First menstrual period after childbirth. What should you know?
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First menstrual period after childbirth. What should you know?

Few moms know that the first period that appears after childbirth is not the bleeding that occurs after the baby comes into the world, but another period that sometimes occurs much later. When? No one really knows, because it depends on a number of factors, which include breastfeeding. What should you know about it?

What does bleeding look like after giving birth?

Bleeding that occurs immediately after childbirth is not a period, but a kind of cleansing of the body from all the remains. This discharge is initially blood-red in color, which later turns brown and is called puerperal feces. After about 1.5 months, the body of the new mother will begin to return to normal. During this period there will be shrinking and also cleansing of the uterus. In addition to blood, the woman may also have to deal with slightly larger fragments of mucus or membranes. The very heavy discharge that occurs after birth is completely normal and should not cause you to worry. After two weeks, the bloody discharge, which is similar to a period, will turn brown, then yellow and finally clear

When is the first period after childbirth?

The first period after childbirth in most cases occurs much later than the end of the puerperal discharge described above. How long you have to wait for your first period depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is, of course, breastfeeding. The truth is, however, that most often your first period will appear at around 12 weeks postpartum. We’re talking about moms who don’t breastfeed their baby or do it alternately, because women who breastfeed won’t get their period until about 6 months after giving birth.

The longest period after childbirth – what should you know?

The truth is that after childbirth, a lot of hormonal changes take place in a woman’s body, so it is simply impossible to know exactly when the period will occur, as well as how heavy the bleeding will be. Some moms have very heavy periods that are even a few days longer than they were before pregnancy. Conversely, some women see more sparse bleeding that lasts one to three days

How does breastfeeding affect your postpartum period?

Some time ago, women claimed that breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive. Although this sounds completely irrational, there is nevertheless some truth in this myth. During breastfeeding, a woman’s body produces what is called prolactin, which is responsible for milk production. This is a hormone that affects menstruation and fertility. This is why women who breastfeed regularly may not have a period for up to 24 months. However, we must not forget that this only applies to regular breastfeeding, which takes place every 2.5 hours or so without any deviation. If this time is extended by even an hour, there will be a drop in prolactin levels in the body, which results in the start of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, it is not an ideal way to prevent the next pregnancy. Moreover, the period occurring after childbirth does not always let you know that you are ovulating.

Period regularity after childbirth

Irregular menstrual periods after childbirth are quite normal in most cases, as a woman’s body needs a lot of time to return to its pre-pregnancy state. What’s more, it is not uncommon for the period after childbirth to never be the same again as it was before. Sometimes it happens that women after the birth of a child have irregular periods or on the contrary, they enjoy an unprecedented regularity. It is also worth mentioning that menstruation after childbirth can be both painful and devoid of any discomfort. In addition, irregular periods also occur due to hormonal changes, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, stress or exhaustion.

Photo: by Oana Cristina, source:

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