Can babies get their period?

Infant menstrual bleeding, more commonly known as "infant menstruation", is characterized by bleeding that occurs at birth.

Summary

  • What is menstrual bleeding in infants?
  • Why do babies get their periods?
  • What to do if your baby has a period?


What is breakthrough bleeding?

Although we often talk about the first menstrual period during adolescence, it also affects babies. Infant spotting, more commonly known as "baby's period", is characterized by bleeding that occurs at birth. It is a small amount of vaginal blood flow that occurs during the first week after birth. This bleeding is small and can look like a period.

Why do babies have periods?

This light bleeding is actually caused by the secretion of sex hormones in little girls: estrogen. It can be described as a "mini-puberty" that occurs under the activation of the hormonal axis that will go dormant until puberty is triggered in adolescence.

The metrorrhagia is part of a more global phenomenon that we call: the genital crisis of the newborn. It can appear in both girls and boys. It manifests itself in several ways: By an increase in the volume of the breasts (they can become red and swollen and with a milky white liquid flowing out of them). Don't worry: most of the time, this swelling disappears quickly after the birth.

The genital crisis of the newborn can also manifest itself directly on the external genitalia with an increase in the volume of the lips of the vulva, congestion of the vulva and even small vaginal discharge in girls, by an increase in the size of the penis, the bursa and the testicles in boys. It is also possible that your baby will develop a small acne flare-up. All of these things are basically like a mini puberty.

What to do if your baby has a period?

There's nothing special to do if your baby has breakthrough bleeding. Continue the wash with mild soap and water.

Note: Your baby may have breakthrough bleeding without you even realizing it because the discharge is so light!

If the discharge lasts for a long time and does not disappear after a few days, consult your midwife or pediatrician who will be able to guide you.

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