56 answers

Spotting/Period While Exclusivley Breastfeeding

Hi Ladies! Quick question... I have exclusivley breastfed my 9 month old baby since birth. Today I started what seems to be my period (maybe just heavy spotting) for the first time since Jan '07 :(
I thought as long as I was breastfeeding I wouldn't have a period. Just wondering if anyone else has had a period or spotting while EBF?? Should I be concerned???
Thank You!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Definately not rare.
I exclusively BF (1 yr) and, with first child, had period at TWO MONTHS!!! Second child was at THREE MONTHS...I was always envious of you moms who had a long absence of aunt flow ;0)

1 mom found this helpful

I've been exclusively breast feeding my son for over a year and have had my period since about two months after my c-section. Doctor seemed shocked but didn't really say much since he's growing well.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry and welcome back to reality!! You are now fertile again and will probably have regular periods so be very careful if you don't want to get pregnant again. I have breastfed exclusivley all my children and never lasted more then a few months without a period it sucks but there it is. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

That is very nice that you have experienced 9 months of lactation Ammenorhea. But it is true that some women do see a return of their fertility while exclusively breastfeeding. However keep in mind that if your 9 month old is now enjoying various solids that you are no longer exclusively breastfeeding. It is more common for a woman to see no periods for the first six months of her baby's life while her baby is only nursing and not yet taking solids.

If you are more interested in this topic I would recommend the book "Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing." Shiela Kippley, the author, sets out these seven standards to help a woman maintain lactation amenorrhea:
1. Do exclusive breastfeeidng for the first six months of life; don't use other liquids and solids.
2. pacify your baby at your breasts (that means no thumb sucking either)
3. Don't use bottles and pacifiers.
4. Sleep with your baby for night feedings.
5. Sleep with your baby for a daily nap feeding.
6. Nurse frequently day and night, avoid schedules.
7. Avoid any practice that restricst nursing or separates you from your baby.

From all the cases she looked at, the women who experienced the longest time with no period while breastfeeding tended to follow these seven standards. I think it would be atypical for a woman to get her cycle back early if she were following these standards perfectly. In fact Kippley states that "during the first six months postpartum, ecological hbreastfeeding provides the nursing mother in amenorrhea a total natural 99% rate of infertility"

Now I agree that exclusively breastfeeding is not a good form of spacing babies unless a woman is charting her body's signs of fertility using natural family planning. I say this because everyone's body is different and no woman really wants to get pregnant while her baby is only 3 months old, right? By charting your body's signs of fertility you can notice changes in your body and take the necessary preparations to avoid a pregnancy before you are ready to conceive again.

While nursing my son I enjoyed 12 months of lactation amenorrhea. I followed the seven standards until he turned 9 months when he started solids. But I didn't see a return of my fertility until he started sleeping on his own through the night at 12 months. Now, I have a 4 month old baby girl and I just got my cycle back on Monday! However my little girl wants nothing to do with the seven standards! She doesn't want to sleep next to me at all. She started sleeping 9 hrs straight at night starting at 2 months, and doesn't like to nurse frequently. She sucks her fingers and is a happy girl. I offer the breast often and she turns her head and just sucks those fingers. She's huge too! She was 15lbs at 3 months. So she's thriving. I'm not going to force her to nurse more or sleep next to me if she doesn't want to. so it didn't work out for me this time to enjoy no periods and natural infertility. However my husband and I use the Creighton Method of natural family planning. I have been closely charting my signs of fertility and I saw these changes in my body, and anticipated this early return. In other words, I'm not surprised and I know that I can still space my babies using my natural family planning.

3 moms found this helpful

I have been EBF my 9 month old. My period first returned when she was 4 months old but was very light and only came about every 8 weeks. I was later than 8 weeks this time and took a pregnancy test. We are now expecting #5! If you are not wanting to get pregnant yet, make sure that you are using another form of birth control. Nursing alone is not enough to keep fertility at bay!

1 mom found this helpful

No need to be concerned. A lot of mom's regain their fertility while EBF. With my dd, I was having periods starting before my postpartum bleeding had stopped. With my son, I have had one period and now nothing (he is 6-months now). As your nursing changes, your fertility will also change.

God bless,
A.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello.
I breastfed both my boys exclusively. With my first song I didn't have a period for 15 months.
Second son, I did nothing different, but I had my first period when he was 10 weeks old!
I nursed both my boys until they were about 3.
And remember that it's really not reliable birth control, because you're likely to ovulate BEFORE you have your first period. I know lots of ladies who have become pregnant while nursing, BEFORE they ever had a period.

1 mom found this helpful

I am EBF to my daughter who is almost 8 months old. I still have not had a regular period, although I have had some spotting. It is normal for women to not have a period for awhile but it is also fine to start again (especially if you have started any kind of solid foods as your baby is probably nursing less). I don't think it is that big of an issue but if you are worried talk to your OBGYN. Better to ease your mind than stay worried about it but I think your fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S. -

I also EBF and started having a period after about 5-6 months. I guess we are the unlucky ones who did not reap the benefits of no period while breast feeding. This is normal. But keep in mind that you are ovulating if you are having a period so be careful if you are not using birth control! Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
You were very lucky. With my second daughter, I found out I was pregnant at eight weeks. Yup, I went to my six week check up, and two weeks later, had to make an appointment because I was pregnant again.And I hadn't even started spotting yet. Imagine the news, when my husband found out. Everything was fine, and after the initial shock, we were happy. but you do ovulate while exclusively breastfeeding, and still have a menstrual cycle. I found that out with my other children, as well. We were just a lot more informed our third and fourth time around. We were very careful after that. Good luck with all you do. But yes, only a select few of us get to suffer our menstrual cycle thru breast feeding. No need to be concerned. Be glad you lasted this long. :)

T.

1 mom found this helpful

I am afraid that is onwe of the biggest wives tales around. I got prego and lost the baby while breastfeeding our oldest and I had periods through breastfeeding both our boys. My Grandmother had 2 while breast feeding. They use to say while breast feeding you didn't need the pill because with no periods you could not get pregnant. It happens all the time. Consult your dr if your really worried as there are other methods of birth control other than the pill which I didn't want to take while breastfeeding.

1 mom found this helpful

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