Thursday, August 17, 2006

My period returned early even though I breastfeed

For both my babies, my period returned about 4-6 weeks postpartum despite the fact that I breastfeed. It worried me because I had read that when you breastfeed, your period is likely to return only when you wean baby. I thought something was wrong with me. I thought that I was having excessive lochia bleeding. I thought that I was having complications from my caesarean birth. I went to see my doctor and was told that it was probably my period which did nothing to ease my worries because of the word "probably".

I search the internet and was comforted when I read this:

When it comes to menstruation and breastfeeding, just about anything can be considered normal. Some moms get their periods when the baby is two or three months old, even if they are exclusively breastfeeding. Other moms may be partially breastfeeding and not get their cycle back until they wean. It just depends on the mother and how sensitive she is to the hormonal influences of breastfeeding. Read more here.

It worried me, but it does happen, ie the early return of period or menstruation even when breastfeeding exclusively. Read this Q&A: Menstruation: Early return of period with exclusive nursing And no, the return of my period does not affect my milk supply. I'm still breastfeeding my 2 year old and my period still comes regularly.

I hope that this short post helps to ease the worries of some other mums with the same experience.

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  1. my period only came back 1 month after i weaned my babies.

    my friends' periods came back during their b/feeding.

    so, like babies, everyone is really unique!!!!!

  2. Mine came back after 5-6 months after delivery. I also breastfeed thru expressing milk. I felt so good because I am pad free. :)

    Yes, everyone is unique but it really worried me at first to have it return so soon.

    You ladies are lucky. Its no fun leaking breastmilk and having to wear pads at the same time.

  4. My period came back after one week after my delivery period ends.I was kinda worried too til I consult my gynae and he told me it;s normal. Imagine. After 6 weeks of period during confinement, rest for one week, again normal cycle came back. I even had infection too. Dr. said it's due to the antibiotic which I took. Having infection+period really makes me feel so uneasy.

  5. sabrina,
    Like you, I really though something was wrong with me.

  6. Thank you so much!
    I am 7 weeks pp, exclusively BFing and getting Aunt Flo! Good Lord! Your experience is very reassuring, as I want to BF through toddlerhood, and my first thought was for my supply...

  7. Hello Kim,
    I breastfed my first for 1 1/2 years and my second till 3 years. My milk supply was miserable for the first probably because I was inexperience during the early days and altho I tried really, really hard, I couldn't get it to be quite enough. For the second one, I was prepared and I pumped and pumped every 2-3 hours in the early days. Eventually, I could pump up to 9oz each time. So Aunt Flo had nothing to do with it. No worries and happy breastfeeding your baby. You will never forget the experience and bonding with your baby. :)

  8. I am 11 weeks since giving birth. Although I am breast feeding exclusively, I have bleeding every few days, with light cramping. The blood has small clots and is a bit mucousy (gross I know!).

    Is it my period?

  9. Hello Allison,
    Best to go for a check up with your gynae just to be sure. Thats what I did, after I had bleeding in the 4th to 6th week, I went to have a check up. She said everything was fine and that it was just my period. That was a relief and gave me better peace of mind so you should have it checked too.

  10. My period started today and my daughter is only 11 weeks old. I've gone to great pains to make sure my daughter was exclusively breastfed, on demand, so I was shocked and worried when I started bleeding. I got online this morning for reassurance, and really appreciate your post. Thank you.

  11. Hi Mandy,
    I read somewhere that with breastfeeding and periods, almost anything is possible and this was a great relief to know because most articles mention that when you are breastfeeding exclusively, you won't have your menstruation till you stop. I was really worried at the time too.

  12. Yes, this site was very reassuring, thank you!!! my son is 6 weeks old, i'm exclusively breastfeeding and i just started my period. I went to the dr. and they said everything was fine but i was really worried. Plus i couldn't find much on the internet about others experiencing this until your site. I kept reading that exclusively breastfeeding is 98-99% effective as birth control.. apparantely NOT for us...!!

  13. Hello Anon,
    Yes, apparently NOT for us. Lol! I was really worried at the time too thinking that there was something wrong with me. I need not have worried about milk production too as I went on to breastfeed my second child till he was three. The first had mixed feeds till she was 1 1/2 as I had many problems breastfeeding and I didn't have the knowledge or support then.

  14. I had my little boy only 5 1/2 weeks ago, and started my period this morning. It is somewhat heavy and I am crampy feeling. I am glad to see that someone else has had the same issue! No need to worry I see. I had a really easy delivery and never really felt like I even had a baby, so I know that there shouldn't be any complications or underlying reasons for the bleeding. I know my body pretty well, and am pretty sure that this is my mentrual period. Has to be.

  15. Hello Lori,
    Still it would be better to err on the cautious side and see your doctor about it for better peace of mind.

  16. THANK YOU! I am exclusively breastfeeding my twins (7 weeks old) and I started my period today. I was so worried. I feed them on demand and its been going great. I thought with exclusively breastfeeding twins I could rely on it as birth control....guess not!

  17. Hi Jessica,
    All the best to you in breastfeeding your twins. I really take my hat off to mums who breastfeed twins. I found that breastfeeding isn't as simple as it seems. It was so hard for me. I can't imagine breastfeeding twins!

  18. Thank you for your post! My baby is three months today... and I started my period! Felt very reassured after reading your note. I also recommend calling your gyno just to be absolutely sure.

  19. I am partially breastfeeding (formula at day bf at night) and my period came 6months after i gave birth, then was regular for the next month but its late and i am not pregnant. Should i worry?

  20. Hello
    I was quite scared on getting my periods back as my baby is just 4 months and breast fed.My first fear was low milk supply but having read this brought assurance that its okay to get periods

  21. Thanks so much for posting this. I am breastfeeding and my period just came back today, just under 6 weeks after having my son. Got a little worried, but I figured this fell into the anything-goes category for what's normal.

  22. My daughter is 7 months and I exclusively breastfeed, but she started getting solids at 6 months so I guess that's why my period came back last night! It just sucks for it to be back cuz I thought since I still breastfeed so much that it would stay away a bit longer. The only thing I was worried about is my supply so I'm thinking of slightly reducing solids for now so she can breastfeed more.

  23. It's quite common to get some bleeding at ~6 weeks postpartum (not your period). My midwife explained it's the final contractions of the uterus back to normal.
    Another factor is night time feedings. I exclusively breastfed both my babies; my period didn't come back until 6 months with my first (many night feedings), but my second started sleeping through the night at ~8 weeks, and my period returned at 12 weeks.

    1. Oh no, it was not post partum bleeding. It was my period because it continued the next month and the next and the next on schedule like clockwork. I exclusively breastfed my second for 3 years with night feedings till I stopped breastfeeding and I had my period all the while. It is different for different women.


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