Getting a break from your period is one of the perks of being pregnant, but now that your baby is here, you may be wondering if you can predict when your cycle will resume. Well, since we’re dealing with hormones, the answer is not clear-cut or particularly reliable. Lactation suppresses the hormones responsible for your menstrual cycle, a process called lactational amenorrhea. Generally speaking, the more exclusively you breastfeed, the longer you are likely to be period-free.
However, there is no guarantee that your cycle will remain on pause just because you breastfeed. There are some contributing factors that may help you to get an idea of whether you will be someone who experiences the return of your period before you expect it. Read on to learn more about menstruation and breastfeeding.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to when your period will return. Although it is common for breastfeeding to delay it, the length of delay will vary from person to person.
Those who nurse exclusively and often, without long periods of time in between nursing sessions, tend to not have their cycle return for several months, or even as long as a year or more! However if your baby gets bottles, even if they are breast milk bottles, your period may return much more quickly.
Your period has little impact on your breastfed baby. While milk composition does change a bit during this time, and it may have a slightly saltier taste, it has no negative effect on your baby. Your milk is still perfectly healthy and nutritious!
For some, milk supply is unaffected by their cycle. For others, breast milk production can drop during ovulation (mid-cycle), until the first day or two of the next menstrual period.
While this hormonal supply dip can be stressful, keep in mind that your supply will increase again once your hormones return to their normal levels. Keep reading to learn how to protect your supply if you do notice a dip during your menstrual cycle.
One last consideration to keep in mind is that once your cycle returns, it is a good time to look into the different forms of contraceptives. Read our article to learn more about the options, and find a birth control method that works best for you and your needs.
We understand that the return of a menstrual cycle can be intimidating and frustrating, but we are here to support and help you if you need us.