When Will My Period Return?

As uncomfortable as pregnancy might be, one of the perks is that you will not have to deal with your period. Once you have your baby, it is inevitable that the day will come again. If you do not plan to go on hormonal birth control at your six week check up, what can you expect? Some women prefer to wait till their cycle returns to begin their chosen method of family planning, some do not want to use hormonal methods at all, some want to get pregnant right away if they can.

Are you breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding, because it puts a woman's body in a low estrogen state, can delay the first period for a few months and sometimes the entire breastfeeding period. The lower estrogen not only causes low libido and vaginal dryness, but also makes unpredictable periods and fertility.

Are you co-sleeping?

What does this have to do with the return of your cycle? Having a baby in bed often means, more nursing at night, which helps decrease fertility or delay the return of your period even more.

What do your genetics tell you?

Family history does not always come into play with the return of your period, but sometimes it does. If your mother/sisters tend to have a quick or slow return to a period, you might expect the same.

Many factors come into play, but overall, you can't predict it to a T. However, there are some warning signs, such as the above listed questions that play into it as well as others. As your body tries to restart the cycle you may notice for several months an up and down of cervical/fertile mucus, you may notice PMS , and you may notice cramps and occasional spotting. These are signs that your body is gearing up to begin that first period. Most often you will ovulate *before* this first period, so if you are trying *not* to conceive, take precautions. This is an entirely different topic for another day.

What to expect with the first period?

Your first period might be nothing like the periods your experienced before getting pregnant, pregnancy and an adjustment of hormones does a lot to a body. You may find that they are longer or shorter, more painful or less, heavier or lighter. You may notice that what worked before to alleviate cramps, doesn't work this time. You may find that your cycles are longer or shorter, who knows. If you're looking for predictability, there isn't much in this stage of life. Keep what you need on hand so that you are not caught off guard should it return earlier than expected.