Do you feel those sudden little ‘door knocks’ during your baby’s breastfeeding stage? Is it Aunt Flo? Visiting to see if you were doing good so she could spoil it?
Soon after becoming a mother, you start to experience the ‘bliss’ of breastfeeding, which begins as an excruciating and uncomfortable journey that soon feels normal. Getting your periods back is unpredictable if you are breastfeeding your baby. Nearly all breastfeeding mothers are period-free for the first six months after childbirth, which may extend from months to 1 to 2 years if you keep breastfeeding.
Whether your period has returned or not, many women encounter spotting while breastfeeding, which can be daunting, especially for new mommies.
Does my period change while breastfeeding?
Whether or not you had irregular cycles before having your baby, your menstrual cycle might change once you start breastfeeding. Your period could come earlier, later, or completely disappear for several months at a stretch. If your period does return, it could be longer, shorter, or stop entirely. This is because breastfeeding changes hormone levels, including those linked to menstruation.
Is spotting while breastfeeding normal?
YES! Spotting during the nursing period is expected. This is caused by the fluctuations of your hormones attempting to bring your periods back to their routine. While you wouldn’t have a full period, light spotting during this period is expected.
What causes spotting while breastfeeding?
The roots for staining while nursing include:
After giving birth, a hormone, Oxytocin, is released into your body. It is also known as the mothering hormone.
The functions of Oxytocin are:
- To allow your baby to get breast milk from your breasts.
- It encourages your bonding with your newborn.
- It causes your uterus to contract and return to its original size after the birth of your baby.
This contraction could be one of the causes of spotting during breastfeeding.
Lochia is the vaginal discharge you experience after giving birth. It contains blood, mucus, and uterine tissues. You start experiencing spotting when the initial postpartum bleeding starts to diminish.
If bright red spotting reappears after your lochia has lightened up, it could be eschar bleeding. This is caused when the scab left behind from your placenta breaks down. It should only last for a few hours.
You might start noticing spotting when breastfeeding your baby less often (around 3 feeds a day). This is because the hormone that causes your body to produce breastmilk also halts your body from making the hormone that controls your periods.
Breastfeeding more frequently can stop the spotting.
Periods while breastfeeding can be shorter than you are habitual of. Also, skipping a few periods in between is a common incidence.
You might be confusing your irregular periods with spotting.
Indication to return of mensuration
The spotting while breastfeeding can signify that mensuration is about to occur.
Spotting while breastfeeding may also indicate:
- Urinary Tract Infection(UTI)
- Thyroid abnormalities
- Infection or inflammation of the uterine lining
- A piece of the placenta or amniotic fluid sac that is still inside.
Which color spotting is normal?
The normal color of the spotting can range from dark brown and pinkish red to creamy white or creamy yellow stains. Dark red or browny red with clots may indicate other problems that need to be discussed with your midwife.
What is Lactational Amenorrhea?
Lactational amenorrhea is the nonappearance of mensuration in breastfeeding mothers. It is a span of short-lived infertility or postpartum infertility, which is caused due to hormonal changes in the body. Amenorrhea is distinctive to every breastfeeding mother. It can last from a few months after delivery to several years.
When will you have your first postpartum period?
Many factors determine when your period will return when you are breastfeeding. These include:
- How often your baby is breastfed.
- How long your baby sleeps at night
- Whether your baby is taking solids or supplements yet or not
- Whether your baby takes a pacifier or not
- How your baby responds to hormonal fluctuations
The first postpartum period, called return to menses, can be elusive and depend heavily on infant feeding. Women who exclusively breastfeed their infant report that their periods typically come back 6 to 8 months after the baby is born.
If your baby is solely on bottle feed, your periods might come back as soon as three weeks postpartum.
You may get spotting and irregular periods if you start menstruation again while nursing, and it is entirely normal to have irregular cycles during this period. Your periods could be longer or shorter, heavier than pre-pregnancy, or lighter.
Does mensuration affect my milk supply?
The return of the period can have little effect on breast milk. Some mothers notice a slight and transient decrease in the volume of milk they make in the days leading up to or during their periods. However, it will rise once more when hormone levels return to normal.
Is breastfeeding on period normal?
Breastfeeding during menstruation is common among mothers, especially those who want to avoid pregnancy. However, no scientific evidence suggests that breastfeeding during your period makes you prone to infections—women who breastfeed exclusively during menstruation report less menstrual bleeding and fewer cramps.
Do you ovulate while breastfeeding?
You probably know that there are many ways to prevent pregnancy during breastfeeding. But did you know that some women don’t even realize they aren’t getting pregnant because they aren’t ovulating? If you’re wondering whether you’re ovulating while breastfeeding, here’s everything you need to know about it.
The most common way to determine whether you’re ovulating is to take a home test kit. These tests measure hormones that indicate you’re fertile. There are several home test kits, including urine, saliva, and vaginal swabs. Your doctor can recommend one based on your personal preferences.
If you do end up ovulating while breastfeeding, you’ll still be able to get pregnant. Some women find that they can get pregnant while breastfeeding without having sex. Others have found that they can get pregnant even though they weren’t ovulating. Most experts agree that it takes longer for a woman to become pregnant while breastfeeding, but it does happen.
Motherhood is not an easy task! The majority of your days (and nights) may be spent drowsy and asleep, but you shouldn’t have to stress about your period! Do not waste your time worrying about spotting because it is common when nursing, and when it comes to your spotting/periods while breastfeeding, there is a broad spectrum of what is “normal.” Every woman is unique.
But as always, never be reluctant to discuss any concerns with your OB-GYN!