For most women, being pregnant means having a nice, long break from your monthly period. But what happens after your baby is born? What should you expect with those first few periods after pregnancy? Is it different depending on if you had a vaginal or c-section delivery? How will you know what’s normal for your body? Today we’re exploring what to expect when “Aunt Flo” strolls back into town!
Your First Period After Having a Baby
Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
KRISTEN STRATTON: After your baby, your body will begin to return to a pre-pregnancy state, this includes postpartum bleeding immediately after birth and then a postpartum period which could be weeks or years away. How do you know what to expect and what is normal for your body? Today, we’re talking about what to expect with those first few periods after pregnancy. This is Newbies.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome to Newbies. Newbies is your online on the go support group guiding new mothers through their baby’s first year. I’m your host Kristen Stratton, Certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula and owner of Induced Season Doula Services. If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter to learn when new episodes are released, you can also subscribe to our show through iTunes and listen on the go to our new episodes through our Newbies app. Sunny’s here to tell us about other ways you can participate in our show.
SUNNY GAULT: So, we have some big changes here at Newbies and I’m so excited.
KRISTEN STRATTON: There are some big changes?
SUNNY GAULT: I know it’s huge. Okay, for those of you who’ve been listening since the beginning, you know, we typically record our shows in San Diego and its more of like a studio type of environment, we’re all sitting around the table and we’re all kind of chatting and we’ve always brought people in on Skype and I don’t know, through the phone and stuff like that so, we have totally switched stuff up. This actually the first episode that we’re recording for newbies with the new show format and that is that everyone is joining from their own personal computer. So I think most of us here today that are going to be part of the conversation or joining from our home, I know today was pretty easy, I just kind of roll out of bed and grab some coffee and go to my computer as opposed to going to a studio environment, so it was really nice. So, what does this mean for you guys? This means that no matter where you’re at in the country, honestly, no matter where you’re at in the world, as long as you have few little pieces of equipment which you need just basically a computer and a good strong internet connection, and you can join our conversation. So it kinda puts all of us on a level playing field if you will, so no more just San Diego people and all of that. It's more about let’s connect with as many people, parents and experts as we can because when we do that, we all have experiences that we can share. And I think it’s going to make for some really exciting conversations, and I’m really excited to be able to connect with you guys.
So if you're interested in being part of our shows, the best way to get involved is to head on over to our website at www.newmommymedia.com and there’s information on the website you can click some banners and I’m going to put some new stuff up there, where its really easy to basically apply to be either an expert or parent on our shows and to contribute to these conversations. So once we get your application, it’s really helpful for our producers to kind to know a little bit more about everyone that wants to participate in the shows and then we can email you when topics become available that we think you'd be a good fit for. The other thing is, you can join our closed Facebook group where we post all our recording times and topics. So you can contact us, we can contact you and together we can get you guys on the future episodes. So, it’s real exciting and we’ve got some new people joining us today, which I know we’re going to go into introductions now. And we’re just able to do this now and it’s really cool.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Alright, let’s go ahead and meet our panelists. I’m gonna have you guys introduce yourself. Why don’t we start with Jenni?
JENNIFER COX: I’m 25, I’m from Ontario, Canada and I have a mommy blog over at www.mommywearsheels.com and I have one baby and she’s 18 months old.
KRISTEN STRATTON: How about you Graeme?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Hi, Gram Seabrook. I am thirty-something years old and I have 2 kids. My oldest is 2 ½ and my youngest is 4 months old and she is fabulous and wonderful, I’m also a mommy blogger over at www.honestlymamag.blogspot.com.
Welcome to the show.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so before we kick off today’s show there is a brand new app that just came out like literally as of the time of this recording, I think it came out like 2 or 3 days ago and usually I’m not that up on new app release, I felt the need to get that in there and it’s from a company called Glow. If you guys is familiar with Glow, they do other apps and a lot of their stuff focuses on fertility, ovulation, and menstruation which is why I thought it would be good to talk about it in today’s episode.
