Marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and childcare. These are just some of the things that most married women would be able to experience at certain point in their life. And I have already experienced them all as I became a mother of my two darling twin daughters.
Among the things I experienced, I had some hard time while breasfeeding. They say that just like when a woman is pregnant, whatever you eat, drink or do during this stage could affect the health of your nursing child. I also printed and followed the list of foods to avoid while breastfeeding. I was very careful with my diet. I also made sure I am not overly stressed from work. Aside from that, I also have to deal with period while breastfeeding. I originally thought that as long as I am breastfeeding exclusively, my period will not yet return. But this is not the case for me because I already had my menstruation several months after childbirth even if I was breastfeeding.
Many women especially first time moms have no clear understanding about menstruation while breastfeeding. For a woman, delaying menstruation means enjoying temporary birth control. It also means getting relief from the discomfort of having your regular period such as menstrual cramps and all the hassles. That is why I understand why many women would frown at having their menstruation back just weeks after childbirth.
The period in which breastfeeding suppresses your period is called lactational menorrhea. It could vary from one mother to another and from one pregnancy to another. You could have six months of lactational menorrhea on your first child and just three months on your second child. And nobody knows for sure how long it can be on your next child. But several factors could possibly affect its return. This include the frequency that you are nursing your baby, the introduction of supplemental foods, and the mother’s own chemistry among others.
I have read an article which teaching nursing mothers some techniques on how to delay their menstruation. One of the techniques mentioned is to breastfeed the baby on demand. It is recommended to nurse your baby at least 6 times a day and six times at night. one of the reasons why many mothers have their periods very soon is that they neglect feeding at nighttime because of the inconvenience of waking up in the middle of the night. Even if your child is not asking for milk, you should still encourage it to feed by putting your nipple in its mouth. Another technique that is helpful to many moms is to start introducing solid foods only when the baby is already six month old. During the first six month, do not allow bottle feeding or the use of a pacifier.
However, while you are observing these techniques, you should already expect your period to be back anytime soon especially if it has been delayed for several months. Once it has returned, you should take precautions against pregnancy if you don’t intend to get pregnant yet. One good thing though is that having menstruation does not put an end to your milk supply. You can still breastfeed your baby as long as you like.