OK, not something you’d ideally like to read first thing on a Wednesday morning but hey, this is something that happens to all women so men if you’re reading, suck it up. It took exactly 11 weeks to the day for my first period to come and boy did it make an entrance. I’ve had periods since I was 12 years old but that first period after birth was the worst. I was a miserable hormonal pain in the ass, sorry Sam and I wish not to repeat it any time soon. Any woman who has their period wants nothing more than to lounge around, wearing comfy PJs, snuggling their hot water bottle, drinking tea, eating your weight in Galaxy chocolate and binge watching shit on TV, not play peek-a-boo with your baby whilst they kick their little legs in your tummy. Like the crazy changes that happen during pregnancy and after labour, the first period is a lot different to the periods I’ve had all the times before.
They say a woman’s period will typically return about 6-8 weeks after giving birth if she’s not breastfeeding. For me, a formula feeding mum it was 11 weeks and the same for my breastfeeding friend hers was 10 weeks after birth. Some breastfeeding mum’s say their return times vary, but this differs woman to woman. Some might not even get a period the entire time they breastfeed and others might not get it for months after- not sure if that’s lucky or their part or murder!
How was it different?
For starters the cramps were horrendous. Before pregnancy my cramps were like little flutters in my tummy but this period it was like 100 screaming babies taking turns kicking my tummy. I suppose my body was adjusting to menstruation but it was horrible. I felt like I was giving birth all over again. Horrible cramps, nasty clots, really heavy flow and it didn’t seem for a while it would ever end. It eventually did, after what seemed like an eternity my period stopped 10 days after it started. The heaviest part lasted 5 days and the rest slowed down to a halt around day 8 and spotting till day 10.
Your first period shouldn’t be confused with the bleeding you experience after birth. Your body continues to shed the blood and tissue that lined your uterus while you were pregnant. This bleeding varies from woman to woman and their bodies. Some have bleeding for days, weeks or months and if you’re breastfeeding this can alter that too.
If anything seems different about your first period after pregnancy, contact your doctor. Excess bleeding or indications of infection are especially concerning for a new mum. Listen to your body and play it safe.