Now, they’re breaking into caring for the baby and so they have a brand new app, its called Glow Baby, it is available in the iTunes store and possibly Android. If they’re not there, I’m sure they’re going to go there soon. And so what it is, is it’s basically a baby tracking app and you could track a bunch of different things with your baby obviously you got to enter some information about when your baby was born but it has some really cool things on it, you can track the feeds, you know, when your baby last fed, when your baby slept, diaper changes, there’s a section on here for, a community section so if you want to connect with other parents.
Since this is just a brand new app right now, I did notice that a lot of it isn’t a real in-depth conversation, like “oh, just had my baby” and possibly baby photo but hopefully that will, you know, turn into something there. You can set some alerts on your phone. There are a lot of baby tracking apps out there and the thing that I thought sets this apart from other apps is the simplicity of it.
First of all, it’s got a great user interface and I’m not usually a huge proponent of apps that do a million things because I thought of going deep in searching app for what I want but this one is very intuitive, it’s a lot of like swiping on the screen to get to the next screen. It has some fun colors, it makes me happy. This app makes me happy to play around with it which is when you got little kids, you gotta be happy. Then the other things that I really like is the other timers on this app, so for example, when you’re talking about sleep for your baby, a lot of apps have you enter in, okay here is the start time and you got to enter 8:30 am to 9:30 am and its kind of a pain but with this app you do have the option of doing that or you can simply hit this little play button and it will start recording. So like I go down, you know, and lay my twins down for their next nap and I’m like, okay, I don’t feel like entering a bunch of numbers so boom the nap starts and I hear my babies crying an hour later and boom now the nap starts and it automatically enter those times for you and it is something that you don’t have to stay on the screen or work in the background.
I just like the simplicity of this because I like things that I can just hit and make it work as opposed to like entering a bunch of numbers and stuff. So that was one thing I saw on this that I really like. There are some other things, there is a summary chart on here, I think there are growth charts on here. It does a lot of cool stuff but if you’re looking for something out there it's brand new like I said the company does have a history of doing this types of apps and doing them well. It’s free, which is really nice for new parents who are you know, spending money on a lot of different new things. So anyways, real quickly just wanted to go around and get you guys’ opinion on this. Is this something you might use? Kristen, let’s start with you.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Oh I thought it’s an incredible app. I mean there are so many things that you have to try to remember, those moms with babies especially when the baby’s new so just to have an easy way to track that and not have to worry about, oh where’s my pen and paper to write that down. For some of us, especially in this day and age, we really like to track stuff.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.
KRISTEN STRATTON: I’m not speaking from personal experience at all. So yeah, I love the convenience factor, woohoo!I love that in this day and age when we have this type of apps, especially free apps.We have the opportunity to track this kind of stuff without having to stress about it, we can do it on the go, yeah. I would definitely use it if I ever have another child. Would have used it if it had been available when I had my baby so. Yeah, now I think it’s cool.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, we definitely want to check out with Jenni because Jenni has used Glow apps in the past, not this one, it just came out but you used one to get pregnant? Jenny, tell us about that.
JENNIFER COX: I use; I forget what it was called. It was something where you can track your cycles and have sex on the right days. But I am convinced it helped because we got pregnant within like 2 months. It was a really great interface, it was really easy to use, wasn’t complicated. I had downloaded like 5 of them and I was like, ah, I can’t figure any of this out and finally I found the Glow one and I was like this is awesome. So yeah, next baby for sure.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome! Graeme any thoughts on this?
GRAEME SEABROOK: I think that that would be wonderful. My daughter is sort of right in the middle of consolidating into naps right now and so I have just pieces of paper scattered all over my house with about a date up at the top and you know, fell asleep at whatever and woke up at whatever. If it could just be in my phone because my phone is never not in my hand, and what you’re saying about being able to swipe and not have to just type in everything, if I can just hit a button hey she woke up, that sounds amazing. Like I want this right now.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s what I thought too because I just don’t like entering all those little details especially I don’t know if you guys when you are typing on your phone and stuff like I just inevitably hit the wrong buttons so sometimes its like Yes start, yes start, that’s what I need so yes, absolutely very intuitive. So we’ll go ahead and put this on our website, so if you guys want to check out the links and learn a little bit more about it you can do so. We’ll post it on our social media sites as well. Again, it is called The Glow Baby, just came out, available at least with the iTunes marketplace and probably in more places soon. And its Free.
GRAEME SEABROOK: Who doesn’t love free?
SUNNY GAULT: Ah, we love free.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Today, on Newbies we are discussing postpartum bleeding and the first postpartum period. Our expert is Cristi Lewis, a Licensed Midwife, Certified Homeopath, and energy worker who owns and operate the Milagros Midwifery in Fallbrook, California. Thank you for joining us Cristi and welcome to the show. Cristi, can you explain what postpartum bleeding is?
CRISTI LEWIS: Postpartum bleeding is that very first bleeding that we experience immediately after we give birth to our babies and are placentas. It is kind of similar to having a period and it is kind of not. The similar part is that our bodies are renewing in that postpartum bleeding all the stuff that we don’t need to carry in pregnancy anymore. The lining of the uterus may be a bit of the blood that comes from the placenta detaching from the wall of the uterus and that type of thing.
It also serves as a function of healing. I always tell my mom’s in my care that when we deliver our placentas we are left with a wound in our uterus, the size of that placenta. It’s harder for us to kind of be aware because it is inside us and we don’t see it all the time. So, that’s postpartum bleeding is also very rich in white blood cells and trying to heal up as in a wound what is left over after the placenta detaches. This hole put together is called lokiea, that’s the medical term that we use.
KRISTEN STRATTON: How long does lokiea last and does it differ for women who had a vaginal birth versus a caesarian birth?
CRISTI LEWIS: That’s a really good question and in my experience, it’s typically it's not very different. In both a caesarian birth and a vaginal birth, we still have our placentas that come off the uterine wall. Our uterus is still trying to shrink down to the sizing where before we got pregnant and so the process is actually very similar.
Now, how long that postpartum bleeding last? It’s very individual for every woman. Even if women have had a caesarian birth versus vaginal birth, there is this length of time that it takes to heal from the birth process is going to be very individual to every woman, so, you know, sometimes women experience bleeding for one week after the birth and sometimes it takes about six weeks for your body to heal up.
KRISTEN STRATTON: What should a woman expect as far as color, quantity, smell?
CRISTI LEWIS: So, typically in postpartum bleeding it is going to be different than having a period. So right after the birth or the first couple of days after the birth, it’s going to be bright red, as you would expect, from you know, having a fresh wound. So I tell moms that type of bleeding though should never be more than maybe a pad an hour. If you’re having typical bleeding in those first could of days after the birth that shows a pad an hour or more then that is an abnormal sign of bleeding.
But usually, it’s a lot less than that. And then in the days that follow, that bleeding is typically going to be less and less and so, its going to change color from that bright red to maybe a light pink or brownish and then its going to change in the next couple weeks to a yellow and to then to clear and then eventually fade away.
As far as the smell of it, it’s going to be very different. I don’t know if I can explain it. If you can just smell it, it’s completely unique. It should not smell however like it’s of infection kind of smell, its going to smell strong and really earthy women’s smell but it should never smell like an infection should smell.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Panelist what was your experience with postpartum bleeding? Let’s start with Jenni.
JENNIFER COX: I had a C-section and I didn’t think I was going to bleed as much as somebody who has a vaginal birth. I don’t know why, that was my instinct, because but yeah, I blood to the full 6 weeks and then it just kind of tapered off and I am fine.
KRISTEN STRATTON: What about you, Graeme?
