Breastfeeding has been shown to cause a delay in menstruation, and this can be a pleasant benefit for mothers who postpone menstruation for longer than nine months. While some women may not have periods during the months they nurse, others have irregular periods. In some ways, this can be even more aggravating than planned cycles.
Do you ever wonder what is the effect of menstruation on breastfeeding? Continue reading to find out why hormonal shifts are to fault.
Hormones and Breastfeeding:
When your kid is born, you’re already stocked with the natural nutrients they will require for feedings. Unless you cannot breastfeed, your doctor will most likely advise you to do so, and this is frequently regarded as the most secure and healthy source of nourishment for neonates.
While it may appear like breast milk suddenly arises after your baby is born, there is much more to the story. In reality, hormones are responsible for breastfeeding in the same way they help support your pregnancy. Prolactin is the primary hormone responsible for producing breast milk, and the pituitary gland, located in the brain, controls its secretion.
What Causes Periods to End?
Prolactin also helps to prevent menstruation. Breast-feeding maintains these hormone levels; thus, the longer you nurse, the more likely it is that you will have light menstruation or no menstruation at all. On the other hand, once you wean your infant off breast milk, your periods will most likely return relatively fast.
During the first few months of your baby’s birth, they will consume the most breast milk. As your baby’s milk requirements decrease and they begin to eat solid foods, the pituitary gland detects this feeding change and produces less prolactin. As prolactin levels drop, you may notice that your period resumes, even though you are still breastfeeding.
Feeding Routine Modifications:
If you get your period while breastfeeding, you may also experience other unanticipated changes. For example, you may notice that your infant is less interested at feeding times and will eat less during your period. This is assumed to be related to changes in the flavor of the milk.
Alternatively, the scenario could be the inverse. Because prolactin regulates milk production, you may not provide as much during your period, and your infant may want to nurse more frequently.
When does Your Cycle Return to Normal?
Because every woman is different, there is no defined period for normal cycles. If you were pretty regular before pregnancy, your periods should return and normalize promptly after you stop breastfeeding.
It’s also worth noting that a lack of a period does not always imply a lack of ovulation. Some women believe that if they aren’t menstruation frequently, they can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, and this is also a major cause of unexpected pregnancies in nursing women.
Pregnancy can be difficult when breastfeeding, yet it is not impossible. It’s important to remember that prolactin is responsible for milk production and pregnancy support, and the body may struggle to support both at the same time. If you want to get pregnant right now, consult your doctor about your possibilities.
Even if you’re breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about irregular menstruation. They will want to rule out any other possibilities, such as:
- Fibroids in the uterus (noncancerous cells on the uterus)
- Ovarian cysts or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic inflammatory illness
- Severe weight loss
If you are in significant discomfort or have excessive spotting between periods, you should seek medical attention immediately.
While specific medical issues might cause irregular periods, hormonal changes are the most prevalent breastfeeding cause. Your periods will return to normal after you begin to slack up on breastfeeding, especially after the first year as your kid obtains more nutrients from solids.
If you do not breastfeed, your cycles should return to normal soon. You could even have your next period four weeks after giving birth. If you have irregular periods even though you do not breastfeed, consult your doctor.
If you think you or anyone near you has more irregular menstruation during breastfeeding, you should consult a Gynecologist. You can make an appointment with the Best Gynecologist in Islamabad through Marham.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Do periods affect breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding while you have your period is perfectly safe, and it’s not harmful to you or your child at all. Your breast milk is still healthy and nutritious for your baby. However, hormone changes in the days leading up to your period can affect your breast milk and your baby’s breastfeeding pattern for a few days.
2. Does menstruation increase milk supply?
Some people see no difference in their milk supply when they have their period, while others have a drop that can last a few days to a week or more. Hormonal fluctuations cause this change.
3. How do I know if I am ovulating while breastfeeding?
Different fertility awareness-based methods can help you identify when you are fertile. The symptothermal process requires you to:
- Check your cervical mucus daily.
- Take your temperature each morning at the same time and before voiding;
- Chart your ovulation symptoms.
4. Does starting your period decrease milk supply?
It is common to have a drop in supply at specific points in your cycle, often from mid-cycle to around the time of your period. It can also be less comfortable to nurse at this time, and this is due to the hormonal changes and is only temporary.
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”