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Postbirth Recovery

When Will I Get My Period?

Now that baby's here, when should I expect my period to return?

That depends on whether you’re breastfeeding or not. If you’re not breastfeeding, your period could come back about six weeks after delivery, maybe even sooner, says Dr. Laura Riley.

If you’re fully or near-fully breastfeeding, it may actually take months to return. According to Riley, it varies a lot from mom to mom. Some nursing moms get their period early, while some get it when baby starts feeding less and eating solids more, around six months. Others don't menstruate until they finish breastfeeding altogether. 

Here’s the real shocker: Even if you’re not getting your period, you can still get pregnant. You could ovulate (release an egg) well before your menstrual cycle returns. And Riley says you'll lower your risk of having a pregnancy with complications if you wait at least nine months postpartum to conceive again. So if you’re going to have sex — and don’t want another little guy on the way so soon — use contraception. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Expert: Laura Riley, MD, is director of labor and delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital

By Erin Meanly