How Long After Birth....

Updated on November 15, 2008
J.S. asks from Springfield, MO
73 answers

How long after birth is your period supposed to start again? The bleeding stopped after four weeks, and I haven't had a period since then. My daughter was born almost 11 weeks ago. I'm not on any birth control, so that isn't the reason. I am nursing; I don't know if that has any effect at all. I'm a little nervous because we had an "oops" moment a few weeks ago (if Janet Jackson had a wardrobe malfunction, we had a condom malfunction...). I did take a test and it was negaive, but I also probably didn't wait long enough after the "oops" to get an accurate result. I don't know if it's normal for it not to start by now, or if there could be a possible problem causing it. Any thought are greatly appreciated!

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M.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Here's a good site that discusses breastfeeding & fertility. There seems to be a lot of confusion out there. http://www.breastfeeding.com/reading_room/lam.html

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J.B.

answers from St. Louis on

When I was breastfeeding my son, he stopped at 18 months. I still didn't have a period until he was 21 months. Everyone is different but I would just enjoy the time off !

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R.G.

answers from Kansas City on

So, if you are breast feeding you may not have a period at all. This does not mean that you can't get pregnant, it just means that aunt flo will not making her monthly visit as long as you are breast feeding.

More Answers

A.S.

answers from Kansas City on

It's different for everyone. Nursing can play a role, but it really varies from woman to woman. I breastfed exclusively, and didn't get my period back until our daughter was 8 months old. A friend of mine didn't get her period back until her son was over a year old. And yet another friend of mine got hers after only 2 months.

So, take a test again in a week or so, but if it still comes back negative and you don't get your period, no worries. Just enjoy this time of freedom! :)

1 mom found this helpful
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G.N.

answers from St. Louis on

It varies with each women, some while nursing wont start their periods right away some like me 2 mths after my son was born I got a regular period. Got one every month after that well skipping one here n there. I nursed for 16 1/2 mths and my son is now 2 1/2 mths I am now just on a regular monthly period.

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A.Y.

answers from Kansas City on

Breastfeeding often plays a role in delaying periods after having a baby. Like someone else said, it's nature's way of spacing out our children. Of course, all of us are different, and I've known people to get pregnant before their period started again, so I agree that taking another test or seeing your doctor is wise.

I am still breastfeeding my 19 month old--- after she was born, I did not get my period until she was 14 months old.

Good luck!

Yours in health,
Dr. Alyssa

1 mom found this helpful
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S.T.

answers from St. Louis on

If you're nursing exclusively, your period won't come for a while. Mine didn't come back for almost eight months. It is nature's way of spacing out your children. Don't get me wrong, I think you can still get pregnant but it is very unlikely until you get your first menstrual cycle. Enjoy the break!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

if you're nursing, it might be awhile before you have a period. everybody is different, but nursing slows down
ovulation and your periods as well. I was unable to nurse
my son, and I started having periods again 6 weeks after he
was born. some women use nursing as birth control-don't do
that!! that's an 'oops' moment just waiting to happen!
don't stress, it's totally normal. just enjoy your time of
being 'period free'!!
congrats on the new little princess!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Everyone is different, I started my period back after a month or 2 (nursing constantly) and my cousin started year and a half later (nursing constantly) They tried after her period started and were able to get pregnant the 2nd month after it started again.

So whatever you are, enjoy it while it lasts!!! :o)

I can't believe you can handle condoms so soon! Not me, I wasn't able to do anything for 4 months after giving birth. I'm impressed:o)

Let me know if you have any questions
S.
[email protected]____.com

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J.E.

answers from Kansas City on

Mine started 6 months after my daughter was born and I was nursing. Nursing will delay it a bit but everyone is different. A call to your OB's nurse will put you at ease.

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A.L.

answers from St. Louis on

In response to ur question I am n nursing school n we actually just learned about breast feeding n how it does delay the menstral cycle not only does it do that but it acts as a birth control contreceptive. So since ur still nursing I wouldn't worry about not having a period until u take ur child to the dr. Then maybe just throw the question out there. Any other concerns feel free to ask;)

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J.L.

answers from Kansas City on

Nursing can definitely delay the return of your period, sometimes up to a year! Each mom is different of course. It also depends on whether you are exclusively nursing or supplementing with formula. If you are supplementing, then your period will return sooner rather than later. Of course there is no guarantee that your "oops" didn't result in another pregnancy, but if you are exclusively nursing it's not likely. If you are worried about it, test again in a week or two.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

My daughter was 5 months old before I had a period again.

