March 20, 2008,
C.W. asks from Sarasota, FL on March 19, 2008
Breastfeeding & Menstrual Cycle
I breastfed our son for 11 months. I stopped breastfeeding him around Feb. 14th, 2008 and have NOT had my menstrual cycle yet. I did NOT have any periods during breastfeeding either. The last time I had a period was right before our son was conceived, June 2006!! It took my husband and I two years to conceive our son (2 miscarriages in between) and we would like to start trying for baby #2. The problem is, I have not had a period yet so it is hard to know when/if I am ovulating. So, has anyone been in a similar circumstance? And if so, how long did it take for your menstrual cycle to resume? My ob/gyn mentioned it could take 4 weeks to 12 weeks, depending on the person...I've made it past the 4 week mark....
So What Happened?™
Well, I would just like to tell everyone that I am 7 weeks pregnant! It turns out I never got my period after weaning from the breast because I got pregnant right away. I just thought my body was taking a while to "kick in" but eventually my husband told me that I was pregnant. I thought he was crazy, so he bought a HPT and he was right, I was pregnant!! We are so excited!! It has been a crazy pregnancy though and I have to go to the doctor next monday for another ultrasound to check on the baby's heartbeat. It should be 120 and last week it was 108. Not too slow but not in the normal range. So please keep us in your prayers!!
C.C. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
I would definitely look into the ovulation kits if you really want to know. That route can get expensive, though. Personally, I had no luck with temperature measurements.
As far as getting a period after stopping breastfeeding, I got mine 3 months after I stopped. I know other women who got theirs a month after stopping and some who took longer than me. I guess it just depends.
R.W. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
Hate to tell you this but it may take longer than the 12 weeks for you to start again. I breast fed both of my girls. My milk never did dry up from the first one and I only had one period between the two. They are two years apart. After the second one stopped nursing it took about six months to get back to normal.
J.L. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
Yes, sounds very similar to my girlfriend. Her first child was born Oct.'05 (breastfed for 6 months) and her cycle did not return until Nov.'06. Was pregnant again in Jan.'07 with second child. For me, my last menstrual cycle was Aug.'06, my second son was born May '07 and my period returned Dec.31'07 and I am still breastfeeding my 10 month old!! Don't worry, 'Aunt Flo' will visit again soon. I hope this helps.
K.H. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
Hello, I definitely have experience with this, I breast fed all of my kids, 2 boys 1 girl, my boys were both planned pregnancies, but my girl was our oops, lol, she just so happened to pop into our lives because I didn't think that you ovulated during breastfeeding because I didn't have a period (by the way, that was my favorite part, I really miss that, lol) But I was one of those who didn't know about breastfeeding and ovulation, but it's ok, we got a really wonderful daughter out of the whole thing, I can't say I know very much about ovulation though (as in times), it really all depends on the person. I hope that helps a little, all you can really do is try and hope for the best. Good luck!
H.C. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
Hi, C.. Mine came back after 11 months (and for me, it was a glorious, feminine product-free 11 months!), at which point in time I was still breastfeeding. 4 weeks for a breastfeeding mom is actually pretty rare. Not unheard of, but rare. An excellent resource for general concerns about breastfeeding, including the impact it has on your reporductive cycles, is La Leche League. Since, however, you've stopped already, the likelihood of your cycle returning to "normal" is pretty high. It seems, from those I've talked to, it takes a couple of cycles for your body to regulate, but then it does. It's been just over a month since you've stopped breastfeeding, and though others' advice doesn't always help to quell a worried mind, I imagine you can trust that your body will do what it needs to in its own time. All the best in your baby-making! (I know this probably isn't much of a comfort, but your body is honestly probably just now fully recovering from childbirth the first time around--the AMA recommends two years, which isn't practical or desirable for a lot of people, but it might provide an indicator...).
E.R. answers from Fort Myers on March 20, 2008
There is an awesome book out there that I highly recommend called Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition : The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler. You can find it in paperback at Barnes and Noble for sure. Both my sisters and I have read this book cover to cover, and I loan my copy to every female friend I have! It is great at giving you all the info about your cycle, how to monitor it for either pregnancy or birth control (without pills!), knowing exactly when you ovulate (which can happen even without getting a period), and signs and symptoms that may be hindering your cycle. It is basically everything they never taught us in health class, but probably should have. I finally read this book after suffering a miscarriage and trying to figure out my own tricky cycle.
T.H. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
DONT RUSH IT...just because you have not had a cycle does not mean you are not ovulation. get the ovulation kit. I did not get my period for 2 yrs. I did not miss it but my doctor told me to be careful because I could get pregnant. It will come back soon right when you don't expect it.....
B.M. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
You need to get a basil theromometer. They have kits @ CVS or Walgreens. Take your temperature everyday and record the number. Your temp stays the same until you ovulate. It will go up and stay up untill you are done. If it does not go up you are not ovulating. This type of plan I learned was/is called natural family planning and I learned it from my mom. They teach it in the catholic church but I am sure you can find info on line. I know that they started selling this type of program. It really helps you pin point the best timing for getting pregnant. Good luck.
B.W. answers from Sarasota on March 20, 2008
I breastfed my daughter for 13 months and did not get a period until I had stopped for 3 months. Then I went on birth control for a couple of years and stopped when we wanted to have another baby. I did not get a period for 2 months after I stopped the pill (talk about a lot of money wasted on birth control tests and ovulation kits). When I did finally get it, we tried for 4 months before I got pregnant (same time of year that I got pregnant with my daughter, so I think my body was telling me something.) My children are 4 years apart, but their birthdays are only 1 week apart! Some woman just need more time to let the hormones regulate, so I would just give it time and relax. That is what worked best for me!
R.K. answers from Tampa on March 20, 2008
I am so sorry to hear of your miscarriages. We experienced only one and we were 20 weeks along. It was more painful and sad than I thought it would be. I am sorry for your losses.
I think it took me 6 or 8 weeks to get a period after 12 months of breastfeeding. To be honest, I was so happy to not have a period, that we just enjoyed being spontaneously intimate while we could!
Wishing you the best in a successful pregnancy... Take care.