Periods after childbirth: better understanding the return of childbirth

Immediately after giving birth, women experience very heavy bleeding. This bleeding is very heavy during the first 5 to 7 days of the immediate postpartum period and lasts between 3 and 4 weeks. But this is not a period! So when does menstruation really return after baby?



What is the return of labor after childbirth?

The return of childbirth is the name given to the first menstrual period that returns after the delivery of the mother who did not have a period during pregnancy. Indeed, after having carried life for 9 months after the arrival of the baby, the hormonal system gradually starts to function normally again. The body starts to produce estrogen and progesterone, which are essential hormones for the cycle to function. Fertility and menstruation return.

When does menstruation start after childbirth?

he reappearance of menstruation after the arrival of the baby is very difficult to predict from one menstruating person to another and will also depend on different factors such as,breastfeeding and your hormonal system! In the maternity hospital where you are going to give birth, it is possible that the midwives, gynecologists or nursery assistants explain to you that menstrual discharge can return between 6 and 8 weeks after the birth. Some numbers to know:

  • There is no ovulation before the 21st day after the birth
  • 92% of women who do not breastfeed have their periods after 3 months
  • 1 out of 4 womenbefore their child is 6 months old
  • Finally, the rest of the women have their periods after 9 months.


Differentiating menstruation from bleeding and lochia

For many mothers, menstruation after the arrival of the baby is often confused with lochia, which is bleeding that becomes more abundant 10 to 12 days after the birth for 48 hours.
They allow theexpulsion of the residues of the pregnancy under the effect of the uterine contractions, the trenches. They can be quite unpleasant, after having already undergone hours of contractions during the labor phase! These blood flows through the cervix contain blood, blood clots which are uterine residues, debris of the placenta membrane. The lochiae take on several aspects and colors over the days: First bright red or black, then light colored and then pinkish and finally the vaginal secretions become white or yellowish or dark brown and very little abundant. Lochia is completely natural and allows the uterus to return to its original size! They occur when the baby is delivered vaginally or by cesarean section.

What is menstruation like after returning from childbirth?

All menstruating women are different. Menstruation may come back smoothly with a light discharge, or the flow of blood may be much heavier than before pregnancy. The menstrual flow may be completely disrupted.

It may be lighter, heavier and more irregular. Menstrual periods after you are in the maternity ward may be more viscous and contain blood clots from the healing of the uterine wall.

It may take a few cycles for your body to regain stability and regularity. As with the first period, it is a new set up of the whole hormonal system.

The impact of breastfeeding on your period

When the mother breastfeeds her baby, the sucking of the child during suckling increases and stimulates the secretion of prolactin to promote milk production. This hormone also has the effect of blocking ovulation and the menstrual cycle.


It is possible to have an impact on the occurrence of menstruation by practicing the LAM method which is the method of breastfeeding and amenorrhea. This method is used as a contraceptive but also in managing the return of childbirth. Keep in mind that the woman should breastfeed her baby exclusively, without giving him a bottle of formula or solid food. Breastfeeding should be done on demand, day and night, with a minimum of 6 feedings per day and a maximum of 6 hours between two feedings at night, and 4 hours during the day.

What contraception should I choose after giving birth?

After the birth and if you do not want a new pregnancy and you resume sexual activity, it is recommended to use contraception. It will be offered to you at the maternity hospital and the subject will be discussed with your gynecologist or health care professional 6 weeks later. You should know that this subject is very important because you can be fertile before your menstrual flow shows its nose! Fertilization and a new pregnancy is therefore quite possible.
Some methods of contraception that you can use after giving birth:

  • The condom is the safest contraception after childbirth
  • The use of the hormonal pill estroprogestative (not before 1 month and a half postpartum) or progestin from the 21st day after delivery.
  • Themicro progestin contraceptive not to be used before one and a half months for those who are breastfeeding.
  • The use of a copper or hormonal IUD can be put in place in the 2nd month after delivery.
  • The installation of an implant
  • Spermicides
  • The LAM method
  • Thevaginal ring
  • Contraceptive patches
  • Contraceptive injections

Discuss with your doctor your best contraceptive options after giving birth.

Is the absence of menstruation after returning from childbirth normal?

After the first real period after delivery, the menstrual cycle gradually resets.
As we saw earlier, menstruation can be irregular at first, and it takes several cycles to settle down.
However, it should be noted that theabsence of monthly blood flow, also calledamenorrhea, can be a symptom of several menstrual disorders or a new pregnancy!
The absence of discharge is normal in the following situations:

  • During pregnancy
  • During part ofbreastfeeding, if exclusive
  • Before puberty
  • After menopause

The different causes of amenorrhea after the first menstrual flow are :

  • A new pregnancy!
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS
  • Stress
  • Very high weight gain oranorexia
  • Hormonal imbalance of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or ovaries

In any case, if your period is absent after your first post-delivery period, consult your doctor or medical referral!

Postpartum Period FAQs

When does my period return after giving birth?

The first menstrual period after childbirth usually returns between the 3rd and 9th month after the birth of the child.Exclusive breastfeeding may play a role in the occurrence of the first postpartum menstrual period, which should not be confused with immediate postpartum bleeding called lochia.

What are the signs of returning menstruation?

The signs vary from one woman to another. In fact, it is possible that ovulation occurs a few weeks before the first period after delivery. Signs that your period has returned may include the reappearance of PMS, migraines, stomach pain, fatigue or a temporary decrease in lactation.



You may also like: