Everything About Your First Periods After Birth – C-Section Birth

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There are several things we get nervous about after birth. And one of those things is what our first periods after birth is going to be like.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that every woman’s first period experience is the same after birth, but you probably already know it’s not.

There are few factors that affects the timing and intensity of your periods after birth. Those factors include how you gave birth (whether you’re had a c-section or a vaginal birth), if you’re breastfeeding or not, and if you’re on birth control.

But before I share some stories from other c-section moms and their first periods after birth, I want to answer some frequently asked questions you maybe be asking too!

When will I get my first period after the birth?

Expect your first period to come around 6 to 8 weeks after birth if you’re not breastfeeding. And if you are breastfeeding, the timing may be different..

Some breastfeeding moms get their first period within a few months while others don’t get theirs the whole time they’re nursing (even 12 months and on).

I got my first period 10 months after my first c-section and I was still breastfeeding. For my second c-section, I didn’t even get my first period before I got pregnant with my third baby at 2 months postpartum. And with my third c-section, I got my first period within 3 months.

How does breastfeeding affect when you’ll get your first period?

It has every bit to do with your hormones.

When you’re breastfeeding, the hormone that’s needed to produce breastmilk, called prolactin, suppresses your reproductive hormones which means you won’t ovulate or release an egg for fertilization.

But don’t confuse breastfeeding with birth control because you can absolutely get pregnant without getting your first period.

I’ll talk more about that below.

How will I know my first period is about to come?

cramping first period after c section

This is going to be different for every mom.

Generally speaking, you’ll most likely experience the typical symptoms before getting your period pre-pregnancy such as:

  • abdominal cramping
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • mood swings
  • breakouts
  • tender breasts
  • bloating
  • lower back ache

But you might feel more cramping accompanied by a heavier flow than usual for your first period after birth.

Will my period affect my milk supply if I’m breastfeeding?

Some common changes related to your breastmilk might be a slight dip in milk production and how it tastes to your baby. But nothing drastic enough to completely suppress your milk supply.

Can I get pregnant before I get my first period after birth?

I briefly mentioned that you totally can get pregnant before your first period. But I didn’t tell you how exactly.

It’s possible to get pregnant before your first period after having a baby because you could ovulate before having a period whether or not you’re breastfeeding.

And as What to Expect stated, if you’re not using a form of contraceptive to prevent you from getting pregnant it’s nearly impossible to know your odds of getting pregnant right after giving birth. And this is due to every woman’s body being different and the timetable for first postpartum ovulation being unpredictable.

I also got pregnant before getting my first period after birth the second time around!

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How bad will my first period be after birth?

first periods after birth

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing me say this but this also varies from mom to mom. And also your personal pain tolerance.

I honestly could not have survived each period without my heating pad and a bottle of acetaminophen.

But what I can do is share some personal “first periods after birth” stories from c-section moms (given their permission).

Len’s Story 2x C-Section Mom

Len from Happily Thriving After is a 2 time c-section mom. She breastfed both of her daughters and did not have a period in-between.

Len said she breastfed her first daughter for a total of 16 months, but found out that she was pregnant with her second daughter at 15 months postpartum.

She breastfed her second daughter for 17 months and didn’t get her first period back for almost 4 years due to back to back pregnancies and her birth control.

Since she had a pregnancy scare when her second daughter was about 4 months old- she opted for the Mirena IUD birth control. And she believes her birth control is the reason why her periods (when they returned) were much lighter than they were pre-pregnancy.

Katherine’s Story 2x C-Section Mom

Katherine from Katherine Learns Stuff had 2 c-sections: her first being twins and second with a single.

Her twins, she breastfed for 8 months and did not have a period for 8 months. When her period did come back- she said it was less severe than they were pre-pregnancy. She also did not have cramps when her period returned.

Katherine breastfed after her c-section but this time, her period returned at 3 months postpartum.

She noted that she’s always had heavy periods pre-pregnancy. After her first c-section birth, her periods were lighter than pre-pregnancy. But after this second c-section- it’s been the heaviest.

Farwa’s Story

Farwa from The Homemaker Mama got her first period after birth when her daughter was almost a year old. And she was exclusively breastfeeding.

She breastfed for 2 years but got her first period at 12 months which was very heavy and painful. Then her periods disappeared for awhile.

And then her menstrual cycle came back and was regular after weaning her daughter off from breastfeeding at 2 years.

Overall, Farwa said the length of her period increased after having her baby and started having heavier flows than before pre-pregnancy.

Something interesting she noted was that she now gets strong pregnancy symptoms like severe nausea and fatigue a few days prior to getting her periods which never happened before her pre-pregnancy periods.

Will my period be the same as before I got pregnant?

In Women’s Health, Dr. Phillip mentions that you’ll most likely experience regular periods after birth while it can still fluctuate based on breastfeeding, sometimes your period will stop and start a few times before getting back to normal, and your second period after birth will tend to be more like your pre-pregnancy periods in terms of flow and length.

As you read Len’s, Katherine’s, and Farwa’s first period after birth stories, no two experiences are alike.

I exclusively breastfed, got my first period at 10 months postpartum, and it was much lighter than my pre-pregnancy periods. I wasn’t on any birth control when I got my period.

However, the second period I got, I cramped more than the first and also had a heavier flow.

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The Takeaway

Your first period is going to be different from other moms. It could be similar in ways but there’s no accurate way of predicting how your first periods after birth will be.

But I hope this post and sharing other mom’s first period stories gave you insight on what to expect before, during, and after your c-section birth.

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  1. Having children is great, and I’m not overly sad that I didn’t experience all the pain of a natural birth. But I have to say, the best part about being pregnant and then post partum was the period free time. Thanks for sharing!

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