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J.H.

answers from Lawrence on

You may have already been overwhelmed with responses, but here's my experience. If you are nursing (especially if you are nursing exclusively - not nursing and bottle feeding) your periods may stop for some time. Mine didn't start up again until my daughter was over six months old. One word of caution - Don't assume this is an adequate form of birth control. They can start again at any time, and of course you ovulate before you have your period, so you could start ovulating before you realize it.

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K.G.

answers from Kansas City on

Jenn,

If you're breast feeding, it can take until you stop for your period to return. I'm breast feeding as well (my daughter will be 6 months on Octg 1) and it took until 4 months for my period to return. My neighbor has an 18 month old and still doesn't have he period yet. Still, run the test again because oops's do happen!

Good luck!
K.

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R.H.

answers from Kansas City on

My Dr. told me that usually about 4-6 wks after you stop nursing is when you would typically see a new cycle start.

M.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Almost a year with my first one and over 6 months with my second.....you're fine relax :)

Mariana

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S.G.

answers from St. Louis on

I think it is different for everyone. I had my son in Sept. '06 and was pumping everyday (he never latched on because he was a preemie and i pumped 6-7 a day for 22 months) anyway, I didn't get a period until Jan. so for me it was about 4 months. Also, my gyno said the nursing does have a slight effect on birth control, she put me on a low dose bc pill and she said combined with the nursing/pumping it would be effective birth control. But, as soon as you stop nursing you must use bc. I'm not telling you to totally trust nursing as a birth control method, because I was never too sure if that was really true. But I wouldn't freak out over an "oops" maybe because you are nursing and "may" have some protection there. I have heard of some people NEVER getting a period until they stopped nursing completly. So don't fret, everyone's different, hormonally and physically so yours could come tomorrow or not until you've stopped for good. Good luck, but like I said, use the condoms or pills or whatever cause i'm not too sure I believe the gyno completly (even though she's a darn good dr.)

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E.P.

answers from St. Louis on

I would take another test. My oops was born 13 months to the day after my first who was execlusively breastfed. You are much more fertile after pregnancy because of hormones. Good Luck!

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D.R.

answers from St. Louis on

It's because you're nursing. I didn't get my period back until I quit nursing my daughter. She was 9 months old then. Enjoy not having the period! I asked my OB-GYN, just to be sure and he confirmed that nursing was probably the reason why, and if I didn't start back up again soon after I quit nursing, I should come back in. I started literally within days of stopping nursing.

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T.M.

answers from St. Louis on

It depends - my daughter is 10 months old and I'm still nursing and I just started my period. I wouldn't worry too much - enjoy not having a period but if you don't want another baby use protection! :)

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T.I.

answers from Kansas City on

I stopped mine while I was nursing and didn't get it back until I stopped. So, 13 months of no periods. Yeah! Don't worry, it's totally normal. ;-)

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K.N.

answers from St. Louis on

With my first, I didn't nurse and it took 6 months to come back. With my second, I nursed for three months and it came back when she was five months old. My doctor told me that nursing can keep it from coming back and you should not be concerned until three months after the last time you nurse if it is not back by then. My first baby was longer than that but I never asked him until after the fact. He said I could've taken something to get it started (but only if it's been 3 months after you finish nursing.) so, i think you'll be fine, just watch those oops's because you CAN get pregnant before your period comes back and if you are nursing (i have several friends who've learned that the hard way)

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S.V.

answers from St. Louis on

I was nursing fully after my son was born and got pregnant only three months after his birth. We were going by time of month but got pregnant anyway. You are fertile right after a baby, so it wouldn't surprise me if you are pregnant. If that's not it, then it's either stress or nursing that's keeping you from getting your period.

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J.W.

answers from Kansas City on

After my last daughter I didn't exactly nurse, but I did strictly pump for the 1st year and it took almost 6-7 months after she was born before my period started back up again. Everyone is different, so you never know...you can always take another pregnancy test to be sure. Good Luck!

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

My periods did not return until I was about 9 months postpartum. This is normal for nursing moms. You can get pregnant while nursing, but you are usually protected for about 6 months if you are nursing exclusively.

