Pregnancy is a beautiful stage in a woman’s life where the body undergoes many changes to bring out a precious life into this world. It is also a period when you are free from your monthly stain worries for about nine months.
The first period after pregnancy, also called the postpartum period, can be a different experience from your earlier periods (before pregnancy). The body has undergone many changes internally, externally, and mentally.
Physically, your pelvic floor muscles and abdominal walls will be the most affected after childbirth. They can greatly benefit from targeted treatment and support to facilitate healing. Physiotherapy, pelvic exercises, and regular consultations with your doctor are crucial in the first weeks after giving birth. You can also look into incorporating tools like vaginal dilators and pregnancy belly wraps for abdominal support into your treatment. Dilators can help decrease pain during sexual intercourse, which is common after giving birth. Meanwhile, belly wraps provide gentle compression to bring together abdominal muscles that may have separated during pregnancy. In addition, they are great for your back as they can improve spinal alignment and posture.
The onset of the postpartum period for women can differ due to many reasons. Let’s get into some details to know more about postpartum periods.
When will periods start after pregnancy?
Women engaged in exclusive breastfeeding, i.e., the baby’s only nutrition is breast milk, and are likely to get their periods around six months or later as considered to women who are sparsely or partially breastfeed (periods within 2-3 months of birth). It’s mainly because the reproductive hormones are suppressed by the hormone prolactin, responsible for breast milk production.
During the initial days after birth, you may notice some bleeding called lochia, sometimes mistaken to be periods. Lochia is discharged in a deep red color with some clots at first, but as days pass, the red color changes to whitish and becomes waterier. It occurs as the uterine walls are contracting back to normal size.
Changes you may notice
The first periods after pregnancy can be difficult and uneasy because your body is getting back to the menstruation phase after a big change. Some of the common symptoms of postpartum periods are:
- Stronger or weaker cramps
- Increased pain
- Small Blood clots
- Irregular flow
- The period length might vary
Will periods affect breastfeeding?
Menstruation is characterized by changes in the reproductive hormone levels in the body. Henceforth it can affect breastfeeding too. The supply of breast milk can decrease, and due to the release of hormones, the composition of the milk will also be affected if your baby starts fussing during breastfeeding. Then it can be due to the breastmilk’s change in taste or odor, signifying you are ovulating. Moreover, around the time of ovulation, your breasts can feel tender and may pose some discomfort.
It’s best to keep track of your cycles and be prepared for the changes to suit your baby’s breastfeeding needs. Try using menstrual health products for your well-being and get through any extreme pain and discomfort during the cycle. Keep in mind your child’s health depends largely on you, so do take care of yourself.
Symptoms to seek medical attention soon
Though certain symptoms are common, you should also understand that certain changes can be serious and require immediate medical attention. Some of which are:
- Heavy bleeding – soaking one pad every hour
- Continuous bleeding for seven days
- Severe headache or dizziness
- Severe pain during periods
- Sudden fever
- Large blood clots
- Trouble breathing
Different individuals may have different experiences of postpartum periods. Moreover, time is a crucial element for your body to recover and be back to normal ways. The discomforts are temporary. In case of any prolonged difficulties, always consult a doctor, and seek the required treatment. For new moms, self-care and baby care can be difficult to keep balanced. But don’t forget to soak in the cherishing moments of early motherhood.