If you have no period after pregnancy, when to worry is a perfectly valid question. You may be wondering what’s normal, when you should expect your first period after giving birth and what to expect. Many women have questions around the first menstrual cycle, so we have a brief guide on periods after pregnancy.
There’s no straight answer as to when you should expect your period after pregnancy. Most women start having periods after 5 to 6 weeks. Everyone is different, but there are many circumstances that can affect when your period returns. One of the biggest influences on when your period returns is whether or not you’re breastfeeding.
Women who breastfeed can find that it takes longer for their periods to return after giving birth. This is because the hormone that is used for milk production – prolactin – can also suppress the hormone that is responsible for ovulation. There are other things that can affect when a breastfeeding mum has a period after pregnancy.
• Baby’s sleep schedule – When your little one begins sleeping through the night, you won’t be feeding them as much. Since you’re not feeding them as often, you won’t be producing as much prolactin. This can trigger your menstrual cycle to start up again.
• Introducing solid foods – Introducing solid foods also reduces how often your little one will need to breastfeed, and therefore, how much prolactin you produce. This can trigger your menstrual cycle to re-start.
Women who formula feed in combination with breastfeeding tend to experience the first period after pregnancy sooner. Some women can have the first period around 5 to 6 weeks after giving birth. Women who are combination feeding or are expressing breast milk to bottle feed can find that it can take longer for their period to restart.
Women who are breastfeeding often report that when their periods return, they can be quite irregular. Hormonal fluctuations, and changes in your little one’s sleep and feeding routines can mean that your period may return in an irregular fashion.
A woman’s body goes through a whole host of changes during pregnancy, labour, delivery, healing, and breastfeeding. As there are so many changes in your hormones, it’s very normal for periods to be irregular.
If you have had no periods after pregnancy for a few months, you might be wondering when you should talk to your doctor. The short answer is you can talk to your doctor at any time if you need to ask questions or look for reassurance. You may also want to talk to your doctor if you experience:
• Blood clots in your period
• Heavier blood loss than you have previously experienced
• Any other changes to your period, including a lack of bleeding
Just remember that questions around no period after pregnancy, when to worry and what is normal are very common and many new mothers have the same concerns. Open up to those around you, and don’t be afraid to talk to a healthcare professional with any worries.