First Period after childbirth

Pregnancy is all about having some jitters, the excitement of having a baby, glowing skin, receiving a lot of care and being pampered by your near and dear ones all the time. Another perk of being pregnant is not having the periods for the straight nine months. Your periods go on an extended vacation and you just need to lay back, relax and take care of yourself and your baby. The common question that strikes all moms-to-be is, when will they get their periods after delivery. In this article, we will discuss “First period after childbirth”.

A woman needs to understand that having a baby brings a lot of changes to her body and things take time to get back on track. Your body undergoes many hormonal changes. There’s nothing like a standard postpartum period time as it varies from person to person and from body to body.

So, let’s take a stroll through some major questions that a woman is likely to come across while being pregnant or after childbirth.

  1. What will be my first period after delivery be like?

The first periods after your delivery will be way different from the ones you had before conceiving. You may have:

  • Heavier, longer and painful periods: 

The larger uterine cavity will cause more endometrium (mucous lining the uterus) to shed more with much pain. This will also help in improving future periods.

  • Cramping: 

Women may experience worse or better cramps than the ones before conceiving as the uterus contracts while returning to its usual size. 

  • Small blood clots: 

Because the body sheds the placenta after delivery, the blood might get collected inside the uterus and develop clots. This is also a body mechanism to form clots during pregnancy to prevent excess blood loss during childbirth. Within 24 hours when the blood flow is highest, women may pass one or more large clots.

  • Irregular periods: 

As the period cycle directly depends on breastfeeding, periods will be quite irregular or may even occur after a long pause post-childbirth depending on your breastfeeding schedule.

  1. What are the possible reasons for changes in periods after delivery?

Some women experience the color change in the blood, heavier bleeding and cramps, more clots during periods after childbirth. Some of the reasons that attribute to change in periods after childbirth are:

  • Hormonal levels affected by breastfeeding: 

This happens because the hormones that control breastfeeding are the same hormones that regulate menstruation. 

  • Hormone shifting: 

Many hormonal changes occur in the body after childbirth which causes a delay in the ovulation process as it is directly connected to hormonal disturbance.

  • Uterus taking time to return to normalcy: 

Menstruation will take its regular form after some time. Till then, irregular periods are experienced by all the women.

Also Read: Post Pregnancy Depression

  1. What might need a doctor’s attention?

If any of the below-mentioned symptoms are felt or observed, you must talk to your doctor soon. It might be a sign of some postpartum complication which needs immediate medical intervention as they could indicate postpartum hemorrhage. Such symptoms are:

  • Clammy and dry skin

  • Blood clots bigger than a plum

  • Blurred vision

  • Bright red bleeding after the third day of delivery

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Chills

  • Nausea

  • Faint feeling

  • Dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Bleeding that soaks one sanitary pad an hour and that doesn’t slow down or stop

  • Heavy bleeding with fever

  1. What is postpartum hemorrhage?

When it bleeds profusely after giving birth, especially within 24 hours, it’s called postpartum 

hemorrhage. It can also happen anytime within the first 12 weeks after giving birth. This can be quite serious as it can cause a big drop in your blood pressure and can eventually collapse the organs. It is fatal. Some causes of postpartum hemorrhage are:

  • Uterine atony where the uterus does not contract as it should causing heavy bleeding

  • Giving birth to more than one child at a time (maybe twins)

  • Having a baby weighing more than 8 pounds 12 ounces

  • Have given birth several times before

  • Tear in the vagina or cervix. Sometimes general anesthesia in cesarean delivery.

  • Oxytocin medicine

  • Obesity

  • Uterine rupture during labor

  1. What is the relation between periods and breastfeeding?

Irregular periods are directly related to breastfeeding. Immediately after giving birth, an irregular period is a common thing. This happens because the hormones that support breastfeeding are responsible for delaying ovulation. Your body takes time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, periods may be irregular, even if you are not breastfeeding.

Also Read: Self Care Post Pregnancy

Take Away

The first period after childbirth is different from the usual periods due to the aforementioned reasons. It’s quite ok to encounter such symptoms for new moms. But you should read the extreme signs that your body gives and should know what is not normal. In case of big clots and heavy bleeding that doesn’t stop, go see your doctor immediately as it might be some health complication that requires immediate medical attention. 

The first postpartum period is heavier or painful with bearable cramps. So don’t worry, listen to your body and play safe! Go see your doctor if you face unusual troubles or if you do not feel gradual relief in symptoms.

Also Read: Painful Bowel Movements after Childbirth – Common Conditions

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