It is natural for a woman’s menstrual cycle to change after delivery. Some can experience more painful or heavier first period after pregnancy, while others may find them easier. It is also true that your menstrual cycle will be irregular for some time. However, the good news is that they usually get normal over time.
Although there is no tried and tested way to predict your periods after cesarean delivery, some useful tips and guidance from the best gynaecologist can help you prepare better. Learn more about effectively managing your first postpartum period in this blog post.
When to Expect?
So, when do you get your first period after birth? It is seen that non-lactating mothers who’re formula-feeding tend to get their periods within six to eight weeks after delivery. And when do you get periods after birth while breastfeeding? Mothers who’re exclusively breastfeeding their babies usually experience delayed periods. That’s because of prolactin.
It is a hormone that is released while breastfeeding. This hormone controls ovulation. So, no ovulation, no periods. However, it is not a hard and fast rule. You may get periods while breastfeeding, especially after introducing solid foods, bottles, etc.
What will your first Postpartum Period be Like?
Brace yourself, mothers – the first period after C-section is generally heavier because of the extra bloodshed from the uterine lining. Again, the experience varies from person to person. Some of you can experience painful cramps, while others may find it easier.
Besides, your second period after pregnancy may also show up early or even late. So, your periods can take some time to get back to their normal cycle. Therefore, having adequate period protection items handy will always help.
Managing Premenstrual Symptoms
Just like normal periods, your body will start giving some premenstrual indications a week in advance. Staying healthy and active during this time can help immensely. Here are some premenstrual tips for you:
- Drink lots of water, juices, and other healthy beverages
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet, including lots of green leafy vegetables
- Avoid smoking and alcohol during this time
- Eat small meals every 3 hours to maintain your blood sugar levels
- Avoid coffee, tea, and soft drinks as much as you can
- Limit refined sugar and switch to natural or minimally processed sugar
Managing your First Postpartum Periods
Many women experience severe periods after delivery. It is due to a chemical called prostaglandins. It triggers contractions in the uterus and helps remove period blood. To manage these cramps, you can:
- Use a gel-based or water-based heat pad.
- Do some easy and safe postpartum exercises to prepare your body for periods.
- Avoid smoking or drinking during this time.
- Consult the best gynaecologist in Chandigarh to seek pain relief medications.
- Some relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and music therapy
- Consume ample water throughout the day
When should you see the Doctor?
Although the first period after pregnancy is expected to be heavier and more painful, there are some abnormal symptoms that need medical attention. Consult the best gynaecologist in Mohali if you experience any of the following:
Big blood clots – Small-sized blood clots are normal in the first postpartum periods. But if you see the size of the clots is larger than a quarter, you should get in touch with your doctor. It can be a sign of polyps, fibroids, thyroid, or severe infection. Your doctor may prescribe some blood tests and other screenings to find the cause of these clot discharges.
Extremely heavy flow, spotting, and pain – Experiencing extremely heavy flow (soaking more than one pad per hour) or severely paining periods can indicate adenomyosis. This condition arises due to the thickening of the uterine wall. Although it is not a dangerous health condition, your doctor should know about it. Severe cases also need anti-inflammatory medications, hormonal therapy or even a minor surgical procedure.
Prolonged periods – Any period lasting over seven days comes in the category of prolonged periods. Losing too much blood during this time can lead to anemia. It can make you feel irritable, dizzy, and tired. So, consult the best gynaecologist in Mohali for a blood test. She can also prescribe you Vitamin C and iron supplements if required.
A sudden fever – Consult your gynaecologist at the earliest if you get a sudden fever, severe headache, or difficulty breathing during your first postpartum period. Any fever that crosses 100 F should be brought to the attention of the doctor.
No Periods – No period after pregnancy; when to worry? Talk to your doctor if you don’t receive your first period after three months of delivery or stop breastfeeding. It is usually normal most of the time. But two rare health conditions can cause periods to disappear for this long. They are:
Sheehan’s Syndrome – Also known as a pituitary haemorrhage, this is a condition where the pituitary gland gets damaged during delivery. It disrupts your menstrual cycle. The top gynaecologists in Mohali usually prescribe hormone therapy to correct this syndrome.
Asherman’s Syndrome – Women undergoing D & C (dilation and curettage) procedures sometimes develop uterine scar tissues. This syndrome can lead to fertility issues. Timely consultation with an experienced gynaecologist can help control this condition.
At times, women confuse periods with a post-delivery vaginal discharge process, called Lochia. It is a thick discharge containing mucus, blood, and uterine tissues. It has a musty, stale odour similar to period discharge that can last for several weeks. The flow is quite heavy initially and subsides later on until it goes away. Lochia is a natural part of the postpartum healing process. It is a safe process that does not lead to any worrisome complications. The actual menstrual cycle will start after this process.
The return of your period after delivering a baby can feel like a shock to your system. So, be prepared to embrace the natural changes in your cycles. Listen to your body, check on abnormal symptoms, find the best gynaecologist in Chandigarh and stay in touch with her throughout the process. These simple things can make this transition way smoother and easier for you.