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4th October 2013 02:38 AM #1
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- Oct 2013
Is breastfeeding causing my period not to show up?
Hi guys, I hope you can help me. I only remember having 1 menstruation cycle after giving birth. My daughter is now 4 months old and if my memory serves me right I am delayed for 3 months already. I don't see any signs of being pregnant. I just want to know if this is normal because I am breastfeeding exclusively for the past months?
4th October 2013 05:45 AM #2
It sounds like the menstruation you may have had was what is typically experienced right after giving birth. Some women will bleed for 4-6 weeks after giving birth and this is very normal.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding, then this will usually suppress ovulation and you wouldn't have a period. Please keep in mind that exclusively breastfeeding means not using a dummy/pacifier and not giving baby any other liquids or food. It means that baby pacifies at the breast (has her sucking needs met at the breast) and baby feeds only at the breast (no bottles).
When a baby is allowed to feed and pacify at the breast as often as she wants, this will help to keep mum from ovulating. It sends a signal to the body and the body, in turn, recognizes that you are feeding a baby often, and that you don't have the resources within your body to nurture and feed another child. Thus children become naturally spaced. It takes a lot of nourishment out of mum to grow another child in her body while she is fully breastfeeding a baby. Both babies will demand nutrients from her body.
It is, however, completely fine for a mother with an older infant or toddler to breastfeed while she is pregnant and even continue breastfeeding her toddler while breastfeeding an infant. The reason is because by the time the child is an older infant or toddler, they are getting some nutrition from solids and other liquids. But the ideal food for the first 12 months of a baby's life is breastmilk.
If you are using a dummy/pacifier to pacify your baby, and/or if you are introducing other foods to her then you can be watching for signs of fertiliy and ovulation. If you watch for these signs now, you will actually know when you're going to have your next period before it happens. It's also wonderful to know how to read your body's natural signs of fertility so that you can avoid pregnancy naturally and achieve pregnancy easily depending upon where you are in life.
Please remember that babies aren't ready for this until they are at least 6 months of age - you will notice that your 4 month old has a tongue thrust which thrusts the food out of her mouth rather than helping her to swallow it. Developmentally, she just isn't ready for solids until at least 6 months of age. We have some excellent forum posts about Baby Led Weaning if you do a search for them.
Please post back and let me know if you have any questions at all about your cycle. I would be curious to know if you have had a period since your daughter was 6 weeks old.
4th October 2013 11:49 PM #3
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- Oct 2013
To make it clearer, I gave birth last May 13, 2013. I bled for (if I recall it right) 4 weeks. After a month, when my daughter was 3 months old, I had a light menstruation (I cant say that this really looks like a menstruation). After that I never really had any bleeding or menstruation until now. I am just worried because we are sexually active but I don't really see any sign of pregnancy.
5th October 2013 05:54 AM #4
One more point to add; some women bleed very faintly at the time their period would have been due when they are breastfeeding. How long did this light bleeding last?
5th October 2013 05:52 AM #5
When you are breastfeeding (particularly in the first 6 months) it is likely that you will either have no periods or the occasional very light period. As Kate says above, thee light period you describe could have been a continuation of your postpartum bleeding. Alternatively it may have been a light period which hasn't reappeared because of your continued (and wonderful!) breastfeeding.
When you are breastfeeding anything is 'normal' in terms of your periods.
It is thought that, in the first 6 months, breastfeeding exclusively on demand gives you a 99% chance of being infertile at this time (i.e. being unable to conceive). However, there is still this small chance that you could conceive so you may want to consider other contraception options.
Once you introduce solid food from 6 months, as Kate says above, you are more likely to become fertile.
Fertility is held off for longer if you practice 'ecological breastfeeding' i.e. as well as breastfeeding on demand (day and night) you are co-sleeping and babywearing.
To conclude, it is very unlikely that you are pregnant but there is this tiny chance (around 1% or less if you exclusively breastfeed) and a pregnancy test would be the only way to know for sure.
5th October 2013 07:42 AM #6
If you are concerned it's best to take a pregnancy test to put your mind at ease. That's the best way to know for certain whether you are pregnant or not.
Otherwise just watch your signs of fertility, and if you see your secretions becoming more wet, that's an indication that you may be preparing to ovulate.