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Can the first period after birth start despite breastfeeding?

19 Jan, 2023

Can the first period after birth start despite breastfeeding?

When you get your period for the first time after giving birth depends, among other things, on whether and how long you breastfeed.

This article tells you whether you can have your period despite breastfeeding and when you can expect your first period after giving birth.

Periods despite breastfeeding - an overview of the most important facts

  • In the first few weeks after giving birth, women do not have a period, but what is known as lochia.
  • Before your first period, your hormones must have normalised and your pregnancy must be fully recovered.
  • The first menstrual period comes between five and six weeks after delivery at the earliest.
  • The more often the baby is breastfed, the higher the prolactin level and the longer you have to wait for your period to start.
  • Women should not stop using contraception after delivery even if they have not yet had a period.

Postpartum and menstrual flow 

postpartum underwear

During the weeks directly after your birth, you can generally not have a period. But don't get too excited too soon. This does not mean that you will be spared vaginal discharge.

After all, the period immediately after giving birth is called the postpartum period. This is when the so-called lochia occurs, which can last for about six weeks.

The flow is particularly heavy in the first few days and then gets weaker from week to week. In hospital, you will be provided with special maternity panties and puerperal pads. Once your flow has eased a little, you can switch to period underwear and order our Weekiss Mama Set, for example.

When you can expect to start menstruating again

On average, the female body and its hormones return to normal about nine months after the baby is born. Accordingly, many women will start menstruating again around this time.

However, please note that this is only a guideline. The exact time when your period starts again is influenced by various factors, not least breastfeeding.

When is the earliest the period can come after the birth?

Period briefsAfter the birth, the first period comes at the earliest after about five weeks and only when the lochia is over. Before it can start, it is necessary, among other things, for the involution of pregnancy to be completed.

Apart from that, your hormone level in general and your prolactin level in particular also play a role. Prolactin is a hormone that plays a central role in the production of breast milk.

If you decide not to breastfeed from the beginning, your hormone balance will normalise quickly and you will have your first period relatively soon after birth. For some women, it even starts immediately after the menstrual flow.

Periods despite breastfeeding: Is that possible?

In principle, it is possible to have your period again after the birth while you are still breastfeeding your baby. However, how often you breastfeed is very important.

period pants for girlsYou can assume that your prolactin level is higher the more often you breastfeed. Since the high prolactin level inhibits the maturation of the eggs, menstruation usually lasts longer when you breastfeed intensively. Sometimes it can even take more than a year before you get your period again.

If you only breastfeed occasionally, for example because you are weaning the baby, your eggs can also mature again. This means that ovulation can occur and your period will eventually start again.

Can I breastfeed my baby despite menstruation?

Of course, you don't have to stop breastfeeding just because you are menstruating again. Your baby can continue to benefit from the nutrient-rich milk. By the way, if you suddenly produce a little less milk after your period starts, this is quite normal and in most cases only temporary. After a few days, the amount of milk should return to normal.

However, the composition of your milk can change somewhat during your period. This can also be noticeable in terms of taste and can sometimes lead to the child suddenly being restless when breastfeeding.

Which menstrual product after delivery?

The first menstrual cycles after childbirth are still quite irregular for most women. Many women also have particularly heavy bleeding, which sometimes lasts longer than usual and is often accompanied by unpleasant period pains.

This is usually normal and nothing to worry about, and is simply because your cycle needs to return to normal. This may take six months or more, and your period may even have changed permanently.

If you want a comfortable and easy-to-use menstrual product for your period in the future, we recommend you try our sustainable period underwear. They combine a great feel with reliable protection and chic designs that are guaranteed to make you look good.


Contraception during breastfeeding

period knickers

You may think that you can do without contraception for a while after giving birth, as long as you're breastfeeding and you're still not having your period. However, unless you want to get pregnant again right away, this is not a good idea.

It is true that you are not fertile without ovulation and therefore pregnancy is not possible. However, you cannot rely on noticing when you are ovulating for the first time after giving birth.

So it is theoretically possible that you could get pregnant again without knowing it. If you don't want a baby brother or sister for your baby, you should definitely remember to use contraception as soon as you want to be intimate with your partner again.

Periods despite breastfeeding - our conclusion

As you can see, it is quite possible to have your first period after giving birth while you are still breastfeeding. When exactly this happens depends on how intensively and frequently you breastfeed your baby.

If you breastfeed your baby infrequently or are in the process of weaning, it is much more likely that you will have your period soon than if you breastfeed your baby five or six times a day because of the decrease in prolactin levels.