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A.S.

answers from St. Louis on

I nursed until 14 months and didn't start my period until I began to cut out nursing times in the weaning process at month 13. You can still get pregnant, so be careful, but until your body wants to start having a period again, enjoy it!
A.

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Every woman is different. IF you excluseively breastfeed, most women are good for at leat 6 months. I got my period back when my son was 10 months.

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R.J.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi. It's totally normal not to have a period when you are nursing. My daughter is almost 6 months and I am still nursing. No period yet!!

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H.C.

answers from St. Louis on

I had my son in May 2007 and I exclusively nursed him for the first year. I did not have a period until May 2008 and I was obviously not pregnant. So the whole time I was nursing I did not have a period. It did not come back until shortly after I finished nursing. Hope this helps.

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J.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Just depends on your body. Nursing can keep you from having a regular cycle, however that does not mean you wont get pregnant. I nursed for 6 months and didn't have a period the entire time.

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B.E.

answers from Springfield on

I nursed for 10 months and didn't have a period until i stopped. i think it differs with every person though. your situation sounds normal to me

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W.H.

answers from Springfield on

Hi Jenn,

If memory serves me correctly, you will not begin having a period again until after you stop nursing. However, I'm told that does not keep you from getting pregnant though. Good luck!

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M.O.

answers from Kansas City on

You don't get your period while you are breastfeeding.

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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Just for your own knowledge-take another test or check in with your doctor-yes you can get pregnant again fast. But not always.

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

I just wanted to add that you CAN still get pregnant without your period while you are nursing. Just wanted to warn you. Your doctor can give you a low hormone birth control pill that with nursing can be as effective as regular birth control. It is normal not to have your period while you are nursing. Your doctor should have told you this.

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A.D.

answers from St. Louis on

if u are nursing it will stop ur periods and have fun with ur new babby

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M.B.

answers from Kansas City on

It's nursing. I nursed my daughter and did not suppliment and I didn't have a period for almost 9 months!

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C.L.

answers from Kansas City on

I'd wait about 4wks after your opps happend to take a home prego test. Or else go to your Dr's sooner for testing if you're worried about it. As far as nursing, that could be a reason why. My best friend doesn't have a period when she is nursing. You can always talk to your OB/GYN about things to be on the safe side etc...

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A.W.

answers from Kansas City on

It is completely normal not to get a period for a while when you are nursing. Mine didn't come back for 7-8 months.....

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi Jenn,
If you are nursing your baby, it will definitely affect your period. Everyone is different, but some people don't start back up until their baby is 6-8 mos. old. It depends on how frequent you nurse them. HOWEVER, just because you do not have your period, does NOT mean you cannot get pregnant! You just have to be careful to avoid those OOPS! moments. Congratulations on your baby!
C.

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C.P.

answers from St. Louis on

I did not start my period until 4 months after my daughter was born and I also breastfed. I have had friends that nursed and did not get their period back until 10 or 11 months after. I think it is normal that you have not had a period. They say if you breast feed you can go the whole time you breastfeed without a period.

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K.O.

answers from St. Louis on

If you are nursing - it's normal to not get it. . . I nursed until my daughter was 14 months and I didnt have my 1st period until she was 10 months old. . . Some people do get theirs earlier but usually not.

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J.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Nursing will suppress your cycle. I didn't get my period until 2-3 months after stopping nursing. It has also therefore been known to prevent pregnancy. But then 2 of my 3 boys were due to condom malfunctions sooo.....

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F.M.

answers from Kansas City on

I nurse exclusively until the baby shows interest in solids. But, I also nurse as much as the baby will during the day and night. Doing that, I don't have a period, nor ovulate for 11 mos, at the earliest. I wouldn't worry about your oops moment. There are many women who still get pg while exclusively nursing, but it can be a good form of BC.

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C.R.

answers from St. Louis on

I breastfed all four of my children for a year and my period started 30 days after I quit nursing. It was like clockwork!

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S.C.

answers from St. Louis on

if you are nursing this can stop you from having a period...but doesn't mean you can't get pregnant...put I have known some women who just spot during nursing...I did not have a period while nursing...I nursed for 3 months after she was born...

