As your body slows returns to normal after pregnancy and childbirth, you’ll experience lots of little milestones, like the day you can have coffee again or the day you can fit back into your favorite pre-pregnancy jeans. Getting your period again is a major event, too. And while you may have stocked up on feminine protection before going into labor, you probably won’t need it for your period for at least a few more months.
If you’re not nursing, you can usually expect your period to resume its monthly visit anywhere between one and four months after giving birth. Breastfeeding moms can expect their first period to take even longer to appear, usually one to three months after you wean your baby.
You may have bleeding and spotting periodically for a few weeks after giving birth, but that’s not a sign that your period is resuming, explains Toni Weschler, women’s health educator and author of the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility,” on iVillage.com. In general, any vaginal bleeding that occurs within 56 days of birth is usually related to childbirth. Bleeding after the 56-day mark is likely to indicate that your normal menstrual cycle has resumed.
The return of your period means that your hormones have returned to pre-pregnancy levels and you can become pregnant again. This takes longer if you’re breastfeeding, especially during the early months when your baby is feeding every four hours or more frequently, because your hormones are still working at increased levels.
There are many advantages to having a baby who sleeps through the night early, but a long wait for your first post-baby period isn’t one of them. Even if you’re breastfeeding, moms of babies who sleep for long nighttime stretches are likely to resume normal periods sooner than moms with wakeful babies.
Just because you haven’t gotten your period yet doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant if you have unprotected sex. Your body will release its first post-baby egg before your period starts, so you can get pregnant before you start your first period.