When Will My Periods Start After Having A Baby?

by | August 24, 2018

So you’ve spent the last nine months growing a baby and not having any periods. But then the day comes where you have the baby. Everything is great, you’re having some quality bonding time, marveling at this beautiful human being that you have created. And then you start to wonder, when will my periods start after having a baby?

There is no exact answer to this, as everyone’s bodies are different, so it’s hard to say for sure. There are a number of different factors that go into when you get your period back, like how you’re feeding your baby.

If you’re breastfeeding it will take longer for your periods to come back after having a baby. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding around the clock, it can sometimes take up to a year for your periods to come back. However if you’re lucky enough to have a baby that will sleep through the night from a young age, your periods may start between three to eight months after giving birth.

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If you decide to formula feed, your periods start after having a baby anytime between five weeks to three months after you give birth, which would mean you will become fertile again only three weeks after having your baby.

The hormones that trigger ovulation are suppressed by your baby’s suckling, so if there is a gap in feeding, even overnight, it may encourage your body to release these hormones that will then start your menstrual cycle. The same applies to formula feeding, or supplementing with formula. Basically, the more your baby breastfeeds and the longer they spend on your breast, the longer it is likely to be before your periods start after having a baby.

periods start after having a baby
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Some new moms use breastfeeding as a form of contraception, although the only form of contraception that is 100% guaranteed is abstinence. This method of breastfeeding though, is known as the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) and does sometimes help to slow down the process of having your periods start after having a baby.

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Whether or not LAM is effective depends on how often and how long your baby is suckling at each feed. If you’re comfortable with the possibility of another pregnancy within the first year, then you can try this method. You may still ovulate and conceive before you realize you’re fertile again, even if you’re exclusively breastfeeding.

If you’re not ready for another pregnancy just yet, then it may be safer to use a different form of contraception when you start having sex again. 

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Alex Jones

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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