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A.F.

answers from Springfield on

Hi Jenn,
Personally, it was MONTHS! Like almost a year. I nursed and have been told lots that nursing can stop your period. When we started tapering off at about a year I would get my period back. I was never good at keeping up with the pill, in fact after my first one we didn't use anything and it wasn't until he was about weined ( only sometimes at night) that we got pregnant with our second.
Although, I couldn't say that is the whole reason you are not having a period I wouldn't get too worked up about it. You could always call your Doc and just get their opinion. More than likely I would say that they will pass it off as a plus of breastfeeding.
And of course, they will tell you that nursing in itself is not reliable contraceptive even though you may not be having a regular period.

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D.M.

answers from St. Louis on

It is normal not to get it while you are nursing.

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K.J.

answers from Kansas City on

I am nursing my 9 week old and I started birth control (a pill exclusively for nursing mother's). I know it might be a little late now, but it would be worth asking your doctor about it. I wish you the best ;)

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T.R.

answers from St. Louis on

Jenn, I am a mother of 5 who successfully nursed all of them, and my cycle would start anywhere from 5 months after birth up to a year, usually around the time they began nursing less[my sons weaned before 1 year, the girls nursed longer.] My doctor assured me that it was normal, especially if you are not supplementing with any formula at all. Nursing is usually a natural "helper" to your birth control, but don't count on it every time! I always used a pregnancy test every few months until the cycle started, just to make sure! I personally never conceived while nursing, but I know of people who have.

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C.C.

answers from Kansas City on

You are fine if you are nursing it suppose to be the best birth control and nursing prevents you periods from coming back it took mine 6weeks after finishing nursing.Good Luck

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S.F.

answers from Kansas City on

If you are breast feeding alot of times you will not have a period until you are done breast feeding enjoy the time but do remember you can still get pregnant.....

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M.G.

answers from Springfield on

I didn't have a period the entire time I was nursing which was 10 to 11 months.

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B.S.

answers from Joplin on

Nursing moms can take up to 6 months to start periods again, but that does NOT mean that you can not get pregnant during that time.
Oooooops ! Better check again when you have given it a little more time.
:o)

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning Jenn, It is very normal when nursing for your periods to be delayed for quite a while. They used to say Many moons ago that nursing was the best birth control after giving birth. It's not fool proof though. Our daughter in law nursed for about 5-6 months and didn't have a period through that time. It was probably at least a couple of months after switching over that she had a small period.
In her case it could of been stress that delayed it for so long. Her last child was born in Oct. Her father became ill in mid Jan and passed away in Feb. She was pumping and nursing when she could, being at the Hospital constantly.

Good Luck to you and yours
K. Nana of 5

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M.S.

answers from Wichita on

I know you have received a lot of responses, just wanted to add a little. I nursed my daughter for 15 months, but started having periods again after 5 months. Just use your family planning method, and know that after pregnancy, periods can be different. Mine changed from light to very heavy. We'll see what the next one does!

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L.W.

answers from St. Louis on

It really depends on your body, but nursing moms tend not to have a period until after they stop nursing. I know with my second child I did not start till a couple of months after I stopped nursing him. He was 18 months old when I stopped.
However I do know of two people off the top of my head that both got pregnant while nursing. One was my sister the other was my Parents as teachers. She now has gotten pregnant 4 times while nursing the last two time were big suprises. She really was not happy with finding out the last two times. The very last time she had twin girls. She now has nine beautiful children 3 boys and 6 girls ranging in age from 16 years to 1 month old twin girls.

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V.R.

answers from St. Louis on

My son will be 5 months on the 1st. I am nursing as well and I still haven't gotten mine. When I went to the dr. for my 6 week check up, she said it can happen at any time. She said some people don't get it for a yr because their body is adjusting.

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T.W.

answers from St. Louis on

It is very common when you are nursing to not have a period or if you do a very light one. I am happy to hear that you are using protection since you can still get pregnant. Once you start to slow down on nursing (as in the baby starts eating foods and such) your period will eventually return. I don't think mine started again until he was 6 or 7 months old. There are many books and resources available that can help with any questions. Every womans body is different so there is no set time frame. Hats off to you for nursing!!!!I nursed both of mine for a year and worked full time. It is one of the things I miss most about them growing up.
T.

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K.D.

answers from Kansas City on

As long as you are nursing you may not have a period, But there is still a chance you can get pregnant.

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R.I.

answers from Kansas City on

Two more advantages to breast feeding! No periods and natural birth control. Of course it is not 100%, so you still want to use something else.
You need to look up La Leche League. See if there is a group near you as well. They are wonderful support and can answer many questions.

