To begin with, we will try to clarify when menstruation should begin after birth. If we talk about female physiology, then the whole body of a woman, during childbirth and after them, undergoes tremendous changes. Changing female hormones. In the postpartum period, the woman’s pituitary gland (the gland that is responsible for the normal functioning of the endocrine system) secretes the hormone prolactin. This hormone promotes the appearance of milk in women. Also, prolactin (milk hormone), affects the increase in the maturation of the egg, which stops ovulation, and, as a consequence, menstruation.
Lochia run out and blood again
For this reason, to restore the menstrual cycle, it is necessary that its hormonal balance is restored. Therefore, the time of onset of menstruation after childbirth depends, first of all, on the mode and procedure for feeding the child. The fact is that, ideally, menstruation should not begin until the end of the lactation period for a woman. Moreover, even 20-30 years ago, the monthly period in a woman began only 2-3 years after giving birth. This was due to the fact that it was upon reaching this age that the child was transferred to a full-fledged “adult” food.
With the advent of baby food, and with it, the early introduction of complementary foods, the use of hormonal contraceptives, as well as drugs to support and normal pregnancy, early weaning of the child from the breast, all these factors affect the reduction of the recovery period of menstruation. Moreover, today, many experts argue that the onset of menstruation before the end of the lactation period is the norm. It should also be noted that many women, especially at a young age, generally refuse to breastfeed for various reasons. In this case, the monthly cycle can be restored within a month after delivery.
Thus, it is possible to derive an approximate relationship between the order of feeding a child and the restoration of the monthly cycle in a woman.
- If the diet of the child consists only of natural breast milk, then the monthly cycle should not recover until the end of the lactation period of the mother.
- If the baby’s diet includes feeding, that is, the baby gradually begins to use breast milk in smaller amounts than with natural feeding, then the menstrual cycle can be restored even before the end of the lactation period.
- When feeding a child from birth, which includes both artificial feeding and mother’s milk, the months should recover by 3-4 months after birth.
- In case of not feeding the baby with breast milk, the periods will be restored within 10-12 weeks after delivery.
It should also be said that the restoration of the hormonal background, and, in turn, of the menstrual cycle does not in any way depend on how the birth went. Whether they were natural or had a caesarean section. The onset of menstruation depends only on the method of feeding the child.
Very often, in the first weeks after childbirth, bleeding begins in women from the genital tract, which young mothers confuse with the first postpartum menstruation, so it is important to know how to distinguish menstruation from bleeding after childbirth. Postpartum hemorrhage is normal, because the volume of blood in a woman’s body during pregnancy becomes approximately 1.5 times larger. The female body itself is ready for bleeding after childbirth.
Discharge from the genital tract occurring from the moment of birth to 6-8 weeks is the so-called lochia. The fact is that during labor the placenta are separated from the uterine wall. Naturally, such a process as separation of the placenta does not go without consequences: a large open wound forms on the wall of the uterus, which causes bleeding.
During the first days after birth, the discharge from the genital tract is bloody. After that, the lochiae acquire a sero-serous color, later, when their number decreases, the discharge becomes yellowish-white. Therefore, if during the first 6-8 weeks from the moment of birth, any discharge from the genital tract appears, you should know that this is not menstruation.
But, despite the fact that the allocation of lochia is considered normal, you must not forget about some of the rules. If, after the lochia disappeared, bright bleeding appeared again, this is a sign that you need more rest. And, if even after several days of rest, postpartum bleeding has not disappeared, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
You should also contact your doctor if:
- bright red lochias do not change their color even on the 4th day after birth
- chills or fever or lochia have an unpleasant smell during the discharge of lochia
- you have so much bleeding that the lining is soaked with blood in 1 hour.
Also during postpartum period may occur bleeding, in case of residues of placental tissue or membranes in the uterus. The fact is that the uterine vessels that connect the uterus with the placenta, are broken during labor. But the feature of the structure of these vessels is that when they break, they instantly narrow. When the uterine vessels narrow, they deepen into the muscle layers, where they are further compressed by the uterine muscle tissue. Along with this, the formation of blood clots in these vessels, which practically leads to a cessation of bleeding. But everything described above occurs only if the postpartum period passes normally.
If after childbirth, pieces of the fetal membranes or placenta remain in the uterus, they interfere with the processes of constriction and squeezing of the uterine vessels, which leads to heavy bleeding.
When this happens profuse bleeding, which is characterized by its suddenness. Prevention of such bleeding is checking the condition of the uterus with the help of ultrasound equipment on the second day after birth. And mandatory treatment to the doctor in case of prolonged bleeding.