Post-partum periods

Post-partum periods

A lot changes after you have your baby. Your family, your body, and yes, your periods also change.

During pregnancy, periods go into hibernation since the only reason they occur is because of the lack of fertilization. Once that happens, periods also then take a breather.

They make a comeback immediately after the birth. Known as lochia, it is a composite of uterine tissue and blood that is pushed out by the body, since the resident baby is out of the womb.

However, in some women, bleeding can be extremely heavy. Right after the delivery, if the bleeding is not stopping, it’s referred to as postpartum hemorrhage. Women who get discharged from the hospital and continue to experience postpartum hemorrhage should immediately consult their gynecologist in Lahore, as in the worst case, PPH can also cause death as well.

Signs of postpartum hemorrhage

Women should know the signs of PPH after they have given birth, so that they can ring up the doctor immediately.

Change in the appearance of blood: If suddenly, blood changes color, becoming bright red, or if there are large blood clots, it’s an alarming sign.

Excess bleeding: A good measure of how much you have bled is how many pads you have changed. If you are changing your pads after every hour or so, then it is a matter of concern.

Increase in bleeding: It might be that the bleeding increases in intensity and flow suddenly, catching you off guard. Therefore, even though are you very likely to be out of sorts, you should try to keep track of your bleeding.

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Disorientation: Naturally, when there is too much bleeding, then you are also likely to become disoriented and dizzy. Since blood also plays an important role in the respiratory process, therefore, it can also then lead to breathlessness.

Initial bleeding

The initial bleeding, lochia, can last for a while. It generally is bright red in the beginning, with greater volume, it then starts to taper off eventually. The color also tends to become browner towards the end as well. This bleeding can last around a month or two as well.  

For the initial bleeding, women are suggested to wear pads, instead of tampons or menstrual cup. Since vagina has recently sustained trauma, it is too sore and tender to take the strain of tampons and cups. Furthermore, tampons also pose the risk of infection as well.

The return of periods

Once you are done with the initial bleeding, you can never know when your periods will make a comeback. It depends mostly on whether you are breastfeeding your baby or not, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby and pumping milk.

If you are breastfeeding, there will be hormonal changes in the body that then prevent periods from returning, this is known as lactational amenorrhea. Even in such cases, it is not entirely predictable when the periods will return. It can be 3-6 months in some cases, whereas in others, it can also be above a year as well.

In such cases as well, it also depends on when you start solids into your baby’s diet. Technically, babies start solid foods after 6 months, and so they become less reliant on breast milk.

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If you are not expressing milk, then your periods can return as soon as 6 weeks after birth. Similarly, if you are supplementing breast milk with formula, in that case also, your periods are likely to return in a few months’ time.

Irregular periods

After your periods return, it may be that they are regular, but it also can be that they are irregular. For women who are lactating, it is more likely that periods are irregular.

However, it is pertinent to note that even if your periods are missing or irregular, you can still become pregnant. So, you might want to talk to your gynecologist for going back on birth control.