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Periods & Breastfeeding

by Bump, Baby & You

Breastfeeding and periods – this is one of the most talked about topics in our community!

A lot of breastfeeding mums enjoy a lack of periods when they’re feeding, known as ‘lactational amenorreah’, but in terms of knowing when exactly your cycle will return and which factors can affect this, it can be a minefield. La Leche League say that…

“The range of “normal”, though, is enormous. Some women resume their menstrual cycles soon after giving birth, while others do not resume menstruating until the baby is weaned (which can be months or years later, depending on how long the baby is nursed). This depends on how sensitive the mother’s body is, and how frequently the baby nurses. Also, some women have a non-ovulatory period before 6 months postpartum, but do not menstruate again for many months.”

It is also worth noting that even if you’re period-free when breastfeeding, it isn’t fail-safe in terms of being a contraceptive method as you can ovulate without having had a period for a while, which is uncommon but does happen!

What factors can cause my period to come back earlier?

  • Combination feeding (mixing breastfeeding with formula), as this causes the hormones that cause lactation to drop.
  • Breastfeeding less often, for the same reason.

Read more on the NHS website here.

We asked the mummies in our group… When did their periods come back when breastfeeding?

Six months postpartum: 18.75%

Two months postpartum: 15.625%

One month postpartum: 12.5%

Nine months postpartum: 9.375%

Eleven months postpartum: 9.375%

Six weeks postpartum: 9.375%

Four months postpartum: 6.25%

Sixteen months: 6:25

Five months postpartum: 3.125%

Eight months postpartum: 3.125%

Still not back at 23 months postpartum: 3.125%

Didn’t return at all whilst still breastfeeding: 3.125%

It’s clear to see that this can vary a lot between women! It can also be affected by all of the factors we’ve mentioned previously, so with these taken into account, there is no real exact science. We all have own own individual level of sensitivity to hormones, and if a mummy doesn’t exclusively breastfeed or starts feeding less, your period may start again!

It’s such an interesting topic – tell us when yours came back in the comments, and if you exclusively breastfed or not.

Love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx

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