You might be wondering when to expect your first period after baby while breastfeeding: It depends. When you get your first period after baby while breastfeeding depends on a lot of factors, including your baby’s feeding habits and whether you’re taking hormonal contraceptives. Even adjusting to those factors, when to expect the first period after baby while breastfeeding is unique to each woman.

When to expect your first period after baby while breastfeeding

If you’re breastfeeding, when you get your first period after baby has a wide range of what’s considered normal. According to Baby Center, “Some breastfeeding mothers resume their menstrual cycle sooner than 11 weeks and others after 24 months or more.” There are a lot of variables that contribute to this. For example, your period might return earlier if your baby is sleeping consistently through the night. Alternatively, your period might return much later if your toddler is still breastfeeding several times each day, and soothing herself at the breast (rather than using a pacifier). And – if you’re using hormonal birth control while breastfeeding, you might not see your period until after you wean.

When to expect your first period after baby while breastfeeding

Even accounting for these factors, a woman’s first period after baby while breastfeeding depends a lot on the woman herself. As mothers on Reddit discussed when they got their first period after baby, it’s clear that everyone has a different experience – even under similar circumstances:

I exclusively breastfed for the first months and continued supplemental breastfeeding after introducing solids at 6mos. Didn’t get my period until right around the 12mo mark. –elysians

One Redditor didn’t see her first period after baby while breastfeeding for years.

My daughter will be 3 in september. still no signs of aunt flow! we just stopped nursing a few months ago. –peaceandkim 

When to expect your first period after baby while breastfeeding. Shown in image, toddler breastfeeding

18 glorious months PP. I was breastfeeding the whole time and pumping up to about 12 months. It’s been a lot lighter and less painful since pregnancy which is nice. –coolmistmama

Some women get their period right away, even while exclusively breastfeeding.

Both of my children were EBF. First was in the NICU for 22 days so I was pumping initially. I got my period at 6 weeks. I had a few days between the lochia ceasing and a normal very heavy period starting. I ovulated at 4 weeks.

Kid two I ovulated at 7 weeks and got my period at 9 weeks. –kninjaknitter

First period after baby while breastfeeding
Photo courtesy of Mothering Touch

4 weeks after she was born! I was pumping too, my body didn’t care! Was sooooo looking forward to more time with no periods 🙁 –cupidforgets 

First period after baby

You might be wondering what to expect with your first period after baby. By now you’ll have become a veteran when it comes to adjusting to changes in your body, and just like many of the changes associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding, your body will need to adjust to menstruating again. According to Health Line, “when you do start your period again, chances are the first period after delivery won’t be like your periods before you got pregnant.” Some of the symptoms you might experience during your first period after baby might include more intense cramping, more clots, heavier flow, or longer and/or more frequent starting and stopping of flow. After a few cycles, your period should return to what it normally was before pregnancy.

When you get your first period after baby varies a lot if you're breastfeeding

If you’ve started your period within a couple months of a vaginal birth, you may wish to avoid using tampons.

Future children

When you get your first period after baby is a good indication for future children (if you follow the same breastfeeding routine). So if you got your first period a few weeks after your first baby, you should expect to see your period around that time after giving birth to future children. If you didn’t get your first period after baby for over a year after your first baby was born, you shouldn’t expect to see your period right away after future children either.

First baby 13 months, second baby 15 months. –beanbaconsoup

Breastfeeding as birth control

Breastfeeding normally delays your period, and therefore delays your fertility. If you’re relying on breastfeeding as contraceptive, your baby should be under 6 months of age, exclusively breastfeeding, and breastfeeding on demand. After your baby starts solids your baby will be breastfeeding less often, therefore making it possible for you to ovulate. Even so, you can ovulate without having your period, and have your period without ovulating. According to Kelly Mom, “Moms whose cycles return early tend to be infertile for the first few cycles. Moms whose cycles return later are more likely to ovulate before their first period.”

One Redditor found out she was pregnant before her period ever returned, and didn’t get her first period after baby until after her second child.

Never got mine and instead found out I was pregnant again less that 3 months PP! Even though I was EBF and she ate every 3-4 hours. –NicPhoenix27

First period after baby while breastfeeding

See our blog post on birth control and breastfeeding for information on the topic and to explore options available to you.

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