The wait for that first period after giving birth can be daunting, especially if it's your first time having a baby. You might be full of questions about what to expect when it does decide to make an appearance again- such as when it will come, how heavy it might get, how much pain you'll be in and what other symptoms there may be. The best way to prepare yourself is to assume the worst, and plan accordingly so that anything less than that will seem like no big deal. Keep in mind that, lthough it's a different experience for every woman, there are still some basic things to look out for.
If you're breastfeeding, you can expect a delay in your first period after delivery because the breastfeeding hormones help to suppress ovulation. This delay varies from mother to mother, as some mothers have periods right away, whereas others don't see their period again until their baby is weaned. If you're feeding your baby with formula, you can expect your period to start as early as 5 to 6 weeks postpartum. Any bleeding earlier than that is probably still associated with giving birth.
According to healthline.com, the differences between your usual period and your first period after birth could include, "cramping that might be stronger or lighter than usual, small blood clots, heavier flow, [a] flow that seems to stop and start, increased pain, [and] irregular cycle lengths... It might also be accompanied by more intense cramping, due to an increased amount of uterine lining that needs to be shed." You can also expect some pretty strong mood swings as your hormones attempt to regulate themselves.
The truth is that some women don't notice a difference between their first period postpartum and their usual periods, while some women experience excruciating pain and cramping. Either way, it's best to be prepared with some pain medication and a heating pad (and a LOT of chocolate), in case it's the latter. After your first postpartum period is done, it's one step closer to your body's hormone levels evening out again.So hang in there; and be sure to see your doctor if the pain is unbearable or if you're passing large bloog clots.
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