Postpartum Body: Menstruation

Dr. Elizabeth Pryor answers the question, How long will it take to get my period after baby is born?

Question

I gave birth three weeks ago in an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. I'm wondering when I can expect to start getting my period again. Also, I used to get really painful menstrual cramps -- will it be different now that I've had a baby?

Answer

Resumption of your period will depend on several factors, the most important being breastfeeding. If not breastfeeding, 70 percent of women will menstruate by 12 weeks postpartum. The average time to the first period is seven to nine weeks. If a woman is breastfeeding, she may not have her period for months -- the longer the period of breastfeeding, the longer it will be before the first period occurs.

Most women say that menstrual cramps improve dramatically after having a baby. The mechanism isn't clear -- it could be due to stretching of the uterus and cervix during pregnancy and birth. But this is certainly an added bonus, and I hope this is the case for you!

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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