One of the many blessings that comes with pregnancy is the lack of your menstrual cycle. This continues for a short period of time after you give birth, but you should expect it to come eventually. Every woman’s body is different, and there are many things that could affect when you get your period.
Immediately After Birth
After you give birth, you’ll notice a lot of vaginal bleeding for several weeks — possibly six weeks or more. Though it mimics a very heavy period, this is not actually a menstrual cycle. You should not use a tampon for this, as your vaginal canal will be healing.
How Long It Will Take
There’s no way to tell when your period might start again after you’ve given birth. In some women, it starts just six or eight weeks after birth. In others, it may not come for more than a year. Pregnancy Today reports that in most women, a menstrual cycle returns between 42 and 56 days.
What Can Delay a Period
If you’ve opted to take hormonal birth control after giving birth, such as the pill or a hormonal shot, you may not get a period until you stop using this birth control. Breastfeeding can also delay your period, particularly if breastfeeding is your child’s only form of nutrition. In fact, some people use breastfeeding as a natural form of birth control, and AskDrSears.com reports that it can be up to 98 percent effective, provided you haven’t noticed a return of your menstrual cycle and are breastfeeding your child six to eight times a day.
A lack of a period after giving birth generally signifies a lack of ovulation, which means that you cannot get pregnant. This is the body’s natural response to giving birth because it knows that you don’t have the energy to take care of another child right now. However, a lack of a period alone isn’t enough to count on as a way to prevent pregnancy. Because you’ll ovulate before you get your first period, there’s a chance that you could become pregnant before you get a period.
Changes to Menstruation
Your first post pregnancy period may be different than the periods you had in the past. It may be heavier or lighter. You may also experience different symptoms than you did in the past. All of this is completely normal.