Well, it’s been a minute since you’ve given birth, six months to be exact, and you might be wondering, is Auntie Flow going to resume her regular monthly visit? When she comes by and makes everything sad, then happy again? Then sad? When peanut M&Ms become the go-to meal of choice and activities include resting on the couch with a heating pad? Seriously though, you might be wondering, is it normal I haven’t gotten my period yet following birth? And the short answer is, yes!
- 6 to 8 weeks after your baby is born if you don’t breastfeed
- 4 to 8 weeks after you start supplementing breastmilk with formula or solids
- 7 or 8 months, or longer, if you’re breastfeeding exclusively. (Some women don’t start having periods again until they stop nursing.)
There are a whole host of reasons you may or may not get your period, namely, how often you’re breastfeeding, if at all. That’s because the hormones your body produces while you nurse typically suppresses ovulation.
While there’s no surefire way to predict exactly when you’ll get your first period following birth or what it will look like, be prepared for a heavier or lighter flow that usual. Nothing is off the table following pregnancy. You might also discharge for a bit after giving birth. That’s actually Iochia, or postpartum bleeding, which can hang around for six weeks or so.
Just know that the less often you nurse, the sooner you can expect your period to return. But, like everything else, it varies. Some women who breastfeed exclusively may start menstruating a month after giving birth, while others who supplement with formula may not get their period for several months. And remember (and we say this loudly), breastfeeding is not a guarantee that you aren’t ovulating and you can get pregnant while you’re breastfeeding!!!
If you find that you’re experiencing extremely heavy flows for longer than two cycles, contact your medical provider. Also, if you’re formula feeding and don’t get your period by three months postpartum, you might want to check in as well. Remember, your period will very likely return in due time, and before you know it, you’ll be wishing Auntie Flow never made it back at all.