what you need to know about your first period after childbirth

9 Things to know about your first period after childbirth

You just had yourself a roughly 9-month reprieve from your monthly visit from Aunt Flo, but now that baby is here you have to worry about your first period after childbirth.

Yay.

Don’t be too scared of your postpartum period; once it comes back you’ll remember what to do. It’s kind of like riding a bike (but with more menstrual blood and discomfort, you know?!)

Are you about to give birth?

Build your confidence with these 10 tips from a Mama who’s done it 4 times.

Plus, get exclusive access to a hilarious birth story that you will be able to learn from!

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    Your first period after childbirth isn’t quite the same as the regular, consistent period that you were once (possibly) used to and there are a few things you need to consider.

    What you need to know about your first period after childbirth

    You're awaiting your first period after childbirth, but you may want to read this first and get a little more prepared for what's to come.
    1. “Most” folks get their first period after childbirth at around the 6-8 week postpartum mark. However, this is different for each and every person and things like breastfeeding and stress may change that.
    2. It’s going to be unpredictable. Some folks can mark it in the calendar exactly when they’re going to be getting their period or they have sure-fire signs that it’s about to grace them with its presence. Your body is still in the process of returning organs back to their original place before baby moved them, so things internally are a little out of whack. You may end up with some symptoms that you think are premenstrual but are just normal post-baby body things.
      You may find that your periods are off-track for quite some time and take a while to regulate again. For the first year especially you may experience some periods that are longer than others, fluctuating lengths of your cycle, and periods that are heavier than others.
    3. Your first period after childbirth may take longer to come back if you’re breastfeeding. Your hormone levels continue to fluctuate significantly when you’re breastfeeding. This can have an impact on when your menses might start up again after having baby.
    4. Depending on when you get your first period after childbirth you may not want to jump back into using tampons, especially if you’re closer to the 6-8 week postpartum mark. This is something that you’ll need to base on your comfort level, but it’s also worthwhile having a chat with your midwife or doctor in one of your postpartum visits to get their insight on when tampons are appropriate.

      **If this is your first baby and you wanted to give the Diva Cup a go-round make sure you read about which one is going to be best for your vagina now that you’ve had a baby or if you’re over 30. I highly recommend the Diva Cup but recommend you have a bit of patience learning how to get that sucker in properly. It takes a bit of practice but at the end of it you won’t be afraid of getting all up in yourself-I promise.**
    5. You don’t need to be as prepared for your first period after childbirth as you might think you do! If you’re used to unpredictable periods you probably have gotten into the habit of carrying hygiene products around with you wherever you go. Now that you’re carrying around a BABY and everything that they need you may have gotten out of that routine. Fortunately for you, you’re likely carrying around the ultimate premenstrual pad with you at all times: a diaper! (Unless you’re me and you forgot diapers all the friggin’ time and had to ask random folks with or without babies if they happened to have a spare diaper on them. It worked better than you might think). Seriously, if you’re in a pinch take that tiny little diaper out, remove the tabs, and shove it down your pants. It’s less bulky than you imagine and is way more absorbent than any pad I’ve ever encountered.
    6. Your first period after childbirth may affect your breastmilk! Okay, don’t freak out. It’s usually not a major impact, but you may notice that your baby is acting a bit out of sorts. Your menses can alter the taste of your breastmilk, as well as the quantity you make. These slight changes shouldn’t shift your ability to breastfeed.
    7. Your first period after childbirth may be a little more intense than you’re used to. You may find that your cramping is a little more than before (you have a uterine lining that is still being shed) and you may have some small blood clots that can be a bit alarming. If you feel that it’s too intense and you’re concerned don’t ever hesitate to go to your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.
    8. Lochia is not our first period after childbirth. Lochia is vaginal discharge after you’ve given birth that consists of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. This is a normal output after a vaginal birth or cesarean birth and can last up to around 10 days with continued spotting up to 6 weeks.
    9. There are some things that you need to watch out for with your first period after childbirth (as per Healthline Parents):
      -soaking through a pad every hour
      -sudden fever
      -bleeding continuously for more than 7 days
      -bleeding that’s accompanied with sudden, severe pain
      -blood clots that are bigger than a softball
      -foul-smelling discharge
      -severe headache
      -trouble breathing
      -pain while urinating
      These symptoms may indicate an infection and require immediate medical attention.

    I got my first period after childbirth with my fourth baby in the middle of my Grandmother’s funeral. Thank Goddess I was wearing black and THANK GODDESS I actually had diapers with me that day. That little tidbit of info about the shoving the diaper down the pants thing…ya, that came from experience.

    Do you have a funny “first period after childbirth” story?

    rules of motherhood

    How to be a good Mom

    In my time as a mother I have done a lot of learning. Some of the lessons have come easily, while some have taken a little more  time to understand.  Of all the things I have learned over time, these are the ones that have resonated with me and have helped me be a good mom:

    *Make-up can help you look less tired.

    *You will forget all the chaos and frustrations of the day when you look at your sleeping children.

    *Your best is good enough. Your love is all they really need.

    *Wine helps.

    *Swearing doesn’t make you a bad mother.

    *Taking a break from your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It just means you love yourself, too.

    It’s the one we all seem to have difficulty with, yet it is the most important thing to remember to make sure we can be a good mom.

