Breastfeeding can affect your menstrual cycles by suppressing ovulation and delaying the return of your regular periods. This happens because of the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for milk production and can inhibit the hormones involved in ovulation and menstruation.
The timing of when your periods come back can be different for every breastfeeding woman. Some may start having regular periods soon after childbirth, while others may not experience them for several months or even longer. The frequency and consistency of your breastfeeding routine can also influence when your menstruation resumes.
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If you're breastfeeding and notice that you've missed a period, it's important to keep in mind the possibility of pregnancy, although breastfeeding can lower the chances. However, it's worth noting that breastfeeding alone is not a reliable form of contraception, particularly as your breastfeeding patterns change and your baby starts consuming more solid foods. If you suspect you might be pregnant or have concerns about your missed periods while breastfeeding, it's a good idea to take a pregnancy test or speak with your healthcare provider for further guidance.
Remember, everyone's experience is unique, so if you have any worries or questions, it's always best to seek advice from a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation.
Read more about irregular periods while breastfeeding.
Questions and Answers
I have an eight-month who I breastfeed exclusively, including a few feedings at night, and she has also started eating solids.
Four months after she was born, my menstrual cycle came back, and my cycles have somewhat come on time for three months.
My husband also got a vasectomy done and confirmed that he was sterile, but I am about a week late on my period.
I am afraid to do a pregnancy test.
Is this normal? Is there a chance I could be pregnant?
Re Missed period
July 31, 2012
Is it normal to miss a period while breastfeeding?
By: Zelda Behr
Most likely, you are not pregnant. What you are experiencing is quite normal. It's called Amenorrhea. This is when your period disappears while breastfeeding. In some cases, it can stay away as long as you breastfeed, or as in your case, and it can make your period irregular.
Missed Periods while Breastfeeding
My son is almost ten months old, & I am nursing him exclusively (he won't take a bottle or even a pacifier).
I waited until he was six months before I started him on solids, but my period returned about two months after he was born, & I have experienced regular monthly periods since. However, my last period was in November, so I have not had a period now in almost four months.
I have taken two home pregnancy tests, both of which were negative. Is this normal? I'm just wondering if I should see my doctor about the missed periods or if this is common while breastfeeding. Thanks!
Re Missed Period while Breastfeeding
March 18, 2011
Missed periods while breastfeeding
It is perfectly normal to have irregular periods and missed periods while breastfeeding. This is because of the hormones that are produced at different levels.
Every woman's body responds differently to hormonal changes, and many ladies experience irregular periods while nursing. The frequency of nursing will also determine whether you have a period.
The general rule, though, is that a missed period is considered more normal if:
- You are breastfeeding exclusively (no other foods, cereal)
- You are breastfeeding at least six times per day
- Breastfeeding at least every six hours at night
- Women who carry their babies around or who practice co-sleeping also have higher hormones that might keep them from menstruating.
It's probably a good time now to also think of using some form of birth control.
- Read more on birth control while breastfeeding
- Read more on lactational Amenorrhea here
I hope this helps.
June 08, 2015
Omg! Thank goodness!
By: Yes girl
I am exclusively breastfeeding my 10-and-a-half-month-old baby, and I started getting my period after the 3rd month, and they have been coming on and off, so I was starting to get a little worried because I didn't get it again this month! But I feel so much better now after reading this!
June 19, 2017
When should I take the test?
I had my daughter on April 29, 2017. I was breastfeeding until two weeks ago.
I had sex on Saturday night without protection; he said he's fixed - when should I get my period?
June 19, 2017
Prevent an unwanted pregnancy
A pregnancy test will only be accurate four days after the missed period date, BUT your periods have not yet started?
Please be advised - your fertility is bound to return, and the absence of a period does not necessarily mean that you are infertile.
Please take precautions when intimate to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.