One of the perks of being pregnant is that you go without your monthly “friend” for almost ten calender months at the very least.
This one might be an old wives tale or at least one that some us in the office have been told. It seems that for the majority of women periods tend to go back to “normal” when they settle after you’ve had a baby. And by normal we should perhaps say “your normal” as cycles can vary drastically from person to person. This is not a general rule though as many women do report a change in their cycle when it returns post-baby. Some notice that it is shorter, longer, heavier or lighter.
For the majority of women, a period does not return for several months after giving birth if they are breastfeeding. However, there is always an exception and some women, despite exclusively breastfeeding, experience the return of their period merely weeks after giving birth. For this reason, it can not be relied upon as a form of contraception as it does not always prevent ovulation.
If you usually took paracetamol or Ibuprofen to ease cramping pains then it is unlikely to be any different post-partum. If you are breastfeeding then it is believed that very small amounts can travel through the breast milk but there are actually very few drugs that are not recommended when breastfeeding. If you are concerned it is recommended to consult your GP or pharmacist.
The chances are very slim but it happens and is therefore possible. For this reason, it is recommended to speak to your GP about contraception options as soon as you become sexually active once again.
For the most part. Tampons are fine to use when your period returns after having a baby. However, if your first post-partum period arrives very early it might be worth considering a more gentle option as you may still be healing from the birth and a tampon may be more uncomfortable or irritating.
Hormone changes before and during your menstrual cycle can affect your breast milk and therefore your baby’s breastfeeding pattern for a couple of days. This is completely normal. Some women also experience sensitive breasts and nipples during their cycle and this can affect the way breastfeeding feels. In general, though breastfeeding will continue as normal and there is nothing to worry about.
Your menstrual cycle is dictated by hormones and for this reason, women do experience a change in their mood at different times of the month. In fact, a bit of a “lull” or “dip” in mood is a symptom of PMS that many women experience. We recommend a nice big bar of chocolate – it helps!