    As mothers, we give. We give our bodies, minds, and souls to our children. We do everything in our power to make sure that they are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy,  that they’re educated, rested, and experiencing opportunities to find themselves so they can develop their unique personalities. We sacrifice things we want and need so that they can have what they want and need. Our desires get pushed to the backburner. We lose ourselves in the world of motherhood by giving 100% of ourselves to our children, and we seem to forget that there is still “you” underneath our identity as a mother.

    We love our children. This is evident in the way in which we treat them. When was the last time you gave yourself the same treatment?

    How to be a good mom

    Mama, you need to take care of your body. Sure, cleaning the house and carrying children keeps you moving, but you need to elevate that heart rate. Do cardio. Do yoga.  Eat proper, healthy meals. You wouldn’t let your children skip lunch so they could tidy the house, and they would certainly never be allowed to fill the void in their bellies with a third cup of coffee. Sleep. Shower. Paint your nails.

    Do you wonder how to be a good mom? You keep trying to do more for your children but never feel like you're doing enough. What if you gave this a try?

    Mama, you need to take care of your mind. Read. Write in a journal. Meditate. Allow yourself the quiet time you need to be able to accomplish this. Send the kids outside or to watch a movie. Ignore the mess. Put on your favourite song and let go. Sing. Dance. Do a crossword. Learn how to make kombucha. Create.

    Mama. Your soul. Take care of your soul.  Do whatever it is that brings you joy. Knit. Climb mountains. Volunteer. Think about the things that make up “you” other than being a mother, and embrace them. Don’t let them fall into the abyss of the chaos of life. When your children are less dependent on your care you will be able to regain your individualism. Don’t let that be a struggle. Maintain your relationship with “you” so “you” can flourish when the opportunity arises. Thank yourself. Tell yourself what a great job you’re doing. Buy yourself flowers.

    Mama, you MUST do this.

    So many of us are running on an empty tank, or even on fumes. It doesn’t take long for that tank to become depleted. You need fuel. Premium fuel. Taking good care of your children requires you to have energy, imagination, and patience. You simply cannot accomplish this if you, yourself is not filled up.

    Motherhood involves teaching your children by example. Your children are aware of what you are doing for them. They are aware of the countless hours you put into ensuring they are cared for. They’re also aware of the bags under your eyes and the exhaustion in your voice. You are teaching them the importance of taking care of others. Give them the opportunity to understand the importance of taking care of themselves, as well.  Taking good care of your children begins with taking good care of yourself.

    Mama, you are amazing.

    You love your children.

    Don’t forget to love yourself, too…it’s the best way that you can be a good mom.

     

    parenting articles you'll want to read

    Parenting articles you’ll WANT to read!

    We’ve all encountered parenting articles.

    They’re on social media, on the news, in magazines and the newspaper:

    “THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO PARENT” articles, written by Dr. Iknoweverythingaboutkidsbutdontactuallyhaveany.

    They are filled with “current and updated” information that contradicts everything you currently do as a parent and make you feel like the shittiest parent on earth.

    I used to read these parenting articles until one day I clicked on a link to the “50 things NEVER to say to your child”.  By the time I reached #38 I realized I had said every single one of those things at some point or another. I then proceeded to spend the next 2 weeks feeling guilty over the inevitable irreversible damage that I’d done to my children’s psyches.

    I now avoid these articles like they’re alcohol-free playdates. Instead, I focus on my attention looking for things that empower me and affirm my fantastic parenting skills.

    Parenting articles you want to read!

    There are some parenting articles that aren't worth your while. These are not those parenting articles! You're going to want to read these!

    “TOP 10 WAYS TO DISCREETLY DAY DRINK”

    From stainless “coffee mugs” to a flask in your nursing bra that you’ve been wearing since you stopped breastfeeding 4 years ago. As long as you can maintain a consistent, healthy buzz and not slur your profanities no one will ever think booze is your preferred method of keeping your shit together.

    “STEPS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO HAPPILY EAT A HEALTHY MEAL”

    Forgetting threatening and fighting with them. All you need to do is bribe them with bacon and a little candy!

    “SANCTIMOMMY AWARENESS”

    Surefire ways to spot these bitches before they make it within a 1-kilometer radius of you and your little angels. You know, the ones you’re currently screaming at while feeding them fast food and non-organic powdered sugar doughnuts while they sit in front of the t.v. watching “Orange is the New Black” for the sixth hour in a row.

    “WHICH WINE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TONIGHT?”

    Life’s full of tough decisions. This handy quiz will help with those extra challenging choices.

    ”BEST HIDING SPOTS IN THE HOUSE FOR YOUR CHOCOLATE STASH”

    A list of Mom-approved spots that your little mooches wouldn’t even think to look, like the cleaning supply drawer or anywhere near the washing machine. *Bonus–these spots are also husband proof!

    “HOW TO KINDLY RESPOND TO COMMENTS ON YOUR HOUSEKEEPING”

    Telling Judgy McJudgy Face to “fuck off” while slapping a nice big smile on your face is no longer your only option!

    “SEX AFTER KIDS: CLEAN THE HOUSE, PACK LUNCHES, SHOWER, CHECK YOUR E-MAILS, FEED THE DOG, LOCK THE DOOR AND THEN FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR A WILDLY QUIET, POSSIBLY INTERRUPTED SHAG”

    Rekindling a faded sex life has never been easier than now! Following these simple tips could lead to THREE sexy encounters, which is double what you got last month! If you’re lucky you may even get to give some sexy parent specific sex positions a try!

     

    Parenting articles like these are hard to find. Please join me at the park so we can scour the internet for them on our phones and ignore our children while they play.