GRAEME SEABROOK: I have now had 2 C-sections and the first time, I don’t know if it was because it was an emergency C-section and I was really sick, I had preeclampsia, I don’t know that has anything to do with it but I feel like there was way more bleeding in the first one than the second one. That could just be you know, every pregnancy is different so it could have been that as well but yeah the first one I remember it being almost 2 months to the point where I called my doctor and she was like, okay are you sure? This is still supposed to be happening and I went in and she checked me out and everything was perfectly normal and fine and regular. That was just what was going on with me and then this last time, it was really quick that it stopped. I feel like it was, man, I’m still in the sleep deprivation phase so I can’t tell you what exactly but it was about a month, it was pretty short and it was heavy like the first like 2 weeks and then tapered off really really quickly which I’m very grateful for. That makes life a little bit easier.
CRISTI LEWIS: So it’s usually the advice usually given to women after the birth, is that you should be aware of how much you are bleeding and the general rule is it should be less every day. So, like I mentioned before, you shouldn’t be soaking any more than one pad an hour. If you are soaking a pad more frequently than that, then you should talk to your medical care provider.
Also, if you are passing clot after the first 24 hours, now clots are common in the first 24 hours after the birth and no one really warns anyone about that, because it can be a very weird experience to pass but they should be very small, you know the size of a quarter even a little larger, you know, a little larger than that after the first 24 hours and that would be a sign of concern as well.
Also, especially in our, in the United States, it’s very, very hard for women to slow down. You know our postpartum period is we considered it 40 to 42 days after the birth. And really, that’s the time period, that it takes, it takes up to 6 weeks for our bodies to heal fully from the birth and within a span of a couple weeks, you know women want to get up, they want to help their other children, they want to go shopping, they want to do something and really that can also aggravate your bleeding and so if you are in that 6 weeks doing too much you will also start to bleed more. So that is a sign that you need to listen to your body to truly to slow down, take a deep breath and remember that you’re still healing and this is a special time that we just need to take time just for ourselves so that we can still go back and [inaudible]
KRISTEN STRATTON: What pads do you recommend and what perinatal care do you recommend to women who have had a vaginal birth or who had labored and then had a caesarian?
CRISTI LEWIS: So that is going to be depending on the women’s comfort level. There are a lot of women who you know who deliver in the hospital or even at home birth, you get your home birth kits. You get this lovely little mesh panties with this humongous pad in them. Some women really, really love them. You are going to want something a little larger than you’re used to probably for periods because the bleeding’s a little more in the first couple of days than you are probably used to with your period.
For my mom, I recommend you know depends are great we have to get over this stigma of them but you know what, they’re easy, they’re definitely going to contain accident, you don’t have to use them very long, its usually only for the first couple days and they actually tear off at the side so its really easy to also take off and on. But typically my moms usually just prefer to go get you know, maximum absorb easy sanitary pads that you’ve been using during their periods and that also works just fine. As far as perinatal care after birth, so for the bleeding itself, you don’t really need to do anything that you wouldn’t do during your period, so, you know, you keep yourself clean after the birth, usually your care provider will give you a peri bottle and that is a little plastic bottle with a spray top that you can either fill with warm water.
Some midwives also recommend some herbal six packs that they can make up and prepare and put in those bottles and typically that's used for the first couple of weeks when you go to the bathroom and when you take a shower that sort of thing. And it’s a way to irrigate the whole area without really putting any pressure on it, and because that bottoms are very, very sore after birth if you had a vaginal birth and so, it’s a way to just cleanse the area. Make sure that you’re changing your pads very frequently so that you are keeping that area pretty clean. But you know, our bodies are designed to stretch and tear and heal very well after birth and so as long as we can kind of allow our bodies to do that when we process, everything just usually heals up just fine.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Panelists, what did you use during your postpartum bleeding and what did you find that was effective in your recovery and containing you’re bleeding?
JENNIFER COX: I use just regular like, I don’t even know what the brand was, like the super-size pads, I packed one package like the small package in my hospital bag, like I said, I didn’t think I was going to bleed that much and my husband ended up having to go to buy like huge box from the drug store before even I got discharged from the hospital but it seemed to work. The mesh panties were good too.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Graeme?
