Menstruation After Childbirth

Postpartum Resources

When you will begin having your period after you give birth will depend largely on whether or not you are breastfeeding. If you are not breastfeeding at all, you can typically expect your period to return after 6-8 weeks. Keep in mind that your period after childbirth might be different than what you are used to, especially for your first couple of menstrual cycles. You may experience a heavier flow, increased clots, and a longer duration of bleeding, as well as other changes. This is considered normal.

If you are breastfeeding exclusively, meaning the only thing your baby is consuming is your milk, your period may not return for the entire length of time you are producing milk. This is because the hormone produced while breastfeeding, prolactin, suppresses reproductive hormones and you are unlikely to ovulate. Once your baby begins to eat solids, or if you decrease your milk supply for any other reason, your period may return.

Some women rely on breastfeeding as a form of natural birth control. While statistics show that fewer than 1 in 100 women will become pregnant annually while they are breastfeeding, it is not considered a 100% effective form of birth control. The most important factor in delaying fertility is that you are EXCLUSIVELY breastfeeding. If your baby consumes any other solids, or fluids (including water) you should rely on another form of birth control to ensure you do not become pregnant.

For more information on effective birth control methods, please visit Family Planning and Birth Control 

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