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J.N.

answers from Wichita on

Good afternoon Jenn S.,

It is due to you nursing, but you still can get pregnant while nursing. I would take a test to make sure. When I started cutting out nursing my period returned to normal. Congrats!!!!

Jen

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M.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Jenn, it is completely normal to not have a period while nursing. However you can still get pregnant, odds are down, but possible, especially since you don't have a past period to know when you start ovulating again. I didn't start until almost 6 months after I quit nursing with my first (I wasn't complaining :) Anyway, I hope that eases your mind a bit, but still use protection, but it is normal.
M.

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T.C.

answers from St. Louis on

It is the nursing that is prolonging that lovely gift we receive every month! I nursed my daughter for 13 months and no period, now I am nursing my son, going on 5 months and still no period. In response to some other replies, nursing CAN help REDUCE the possibility of getting pregnant because of the hormones in your body. While nursing your hormones are different than when pregnant or not pregnant... However I don't recommend that as your only birth control! :) Although I wouldn't recommend an IUD (mirena) I had one when my son was 6 weeks old and it wound up partially embedded in my fallopian tubes! No clue how but it did and I had to have it SURGICALLY removed! Not fun, and major surgery! I was just prescribed a BC specifically formulated for the nursing mom, called micronor, any other BC can dry up your milk supply or send your hormones into overdrive! Hot flashes, cold sweats, serious weight gain/loss, all the fun of being a women! Good Luck and don't worry to much, your baby can sense your emotions and congrats! :)

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J.G.

answers from St. Louis on

Well, if you are nursing it will be a while. I have been nursing my 9 month old son since birth and I still have not had a period. I am currently on a birth control pill that is recommended for nursing mothers and it does assist with not have a period also. So, all I can tell you is that while nursing you may not have any periods but you absolutely can get pregnant. I would suggest suiting up or getting on a pill that will not affect your milk supply.
Good luck
J. G

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

This is a tough question because there is no right or wrong answer I however did resume back to my monthly cycle after my 6 week postpartum checkup and yes I was nursing same with my daughter.My friend she just now started after a yr and a half to get hers back and she still breastfeeds.I would be concerned as well that'll be 2 babies to care for i'm due in March and my youngest will be 2 yrs old.Anyway wait another day or 2 then retest after a few weeks i'd say your safe if it is still negative.If you are really stressed out call your OB and they can order a blood test you'll know 100%.

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N.S.

answers from Topeka on

It's different for everyone.. but I have 5 kids, and nursed them all until a year or more. I didn't get it back until 3 of them were 7 months, and 1 when she was 9 months, and I am still currently nursing my baby and he's 9 months and I haven't gotten it yet- YAY!! So, I wouldn't worry. Just take another test to be sure. (but if you're strictly breastfeeding... then you're probably fine). Breastfeeding is a natural cycle-supressor/child spacer.. but of course, not 100% guaranteed.

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J.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Yes, it has a lot to to with the fact you are nursing. I am still nursing my 9 month old and haven't had a period yet. I started my period at about 4 months with my first daughter but didn't nurse as long. Most likely you are doing fine!!

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

If youre breast feeding more than likely you wont have a period until after you stop nursing. Same for getting pregnant. More than likely you wont get pregnant but thats not to say it wont happen so take the necessary precautions if you dont want another one on the way so quickly, but more than likely you wont be pregnant. No worries, its normal not to have a period right now. Enjoy it while it lasts!!!

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L.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Hi Jenn! If you are bf exclusively, you may likely not have a period at all. Once I stopped bf exclusively, and started supplementing some formula, I started about 1-2 months after that. If you are still concerned about your "oops", give your doctor a call!

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E.D.

answers from St. Louis on

Sorry, I know you have a lot of responses, just one extra tidbit to add about not having your period while breastfeeding . . . if you go longer than 6 hours without nursing, fertlity could potentially return. So if you haven't, it's unlikely, but not impossible of course!

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L.B.

answers from Wichita on

Jenn,

Many women do not have period return until 1-3 months after weaning their infants from nursing. This DOES NOT mean that you may not be ovulating though - so keep on using some form of birth control. They even say that breast feeding if done EXCLUSIVELY (every 2-4 hours during day AND night)is effective birth control until they start doing cereal or supplementing - but I sure wouldn't trust it.

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