GRAEME SEABROOK: I had a wonderful nurse when I was in the hospital who gave me pretty much the best advice that I tell all moms who are pregnant. She said we’re going to keep giving you these pads as long as you keep asking for it. So, every time I bring you some, go ahead and put some in your bag and use some while you are here at the hospital because once you get home, you’re never going to find pads that are this absorbent and I really didn’t.
The ones from the hospital were just amazing. I love them and this second time, I was much better at slashing them away and hope they’re not going to come after me now that this is being broadcast, so yeah, it was mesh panties and the hospital pad and then once I got home, I did do the pants because I was just recovering from the C-section and it was so much easier, just simpler for me.
But I do tell all pregnant moms when you’re in that hospital and they’re bringing you the pads that they bring you there, go ahead and start putting those in your bag, stash them away, slash the mesh panties too so that you have a supply for when you got home.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Yeah, I really like the mesh panties.
GRAEME SEEBROOK: Awesome
KRISTEN STRATTON: They’re actually very comfortable.
JENNIFER COX: It's good stuff.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Yeah, really good stuff. When we come back, we will continue our discussion about postpartum periods. We’ll be right back.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome back to the show. We’re talking to licensed midwife, Cristi Lewis about postpartum periods. Cristi, when do most women have their postpartum period who are exclusively breastfeeding or there is absolutely no standard?
CRISTI LEWIS: So, for women who are exclusively breastfeeding and when I say exclusively breastfeeding, I mean that you are feeding on demand and that you are also feeding your baby during the night, so that come typically to about 4 hours during the day and 6 hours during the night. If you are doing and you are exclusively breastfeeding then you can go up to 6 months and longer without having a period and this is because when we are breastfeeding the hormones are involved in producing breast milk and let-down are actually preventing the hormones that trigger ovulation. So it actually also works as a kind of contraception. There are a lot of traditional societies in our world, that where they have little access to contraception and exclusively breastfeeding is the standard that we see this natural baby spacing of every. That is because the hormones of doing a really go job at preventing our ovulation from happening at least to that first 6 months. That is actually pretty normal to go a year if you are really doing that exclusive breastfeeding or just barely supplementing after the 6 months. Yeah, but it is very different for every woman.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Panelists when do you get your first postpartum period and how did you feel? Let’s start with Jenni.
JENNIFER COX: I am still going strong with none at 18 months and I am kind of terrified
KRISTEN STRATTON: Lucky Girl.
JENNIFER COX: Except I am terrified that I am going to wear like white pants to the mall one day it’s going to get me and I will have to just call my husband sobbing like, code red code red.
KRISTEN STRATTON: I know it, you know, its sort of like that thing when you are pregnant and you are so terrified that your water is going to break like anywhere in the middle of the grocery store and then its true you do you don’t know when you going have the random bleeding, yeah.
JENNIFER COX: Exactly.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Yeah you’re right.
JENNIFER COX: I’m living on the edge.
KRISTEN STRATTON: You are living on the edge. Graeme, what was your experience?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Well, so far with the second one, nothing and I’m very excited about that but I am exclusively breastfeeding and I’m breastfeeding on demand so that’s probably why. With my first, with my son, yeah, I was pumping and I thought maybe that would give me like some extra time and it didn’t. It wasn’t any different than a normal period though. It was, I’ve heard stories you know, from people they were horrible or they were super light, it was just like my body is just starting right up again and going, okay, we’re doing this now, so it was pretty much what I expected.
SUNNY GAULT: I can actually chime in on this too because so I have 4 kiddos, and the only thing I really remember with my last 2 my twins. But it was kind of like Jenni like I had no period. I think was up to 2 years, I think was approaching 2 years before I got my period.
KRISTEN STRATTON: I hate you guys so much right now.
