Postpartum changes are inevitable, ladies. From physical changes in your body to mental well-being, everything goes for a spin because of a simple reason – hormones. Some of them press pause and others keep flowing. All this has an impact on our bodily functions, including your menstrual cycle. That’s why you will notice that your period changes post-pregnancy and how.
Period aka menstruation can be termed as the shedding of the uterine lining, and it is a part of a woman’s reproductive health. And yes, every woman goes through it. When you are pregnant, your body undergoes several hormonal changes that prevent menstruation.
Did you know? One cannot shed the entire uterine lining, while maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Moreover, any bleeding that occurs during pregnancy should be immediately reported to doctor to avert any complications.
According to Dr Madhuri Burande Laha, consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, whether you gave birth vaginally or through a cesarean section, it can take some time before your monthly bleeding goes back to what it used to be earlier.
The reasons behind this can be attributed to the changes in the hormone levels, as they change constantly. This happens when you are breastfeeding. Also, remember it can have a bearing on when your period returns.
1. Irregular periods
You may notice that in the months following childbirth, your period could be irregular, owing to breastfeeding. The hormone that’s produced when your body produces milk is called prolactin, and it suppresses ovulation. This hormone messes with other reproductive hormones in the body and delays menses, until the prolactin production in your body reduces or stops.
2. Difference in texture and timeline
Periods can be different in texture and duration for everyone. Yes, it can happen due to suppressed ovulation. For some, periods don’t return until they stop breastfeeding.
3. Heavier periods
Women may also experience heavier periods. These are quite normal after pregnancy — you could also have small blood clots during pregnancy, even if you don’t menstruate.
4. Change in cramps
Cramping can improve or worsen due to hormonal changes in the body. Increased pain can occur due to the shift in hormones after pregnancy.
Dr Laha advises women to adopt a well-balanced diet. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy on a daily basis. Don’t forget to add protein-rich foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, fish, and beans, while recovering from pregnancy and staying healthy.
“It is a no-brainer that fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that prevent constipation,” she says.
Bid adieu to junk food, alcohol, and caffeine. Exercising after the birth of your baby can reduce back pain, allow you to maintain a correct posture, build muscle tone and promote better sleep. Walking is a very good exercise. Try to walk as much as possible. Even deep breathing exercises with abdominal contractions allow you to relax your muscles and tone the abs and belly. You can opt for kegel exercises, as it is a great way to bring your pelvic muscles back in order. Plus, it tones the bladder muscles and helps avoid urine incontinence post-childbirth.