Postpartum Period: Your first period after birth

We see this question come up a lot in our Facebook Groups: So…when will you get your first period after birth? When does the Red Queen come back? Is it heavy? Painful? Light? Can I get pregnant? There are a lot of factors that go into her return and we’re here with some info just for you.

WHEN will your period come back?

As with newborns, Mamas are all different. A lot of factors go into what to expect when you get your first period after birth. Biggest factor: breastfeeding or not. Enter: prolactin aka the breast-milk producing hormone that also suppresses ovulation (but not by 100%…that’s coming next). Your first period after giving birth based on your postpartum journey:

  • Women who strictly breastfeed: anywhere from six months to one-year!
  • Women who don’t breastfeed: between four to eight weeks post-delivery.
  • Women who breast and formula feed: between two weeks to more than two months

Can you get pregnant before your period returns?

Short answer = YES! A lot of Mamas become Mamas again quickly because there isn’t a lot of information pushed to us about this. The big thing to remember: ovulation happens before menstruation and, as you know, when you ovulate, you are fertile mertyle…even if you have not experienced your period after childbirth, yet. Yup, even nursing Mamas can get pregnant before their period returns.

Wait…was that your period or postpartum bleeding?

Remember when you first got your period? Your cycles were all over the place. One month it’s 28 days, the next 34, then maybe 26 days, but, true to our goddess body forms, it all evened itself out after a few months. Cramping was bad one month and not the next. Then, your flow would be light the second month, and then heavy…

Postpartum periods aren’t very different (apart from you’ve experienced your period before). Don’t forget, every Mama is different but, generally, any spotting and light bleeding you experience up to 8 weeks postpartum is usually postpartum bleeding. Always contact your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Guess what…your uterus GROWS during pregnancy…then, it SHRINKS after you deliver (not always back to its pre-pregnancy size). This means your uterus “rebuilds” itself postpartum (yup, every postpartum); your endometrial lining (the part that sheds during your period) rebuilds itself when your uterus shrinks. Since this happens after every pregnancy, your period could differ after each delivery. No matter what, you have the best, new little person to hold and cuddle. Makes getting your period again well worth it.