SUNNY GAULT: I know but like I was kind of like on the edge too because you just don’t know when it’s going to come back and you know it’s going to be something horrible and embarrassing when it does because you’re not going to be prepared for it.
So it took me up to like 2 years to get my period back which was fine because we’re not planning on having more babies or whatever. But my issue now is that my period is horrible like I was one of those people that everybody hated, I have a period that’s like 3 days and then it was bye-bye and like it wasn’t even heavy and I didn’t get menstrual cramps and now I am paying for it, you guys. I am totally paying for it, all those years of easy periods because now it is at least a week. I don’t even have a month in between. My husband jokes that I get a period every 2 weeks. That’s like not fun.
That’s not really true. But it is usually like every 3 weeks, I’m not kidding and my cycle is all off. And now, you know, I’ve just had my period maybe 5 or 6 times, I don’t know 5 or 6 months or whatever. But its still, I seriously want to get on some sort of medication or birth control now that we needed since my husband had a vasectomy but I want my period to go away now because I just can’t control it. It’s super heavy and it hurts and its long and its most miserable thing I have ever experienced in my life.
I feel bad for those ladies out there that they had to deal with this their whole life.
KRISTEN STRATTON: That doesn’t sound like anything I wanted, not very, no, I mean I exclusively breastfed my kiddos and I still no matter how often when I was breastfeeding my 2nd son, he was like every 45minutes to an hour kid. The kid just wants to live on the boob the whole time and I always got my period back in 9 months just always, never varied you know that is my time for my body to go, okay, time to get pregnant again. Well, I’m sure we’ll talk about that later. But yeah, that was my body’s like, okay I’m ready to do this again, thanks. Cristi are there any hormonal changes that are unique to this first period and what can a woman do to feel better during her first postpartum period?
KRISTEN STRATTON: Well, like you said, sometimes the first period back, is a little bit of surprise for all moms because you really don’t know what to expect because your hormones are restarting their cycle and so for some mom it can be anywhere from really light kind of spotty periods to it really super heavy.
Typically, you know, you need a couple cycles before you really know what your body is going to be doing now. You know, I had mom who had horrible periods and we are not super regular to after having our first baby, everything kind of puts into place, now they have regular cycles and a lot is happening and then like you mentioned, that it goes the opposite way sometimes, all the sudden what were really easy cycles for you are now really heavy period, and they come frequently. So, what I usually adjust is, first of all, you know, make sure that you’re eating well. You know, I think that diet has a lot to do with how our bodies are experiencing our period and sometimes, these new mommies, I know that sleep is an issue and getting adequate nutrition is sometimes on the go you are chasing after your children is an issue, but always look at your diet see what improvement you can make there. Typically, when we become new moms we become new people and everything like our whole world kind of has a new perspective, we’re kind of new people living it. Try to get some extra childcare you know, get grandma to watch the kids on some afternoons, you know, you’re adjusting your period. Ask daddy step in to help as well.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Cristi, what are some of the signs of fertility that mothers who are sexually active before the return of their periods should be aware of?
CRISTI LEWIS: It’s a very dangerous question because there really aren’t any because if you are, I tell my women at the end of that 6 weeks postpartum period, that when our bodies are kind of ready to make another baby and so if you are not exclusively breastfeeding, you can have a fertility cycle as early as 3 weeks after the birth. I know plenty of moms who have gotten pregnant after the birth of their baby without any signs of having a period, they just ovulated and they’re feeling good and they just want to have some time with their man and oops they have a baby again. So I really tell women that if you are not exclusively breastfeeding at any time after 6 weeks, you really need to think about contraception if you do not want to be pregnant right away again and you still haven’t had your period, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get pregnant, it does happen kind of often. If you are exclusively breastfeeding and then after 6 months and you really want and start thinking about when do I want to have another child? Do I want to have another child? And how do I prevent being pregnant if I didn’t want to be pregnant because we just kind of thinking behind our head be pregnant even before the first period?
