Periods and breastfeeding
The average time for periods to return with breastfeeding is one year postpartum, but many mums find it can even be as late as 2/3 years.
The reason for periods stopping is thanks to the hormone Prolactin, which is in high abundance when breastfeeding to help you produce milk, but can also stop a woman from ovulating, and therefore having a period. This is part of the reason why so many women can go potentially years without periods from the point of becoming pregnant, to then not having their monthly cycle return until breastfeeding has ended.
There are exceptions to this, as some women even with exclusively breastfeeding find that their period returns earlier than this. But whilst still breastfeeding, they can remain really irregular. So even if you do get a period you may not return to a regular cycle for quite some time.
Other factors which influence periods returning include:
- Introducing formula
- Not breastfeeding overnight
- Introducing foods
- Routine rather than responsive breastfeeding
For mums giving formula from birth, periods can return as early as 3 weeks postpartum.
Finally, it is normal for babies to become fussier and feed more frequently at the breast too when you have your period. As the milk volume can temporarily drop, but this should increase as soon as your period has finished. You can take a supplement of magnesium and calcium for the first three days of your menstrual cycle to help to reduce this drop.
Our guest blog has been written by Midwife Angie.
Midwife Angie, also known as the Eco Midwife, teaches KG Hypnobirthing midwife led antenatal and hypnobirthing classes, accredited by the Royal college of Midwives.
Midwife Angie is also a registered and trained health visitor, baby massage practitioner, pregnancy masseuse and is aromatherapy trained. Her Instagram account @ecomidwife, offers honest advice and support to thousands of women.