woman breastfeeding her baby with one breast

The Return of Periods During Breastfeeding: The End of the Postpartum Honeymoon?

The arrival of a baby is a magical moment for parents, but it can also be a time of great hormonal upheaval for the mother. After giving birth, a woman's body goes through many changes, including the drop in pregnancy hormones and the resumption of ovulation. For breastfeeding women, the return of periods can be a sign that the postpartum "honeymoon" period is over. In this article, we'll explore why periods may return during breastfeeding, how it affects postpartum, and how to deal with this situation.

Why do periods come back while breastfeeding?

When you breastfeed, your body produces prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production. Prolactin also inhibits ovulation, meaning that many women who breastfeed exclusively do not get their periods for several months or even more than a year.

However, it is worth emphasizing that every woman is unique and some may get their period earlier than others, even if they are exclusively breastfeeding. This depends on many factors, such as the frequency and duration of feedings, as well as the mother's age and health.

When you start introducing solid foods to your baby or reduce breastfeeding, prolactin production decreases, which can cause periods to return.

How does the return of periods affect postpartum?

Baby asleep in his mother's arms

Postpartum is a time of transition for new mothers, which can be both emotional and physical. The return of periods can add an extra layer of stress and discomfort to this already difficult time.

It is essential to understand that menstrual bleeding can lead to iron loss, which can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Additionally, hormonal changes associated with periods can affect mood and emotional well-being, which can make postpartum period even more difficult to manage.

How to deal with the return of periods while breastfeeding?

Remember that the return of periods is a sign that your body is returning to normal after pregnancy and childbirth. It can take time for your period to return, especially if you are breastfeeding exclusively. Don't worry if it takes several months. Although the return of periods while breastfeeding can be a difficult time for new moms, there are ways to manage the symptoms. Here are some helpful tips you can follow:
  • Use sanitary napkins or period panties rather than tampons to avoid infections.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to reduce stress.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to reduce pressure on the abdomen.
  • Use heating pads or hot water bottles to relieve cramps.
  • Take calcium and magnesium supplements to reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and reduce bloating.
  • Continue to breastfeed as much as possible to maintain breast milk production.
  • Talk to your doctor if you experience pain or heavy bleeding.
Myths Realities
The return of your period means you are no longer producing breast milk False - The return of your period does not affect the quality or quantity of your breast milk
Periods always return after six weeks False - It can take several months for your period to return, especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding
Periods are always painful False – Menstrual pain varies from person to person

Take advantage of this new step to take care of yourself

Although the return of periods during breastfeeding may seem like the end of the postpartum honeymoon, it can also be seen as an opportunity to reconnect with your body and take care of yourself. New mothers can take advantage of this time to get more rest, treat themselves to healthy, comforting foods, and take time to relax and recharge. By taking care of their bodies and minds, new mothers can boost their self-confidence and overall well-being.

Find what works best for you

The return of your period while breastfeeding can be a difficult time, but it can also be an opportunity to reconnect with your body and take care of yourself. By understanding the reasons why periods return while breastfeeding, recognizing the warning signs, and taking steps to manage the symptoms, new mothers can navigate this period successfully. By listening to their body and taking the time to reconnect with themselves, new mothers can find what works best for them and enjoy this new stage of their lives.
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The articles on the site contain general information which may contain errors. These articles should in no way be considered as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions or doubts, always make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist.

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