KRISTEN STRATTON: I have had that experience that personally because that’s how we got pregnant with number 3 because I wasn’t a doer, I didn’t know everything that I know now, so we were exclusively breastfeeding my second, you know, my son and I and at 10 months postpartum I got pregnant with my third, so that’s how I ended up with 3 kids, 3 and under so but I will beware.
Thank so much Cristi and our wonderful panelists for joining us today in our discussion about postpartum bleeding and the first postpartum period and for our newbies club members, our conversation will continue after the end of this show as Cristi will share some of her homeopathic tips for PMS and cramp remedies which you know, you don’t want to miss, its really really good stuff. For more information about the newbies club, please visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com .
SUNNY GAULT: So before we wrap up today’s show, we do have a question for one of our expert and this comes from Hanna. So, as you guys know, we love to get your questions and we got a team of experts that can answer these questions and so, this is what Hanna wrote, Hanna said; “I have a question about getting pregnant shortly after having your baby. I’m only a couple months postpartum and my husband and I don’t want to get pregnant again right away but we also don’t want to use condoms if we don’t have to. I understand that. Is there another form of birth control that’s simple to use and won’t have any lasting effects on my ability to conceive again when we’re ready”. So she doesn’t want to use condoms and I know what she’s talking about with the whole, you know, something prohibiting you from getting pregnant again. You hear all these stories about women you know, not being able to conceive after being on the pill or something like that for a long time, so we’ll check in with our expert and see what they have to say.
DR NICK CAPETANAKIS: Hi Hanna, this is Dr Nick Capetanakis, OBGYN in San Diego, California. I got your question and I want to just answer it for you. During your postpartum period if you are breastfeeding and you’re exclusively breastfeeding and you’re breastfeeding every 2 to 3 hours, even throughout the night, then it’s usually enough to suppress ovulation, meaning most women won’t get pregnant in the postpartum period. However, we always talk to patients that exclusively breastfeeding is not a form of birth control and its not a 100% reliable although it can prevent ovulation there are many times when you can ovulate even while you’re breastfeeding and still get pregnant and end up having kids that are 13, 14, 15 months apart. The other tricky thing is that you can ovulate without a period and that’s tough because for some women that use their regular calendar if you will to track their periods that know when you’re ovulating and avoid intercourse that doesn’t happen very easily in the postpartum period because your periods aren’t normal. So we can’t even rely on a regulate calendar to prevent pregnancy by not having intercourse during the most likely time when you’re ovulating because your period is already regular. So we can’t even rely on that method.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding your child, try not to use estrogen. Estrogen is found in most birth control pills and also the Newborare so, we’re really limited to a condom. There is one pill called the Mini Pill, they are micron or that are progesterone only and it should not affect your breastfeeding and then you have IUDs. IUDs are little devices that get placed into the uterus. There are 2 different kinds, there is a hormone containing one called The Marina or the Skyler. There’s a copper IUD that has no hormone that has copper. The copper IUD is good for 10 years and the Marina is good for 5 years and there is also called the Skyler which has hormones that have half the amount of the Marina and that one’s good for 3 years. So the IUD should not affect how quickly you get pregnant when you take an oral pill and sometimes it just suppresses ovulation then it may take a little bit more time for your period to come back. It sounds like you guys would like to have kids a little bit closer than far away so unfortunately, condoms would be an option, at least in the short term are always an option but we kind of think of those as a little bit more long-term preferably at around that a year mark. However, you can keep an IUD as long as you want and go from there. I hope that answers your question. Its not a very easy question for those moms that are trying to not do anything that’s going to affect their fertility for year and a half, and some protection so condoms might be the best choice or you say, hey, we’re just going to kind of see what happen and if we have kids that are close we’re okay with that. That really just depends on you guys. Hope you’re having a great day and give us a call if you have any more question. Thanks. Goodbye.
KRISTEN STRATTON: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies.
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with infants and toddlers
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed and
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
Thanks for listening to Newbies. Your go-to source for new moms and new babies.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.
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