After the appearance of the child, many women are concerned about the questions about how long it takes to restore the body, when the menstrual cycle resumes, and whether menstruation takes place during breastfeeding.
The postpartum recovery period usually lasts for 6-8 weeks. During this time, the uterus contracts, its bottom sinks, and it assumes its original size. This process is accompanied by bleeding – lochia. Gradually, they brighten and a month later they become yellowish-white. Lochia has nothing to do with menstruation.
The time of the beginning of the first menstrual period after childbirth is caused by many factors: the hormonal balance of the woman, the state of her reproductive system, the way the child goes through the birth (natural way or cesarean section), or breastfeeding. For most non-breastfeeding women, the menstrual cycle is restored at 10–16 weeks after delivery. But if a young mother feeds the baby herself, then the level of the hormone prolactin rises, thereby producing milk and inhibiting the formation of an egg cell. As a result, periods during breastfeeding appear later.
Menstruation during breastfeeding
As mentioned above, prolactin affects the recovery of the menstrual cycle of a nursing mother. Under the influence of this hormone, milk appears in the mammary glands of women. However, in addition, prolactin inhibits ovarian function, so the restoration of menstruation during breastfeeding also depends on how the feeding process goes and how quickly the woman’s hormonal balance normalizes.
In cases where the child is on breastfeeding around the clock, the menstrual cycle usually resumes during the end of lactation. As a rule, this happens by the end of the first year of a child’s life.
The first discharge may appear before the end of lactation. There is no pathology in it. If during breastfeeding periods began, it means that Mommy transferred her baby to a mixed diet. Pediatricians recommend introducing complementary foods from 6 months of a child’s life. At this time, and may begin the first period after childbirth.
If the baby from the first days is mixed feeding, then the menstrual cycle resumes by 3-4 months after his birth.
It should be noted that in some cases a woman can start her period early during breastfeeding, even with full observance of the rules for applying an infant to her breast. This situation is possible due to the long breaks between feedings.
During the period of the beginning of the month, a decrease in the amount of milk produced can be observed. In this case, the child must be fed more often and gradually introduce complementary foods.
If the mother began menstruation during breastfeeding, this should not be the cause of weaning the baby from the breast. The current opinion that breast milk during menstruation changes its qualitative composition and has an unpleasant taste, has long been refuted by scientists. After all, if this were so, then the baby himself would have refused the breast. And the nature in this case would prepare the woman’s body for the full end of lactation. But since this does not happen, it means that breastfeeding and “critical” days are quite compatible processes.
Monthly after breastfeeding
In 80% of young mothers, the resumption of the cycle begins with the end of lactation. Usually, the first menstruation occurs in 1.5-2 months after stopping the attachment of the baby to the breast.
For most women, periods after breastfeeding are established immediately with a certain regularity. But sometimes the systematicity can be adjusted and during 2-3 menstrual cycles. During this period, the monthly are unstable, come early or, on the contrary, with a delay. However, if after 2-3 months the regularity of the cycle is not restored, then you need to contact the gynecologist to diagnose the causes of such pathology. This condition can be caused by diseases of the internal genital organs, endometriosis of the uterus and cervix, ovarian disease.
Very often after breastfeeding, periods change their character. As a rule, the cycle becomes more regular, and the menstruation flow is less painful than before pregnancy. This is due to the fact that usually pain during the critical days occur when the woman bends the uterus. Such a structure makes it difficult to exit blood during menstruation. During pregnancy and childbirth, the uterus is straightened, due to which the painful feelings during menstruation disappear.
If a woman has any complications with menstruation during breastfeeding, you should contact your doctor for advice. An experienced specialist will establish the root cause of the deviations and, if necessary, prescribe treatment.
Every breastfeeding mother should remember that the guarantee of successful breastfeeding is the state of her physical and psychological health. A woman will be healthy – her child will be healthy too.