re breastfeeding since some types of birth control can interfere with your supply of breast milk.

Getting Pregnant Before Your Period Returns

Always remember that you can get pregnant before seeing your period

You can release an egg from your ovary (ovulate) before your period returns. Therefore, there is a chance that you can become pregnant while you’re breastfeeding even before your period comes back.

So, if you’re involved in an intimate relationship, and you’re not using birth control, it is possible to find yourself expecting again without ever getting your first postpartum period.

Breast Tenderness During Period

Take care of breastfeeding issues as soon as possible
Make sure to consult your lactation specialist for any issues with breastfeeding issues

It’s not uncommon to experience sore nipples when you get your period. So, for a few days before your period starts, it may be a little uncomfortable to breastfeed. Here are some tips to help you deal with nipple tenderness. (Paid link)

  • Try not to let the pain prevent you from breastfeeding, if possible.
  • Practice skin to skin and continue to put the baby to the breast so you can maintain your milk supply and prevent other breastfeeding problems such as breast engorgementnipple blebsplugged milk ducts, and mastitis.
  • Avoid using a numbing cream to try to relieve the pain. These products can numb your baby’s mouth and interfere with the let-down of your breast milk
  • Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to use an over-the-counter pain reliever for the few days it hurts.
  • Pump your breast milk, if it’s too painful and you just cannot breastfeed. Pumping will help you keep up your milk supply while you’re waiting for the tenderness to pass. It also allows you to continue to give your baby your breast milk.

How to increase Your Milk Supply

The decrease in your milk supply related to your period is usually temporary. You may notice the dip during the few days before your period arrives. Then, once you get your period, your supply should begin to increase again as the hormones balance out. To combat a low breast milk supply during your period you can:5

  • Try to build up your breast milk supply naturally.
  • Use an herbal breastfeeding tea or another galactagogue to help boost your milk production.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with iron-rich foods (red meat, leafy greens) and milk-making superfoods (oatmeal, almonds, fennel).
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Try a combination of calcium and magnesium supplements such as 1000mg of calcium taken with 500mg of magnesium before and during your period.
  • Talk to your doctor, a lactation consultant, or a local breastfeeding group for more information and helpful advice.
  • Observe your baby’s soiled nappies.

If your milk supply drops too low, it could be dangerous for your baby. So, you should also:

Bottom line

Breastfeeding can affect your period, and your period can affect breastfeeding, your breast milk, and your baby. While many women do not notice any changes when their period returns, some women experience inconvenient or concerning issues.

It is so good to know that the most common breastfeeding problems that result from the return of your period are temporary. Of course, you may decide that the sore nipples and extra work it takes to keep up your milk supply are just too much. While it’s still safe and beneficial to breastfeed when you have your period, some moms choose to wean once their period returns.

It may even be easier if the baby is breastfeeding less due a lower breast milk supply and change in the flavor of the milk. While it’s true that the longer you can breastfeed, the better it is for you and your child, it’s really up to you and what works best for your family. Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you learned something. Do visit again and know that God loves you. Ask Him to help you as you go through your challenges through out life. I wish you every success in your breastfeeding journey. Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you. .Just so you know, Breast Fed Is Best Academy may earn commissions from shopping links.

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Published by Marilyn Smith

Hello. My name is Marilyn Smith. I am a Health Specialist with specialized skills in Clinical Practical Nursing, and Midwife of thirty six years. I am also a certified Lactation and Grief Specialist. I am well qualified to assist in meeting your breastfeeding needs. Breastfeeding is indeed the best for your baby. Congratulations on making such a wonderful decision. Consider this your home as we learn about the joys and pains of pregnancy & breastfeeding

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