Will my periods be different after having my baby?

Q: Will my periods be different after having my baby?

A: Your first couple of periods after baby may be a bit different from usual, as your hormone levels adjust and your menstrual cycle gets back on track. If you're not nursing, you should get your first period within six to eight weeks of delivering, and you may find that it's heavier and crampier than usual. If you're breastfeeding and your period comes back later, it may be very erratic at first, lasting longer than a normal period (sometimes as long as two weeks) and then not coming at all for a month or two. The most important thing to remember is that even though your period is off-kilter, you could still be ovulating. So if another baby isn't in your plans right now, be sure to use reliable birth control.

Many new moms report that their periods tend to either get shorter or longer after having a baby. Some find that their cramps are milder now (probably due to the stretching of the uterus during pregnancy), while other women complain of more painful cramps, and some notice no change at all. If you were taking birth control pills before you got pregnant and plan to continue taking them now, your symptoms will probably stay the same (one bonus of birth control pills is that menstrual cramps often hurt less).

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