21 answers

Hormones After Breastfeeding

I quit breastfeeding two months ago, but have yet to have a period. I am not pregnant, but would like my hormones to be back on track. I have been very down for the past 3-4 weeks, like I have PMS, but no period. I don't think it could be post partum depression at this point. Anyone had a similar situation? I just want to feel like myself again!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your help. It sounds like I just need to give it some time, and also realize that "normal" may not be what I should stive to feel anymore, haha!

Featured Answers

I have the exact same issue going on right now. I quit breastfeeding my 5 month old two months ago; no period yet but major moodiness that feels like post partum depression. I also had this with my first child. I called my doctor the first time and he gave me a medication or something to start my cycle. That fixed the problem and I plan to do the same at my appointment with him next week. Hope this helps you.

A little about me:

SAHM with two beautiful daughters (2 1/2 and 5 months old.)

More Answers

It always takes me several months after completely ceasing to breastfeed for me to get my cycle started again. You actually may be experiencing some post partum. Breastfeeding actually produces the "feel good" hormone in your body, so now that you are not having that, you are feeling down. I have dealt with post partum and it is not fun. I had it after both of my sons were born. You probably should talk to your OB and see if they think that this is something that will work itself out in a month or so, or whether you should take steps to get yourself on some medication. There are things you can do, as described by another poster, that will help you feel better. Try those things while you are waiting for the appointment with your OB. I had to take medication after both of my sons were born and I fought it, but after I was on the medication, I felt like myself again. And I didn't have to take the medication forever, just until everything in my body got sorted out.

It is very normal not to have periods when you're breast feeding. This is good. Before birth control (which isn't good for you in many ways) this was God's way of insuring that you didn't have another baby until this one didn't need mommy milk any more. I breast fed all my children and feel blessed to not have had a period until they were eating solids regularly at about 12 months. Enjoy it, there is no problem.
D.-mom to 9

Feeling down is probably caused by the major shift in hormones that your body is experiencing. The hormones of breastfeeding have a calming/relaxing effect on you and as they taper off and get out of your system you start to lose that effect. It sounds like you're just in between that stage and returning to your normal cycle. I've heard that it can take a few months after weaning for your cycle to return and more than a year after giving birth for some women to have normal cycles again.

Be patient. It WILL come.lol. And then you wont want it. Any ways it took a few months after I stopped breast feeding my daughter to get my period. I didn't get mine until 4 months after I had ended breast feeding. So don't worry it's fine. You have nothing to worry about. Good luck to you and your son. Enjoy every minute of it because they grow soooo fast.

E., congratulations on your son! I would talk to your doctor about the no period thing, but is probably one of those things that nature will work out when the time is right. You are right that your other symptoms sound like post partum depression which will not work itself out- will only get worse in time. Talk to your doctor about getting some help on this one- it is so worth it to just feel more like yourself again.

I am a 36yr old mom of 5 ages 9 to 9 months who has had post partum depression and also work as a nurse in the mother-baby area for the past 5 years.

best of luck to you! :)

A. D.

You could be quite surprised at what post partum depression feels like, its different for everyone. Talk to your obgyn about your feelings of being "down". I had similar feelings when my daughter was about that age (although she is 7 now) and he seemed to think it was post partum depression. I had multiple other stressors in my life at the time, everyone's situation is different, but it is always worth talking about to someone. Hormomes can wreak havoc on a woman's body after childbirth and breasfeeding, and although I wouldn't give the experience back for anything, I would opt to tweak it a little. Hang it there and seek out the support that you have available around you.

Eliz,
I breasfed for 14 months, and after 3 months of no period and feeling depressed, I called my OB-GYN and they gave me a shot to jump start my cycle. It was confirmed that I was experiencing post partum, due to stopping the breat feeding and I have been prescribed a low dose of Lexapro, and it has worked WONDERS for my moods, irritability and cyclic patterns. Please discuss with your MD, and don't let the blues turn into something more! Therese

I wouldn't be so sure that you don't have a bout of the baby blues. You don't have to have the extreme symptoms that you hear about in order to have Postpartum depression. I would talk to your OB, they may want to see you. I experienced it shortly after having my children, but it never escalated to the point of needing medication. I wouldn't hesitate to give your Dr. a call. You shouldn't have to feel like that...you want to enjoy your time with your new little one.

