What to Expect from Your First Period After Giving Birth

period after pregnancy

First Period After Pregnancy

Moms who breastfeed might not see their first period for some time after giving birth. (Mine returned when my son was about 15 months old). However, I started seeing signs that I might be getting my period soon when he was only 12 months.

The symptoms that I might start menstruating again were very similar to signs of pregnancy. I didn’t think I could be pregnant but I took a pregnancy test to check anyway!

period after giving birth

Signs Your Period is Returning After Giving Birth

  1. Acne – I am not prone to a lot of acne, but I do tend to break out before my period. That means I was acne-free all the way up until I started returning to a monthly cycle. I got my first pimple in over a year about two months before I actually got my period. I also dealt with acne on and off for those two months.getting period after pregnancy
  2. Cramping – This is a pretty typical event when you have your period, but in the past I never experienced cramping beforehand. Post partum, I now have cramps on and off for a couple of weeks before my period.
  3. Bloating – I was unpleasantly bloated for almost two months before my period actually arrived. Pre-pregnancy, bloating was something that lasted a couple of days before my period. Postpartum it goes on much longer!return of period after pregnancy
  4. Tender nipples – This was the thing that most made me think I might be pregnant before my period returned. Breastfeeding suddenly became incredibly painful, as I’ve heard it can be for pregnant women. I blamed my son at first but he was latching on wonderfully. My nipples were just incredibly sensitive. Once my period came and went, the nipple sensitivity went away.
  5. Dip in milk supply – I wasn’t sure I would notice this since I was not pumping at the time that my period finally returned. However, a couple of weeks before my period finally arrived I noticed that my breasts didn’t feel as full and my son nursed more often and for longer than usual. I have noticed this again in subsequent months and I seem to have a supply dip when I’m ovulating. My supply bounces back before my period (and then dips again – see below).

period after giving birth

What to Expect from Your Period After Giving Birth

  1. Heavy flow – Ok, this is not the most pleasant thing to write about but I’m going to be honest here. My periods postpartum have been much heavier than they ever were before I had my son.  In the past, super tampons were accidentally acquired in multipacks and they sat in my medicine cabinet unused. Now I have to actively buy and use the super tampons...

    first period after pregnancy

  2. Cramping – I mentioned this above – not only do I get cramps well before my period now, but cramping during my period is worse than it was before I gave birth. I was always lucky to have very light cramps. Now at least one day per cycle is spent in a lot of pain!
  3. Lower back pain – This is closely related to cramping, but it was something I never experienced before giving birth. Now, my period brings be bad cramps and lower back pain. Having my period just makes me want to curl up around a hot water bottle for days on end.

    first period after pregnancy

  4. Tender nipples – This was a sign my period might be returning – I later realized my nipples are very sensitive around the time I am ovulating. Unfortunately, the pain returns again when my period arrives. This means I spend about two weeks of every month with a lot of discomfort when I breastfeed my son.
  5. Dip in milk supply – I wasn’t sure I would notice this since I was not pumping at the time that my period finally returned. However, during my period I notice that my breasts don’t feel as full and my son nurses more often and for longer than usual. Once my period ends my supply seems to bounce back – my son nurses less frequently and my breasts feel fuller at the start of each feed.

I have only had my period a few times now since giving birth – I am curious to see if some of these symptoms dissipate as my body readjusts. For example, I could really do without the nipple pain! I will be sure to update this post in the future once I have more experience.

How did your body react to its first period after pregnancy? Did your period take ages to return or was it back after only a couple of months?

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  1. Oh my God — my periods after giving birth were HORRIBLE, and still are to this day. (My youngest is 11!) They are extremely heavy and “productive,” thus shorter than they were pre-pregnancy.

    1. Hi Carlie! Yeah, my post partum periods have been really unpleasant so far! At least yours are shorter than they were pre-pregnancy (trying to find a silver lining here…) Mine are so long now vs. pre-pregnancy… they drag on forever!

  2. I’m one of the unlucky ones who already got my period (2months pp) it’s such a struggle because I think my milk dips and my son wants to eat more plus he’s fussy. I have no idea what to do until my period is over though!

    1. It is so interesting how some women see their period return so quickly and it takes forever for other women! My son definitely wants to nurse more during my period. I just keep reminding myself that my supply will bounce back when my period ends. It is an uncomfortable few days, though!

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