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When Do Periods Start Again After Giving Birth?

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Every woman’s different, and when you’ll start your periods again and what they will be like largely depends on how you choose to feed your baby.

Prolactin, the hormone that encourages your body to make breastmilk, can interfere with the hormones that control your periods.

When Will My Periods Start Again After Giving Birth?

If you fully breastfeed your baby, then your periods might not start again until you finally finish breastfeeding. But if you combine breastfeeding with bottle-feeding, or if you rely solely on bottle-feeding, then you could get your first period between five and six weeks after birth.

However, some women who breastfeed may find their periods starting before they finish breastfeeding. Some find their periods start again when they stop breastfeeding their baby at night, or start combining feeding with formula, bottle-feeding, and solid foods.

Will My First Period After Giving Birth Be Painful?

Every woman’s different. However, most new mums find that their first period after giving birth is different to the periods they had before getting pregnant. You may experience cramps, which could be better or worse than it was before you got pregnant. You may also experience a heavier flow, and you may even find small blood clots in your period.

It may take a while for your periods to get regular again, especially if they start to come back while you’re still breastfeeding.

If your first period after giving birth seems particularly heavy or particularly painful, talk to your midwife or doctor.

What is Lochia?

For up to 10 days following your birth, your body will continue to shed the blood, tissue and mucus that lined your uterus during your pregnancy. This is called lochia, and it’s important that you don’t get it mixed up with your first period after giving birth.

For at least three days following birth, you might experience a heavy lochia flow which will be bright red in colour. Over time, the colour will change from red to brown, before becoming a sort of off-white colour. You may want to use postpartum sanitary pads during this time. To find out more about them, explore our range of reusable postpartum pads.

Some women are at risk of postpartum haemorrhage up to 12 weeks after giving birth. If you experience what you think is a heavy period, but it’s accompanied by other symptoms – including blurred vision, chills, dizziness, nausea and a rapid heartbeat – call your doctor immediately.

If your heavy bleeding shows no signs of slowing or stopping, call 999.

How Soon After Giving Birth Can I Use a Tampon?

Most new mums can start using tampons again between four and six weeks following the birth. But once more: Every woman’s different. It all depends on how your birth went, and on how heavy your periods are. For advice that’s tailored to you, talk to your doctor or midwife.

One more thing to bear in mind – ovulation precedes menstruation in your monthly cycle. So you can get pregnant again as little as three weeks following your birth. If you intend to start using birth control again – whether it’s contraceptives or a pill – talk to your doctor or midwife. They can advise you on a solution that will work for you without interfering with your nursing.

Time To Find More Comfortable Period Products

As your body recovers from birth, you’ll probably want your period products to be as comfortable and unobtrusive as possible.

We make our sanitary pads from only soft and natural materials, without any harmful chemicals. So they’re kind to your body while remaining reliably absorbent. And because they’re reusable they’re better for the planet too.

Browse our complete range of reusable sanitary pads.

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