Im a guy whose fiance told me several months into her breast feeding that she was sorry but she dont have her sex drive anymore and i told her not to be sorry it will come back when you stop feeding and i loved her for her love not for sex. She thanked me and we got on0 with our lives, july 2nd was the proposal day around april or may was when we had that talk, i thought things were great but after starting a new jon after not working for 2 years, having her 1st period in over 2years, and her ex wanting overnite visits of the child ive raised since birth, she broke off our engagment and is planning on moving out....i told her its just her horomones being out of wack and alot of new stress om top of that,i asked her to go to the dr to get help, she has an appointment but says its not horomones she is just confused in life....what do yall think

Hi E.,

I have 8 month old twins, stopped pumping by 2 months and still do not think my hormones or emotions are right.

Birth Control - I have been on birth control for 4 or 5 months, though I had a period every other week for the first 3 months with that. My OB changed my BC after 2 months or that and now if I take a pill late on any given day, my flow starts coming. My advice related is to talk with your OB's office about your hormones and feelings as I understand so much of your feelings is effected/driven by your hormones.

Anxiety/Depression - I know that I have struggled with this since my kids have been born. There has definitely been a lot of worry out of love for my kids that has contributed to this. I keep getting disappointed in people that I thought I should be relying on during this time and now that I know I need support of others, I realize how non-existent support has been for myself for a long time. My advice related is to be sure that you are taking care of yourself, don't be afraid to ask for help, and build a support group - if you do not already have one.

Hope you continue to have much joy with your little one.
B.

I have a 3 (almost four) year old and a ten month old. Never had problems when I weaned the older child. I am currently weaning the younger and for the past 2 weeks I have felt like I have PMS...quick tempered, emotional, sometimes down for no reason. I have had a few periods since giving birth, but no regular "cycle". I think hormones are working themselves out and when the body finally recognizes the lack of extra hormones, it will adjust.
There was a time I was so worried about missing my period, that I think I worried it away (being too young to be pregnant). I finally took a pregnancy test...negative...that night, I started. My point is, don't put so much pressure on yourself and your hormones.
I have to wonder if you are on any birth control. That could be a factor you might have overlooked.

"Very down" for 3-4 weeks says "depression" to me. Exposure to sun light and belly-laughing at every possible opportunity are important, but vigorous exercise for 30 minutes X 5 days/week is crucial. Avoid sugar, also, as this messes with your insulin production. Do those things and you will probably return to your normal self in short order. If not, seek blood tests to search further; depression is not something to ignore.

I have the exact same issue going on right now. I quit breastfeeding my 5 month old two months ago; no period yet but major moodiness that feels like post partum depression. I also had this with my first child. I called my doctor the first time and he gave me a medication or something to start my cycle. That fixed the problem and I plan to do the same at my appointment with him next week. Hope this helps you.

A little about me:

SAHM with two beautiful daughters (2 1/2 and 5 months old.)

Hello and congratulations! As you have probably guessed by now, normal is pretty much a thing of the past. Hormones are highly complicated and take their own time. We tend to make it even worse on ourselves with all the hormones and pesticides in our food and all the things around us that mimic hormones. Your best course is to make sure you are also taking care of you! Get as much rest as possible (that may be awhile, but do what you can) as sleep impacts hormones. Eat healthy and as organic as possible. Don't forget exercise, and throw in some yoga if you can. There are a few things that pregnancy can do that you might want to have your doctor check out. Sometimes it can impact your thyroid (another big factor in hormones) so have your doctor check your TSH. The herb Vitex-Agnus is also very good at getting your homones into balance. Of course you already mentioned the absolute best thing you can do, love every minute with your beautiful son. I sure do. The years still go by fast, but I still have that treasure of loving every minute - all 18 years of them so far! I wish the same for you.

