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Dawn Cedrone, RN
Lactation Specialist

Breastfeeding and My Period?

I haven't gotten my period back since baby's birth. When should I expect it?

Sorry, but we can’t tell you exactly when you’ll get your period back. The reason why you don’t have it yet is that the hormone levels involved in producing breast milk often prevent menstruation (so what’s going on with your body is totally normal). It’s likely you’ll get it back once you’re breastfeeding baby less often.

Some moms get their period back as soon as they give a supplemental bottle or once baby begins to sleep longer at night, but some moms don’t get it until they completely wean their child. Everyone’s different, but you’re more likely to start menstruating one there’s a decrease in the frequency of nursing, longer stretches of sleep at night, bottle supplementation, an increased use of pacifiers or when baby starts solids.

When your period does return (and it will), you may notice several cycles of irregular periods or even some missed periods before returning to your pre-pregnancy state. Despite the return of your period, you can still breastfeed. Some myths say menstruating makes breast milk sour or less nutritious: This is simply not true. You may, however, notice nipple tenderness, breast soreness or a decrease in supply because of the change in hormone levels. But once the hormones level out, the soreness should go away and your supply return to normal.

So yes, the same hormones that have stopped your period stop ovulation, and therefore, breastfeeding can act as birth control. But remember one important thing: Because you could start ovulation before you have your period, you can become pregnant before it comes back — throughout the first several months of irregular cycles. If you don’t want to get pregnant with baby #2 just yet, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the best birth control method for you.

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