Hi E., I went through the same thing after I quit nursing my youngest at age 6months, he's now 5 1/2 yr. old. It's post partum depression. It's because the hormones are now trying to get back to normal and it takes a while. I ended up getting an antidepressant for a short time and I think it helped. I know I was EXTREMELY DEPRESSED by the time my son was 8 months old and I had had it. Your period should be kicking in sometime soon as well. Just hang in there and try to get out in the sunshine some more now that it might actually be spring time and warmer instead of cold and dreary. The winter always depresses me BADLY!!! Go to your dr. and see what they can do. Good Luck it will get better!
M.

I was told it could take up to a year for your body to get back to normal after giving birth and after breastfeeding. Never had post partum but you may check with your OB on when it could happen.

Good Luck
G.

Yes I went through something similar this is what I experienced (MAY NOT HAPPEN TO YOU) my daughter was 3 months old when all of a sudden I get up to use the bathroom and I start to hemmorage huge clot's bleeding wouldn't stop called by OB in a panic 3 or so in the morning he told me to rush to the ER not to worry since I haven't strarted my regular period yet but PMS symptoms I was having a period backup and it was due to hormonal imbalance the ER DR thought I was having a miscarriage he had to order all this bloodwork before he could do anything for me well I know this may sound EWWW but he had to semi clean me out,I wasn't pregnant,had to do a catherter and do an ultrasound to see if there was any tumor's or abnormal changes to the urerus fallopian tubes and ovaries all came back fine,when my OB came in he wanted to do an emergency DNC I had option's I opted to stay in the hospital and do a hormonal treatment instead however since I had massive bleeding anymore could put me in the OR anyway and blood transfusion.Did the treatment was discharged later that next day and was put on birthcontrol the chances of me experiencing this again was high but they needed to try to get hormones in control.Did I mention my hair falling out in huge clump's this wasn't no normal natural hairloss after baby.And yes it did happen again this time did the DNC and now i'm fine.If you do fell anxious sad or overwhelmed these are sign's of ppd but they are also sign's of anxiety waiting in your case period take some time off the house work sleep when baby is asleep and get a good nite's rest if you can ask someone to help you for a few day's,if it continue's you can alway's call your dr.Best of Luck
I'm a wife to my love at first site and we have 2 kid's together as for me I stay @ home to watch them blossom

I had a similar experience. Didn't get my period until about 6 months after I stopped nursing (at 10 months). Even then it was less than consistant, didn't even out until a year after I stopped nursing.

But - I still had the hormonal swings... I'd PMS emotionally, but no menstration. I had to start tracking it on the calendar to realize that's what it was - after 2 months it made sense. Weird, but I was able to rationalize it. If your emotions are really strong, I'd say you need to ask for help. But mood swings are normal, especially when you're still a new mommy! Your baby hasn't been in the world as long as he was in your belly - give it time!

Hope that helps.

T.

When my son was 6 months old I had a major shift in hormones. I felt anxious and irritated all the time, like a walking ball of hormones just waiting to explode. I had not started my period yet and was still nursing. After a couple weeks I did finally start my period and the moodiness improved. I started to feel more like myself. I am still nursing and my periods are not regular. I can tell when I am getting ready to menstruate because the PMS symptoms return, though they don't seem as intense now. I would encourage you to listen to your body. Try all the non-medicinal strategies first (as was previously mentioned). If you still don't feel like yourself and you need help getting through this time, don't hesitate to call your OB and ask for medication. It can take up to one year for your body to regulate itself after you stop nursing. Hormones seem to have a mind of their own, and all of our bodies respond differently after pregnancy and lactation. Don't be afraid to seek out help during this time if you need it. Best of luck!

Be patient. It sounds normal.

How old are you though? This could be the beginnings of perimenopause (don't panic, it can be a LONG process for some people before you completely turn the corner).

S.

I breast fed both of my children, my youngest is now 8-1/2 months old, and although I am still nursing, I just got my first period after having him. I had the same effect with my daughter, I didn't have my first period after her birth until she was almost 9 months old. I have heard of people having normal cycles the following month after giving birth, but sometimes it takes a lot longer to get back on track. Hang in there, it will come back and then you will wish that you were without periods. :-)
And, about the depressed feelings, it may be more of worrying about everything rather than a "depression" issue. Just sit back and relax, those hormones will take care of themselves, and enjoy taking care of that little bundle of joy!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.