Let’s talk science here. In this chapter, exact science won’t help us much. When I was in my last hippo days (that’s what I called myself when I was dragging my belly), it occurred to me to ask my gynaecologist, “Well, when will I get my period after delivery? Will it be normal?
In this video you will find all the information you need:
His answer was more or less like this. It will come sometime during breastfeeding or when you have finished breastfeeding. It will be normal or heavier, there are women who have normal periods and others who bleed a lot. It will depend on your body, we can’t know yet.
Wow I thought, what an inaccurate answer. But the truth is it’s true, you just don’t know until it happens.
My first period came without warning (I didn’t feel any symptoms the days before), on a plane with my oldest son who was 2 months old (I was still breastfeeding full time). It was a 12 hour flight, I had to arrive in Frankfurt, stay there for 12 hours and then take another 13 hour flight to South America.
Imagine that! How hard it must have been, that when I arrived in Frankfurt I called my sister-in-law (a gynaecologist) to tell her that I was bleeding to death (that’s how she felt) and I had a 12 hour layover and another 13 hour flight on top of that.
She was the one who gave me the advice I never forgot. It’s your first period after a long time (9 +2 months) your body can cause a very heavy period. Advice, don’t stand still inside the airport, get out of it and walk and ideally fast. You are like me, a bipedal animal. Walking will make your uterus contract naturally and that will contract the veins in your uterus that are bleeding. You will see how everything will calm down little by little. I thought my sister-in-law was crazy, but I had nothing to lose. So I took the trolley and went for a walk. Holy cow! You can take the second flight with a fairly normal period.
Today I think, if I had already used a menstrual cup at that time, I would have felt the same panic because the first period was heavy but I wouldn’t have had the worry of seeing how the pads didn’t last more than 1 hour.
If you are a new mother and you use a menstrual cup, this is probably one of the questions that comes to your mind: Can I use a menstrual cup after giving birth?
Giving birth to a baby is a beautiful process, but it is also a difficult one, and why not say it? It brings with it many changes, the most important one being that there is now one more person in the family, but also changes in us women, both hormonally and menstrually.
Each one of us is different, your period can be very light or like mine. Some say that depending on the type of birth, the first menstruation can be different. I may be the exception to the rule, but both my first periods after my births (a caesarean and a normal birth) were equally heavy.
Your period will come at some point after childbirth or breastfeeding and it’s understandable that you might be wondering
when you will be able to use a menstrual cup after you have your baby.
Is it recommended to use a menstrual cup after childbirth?
As with everything related to pregnancy, the use of a menstrual cup after childbirth depends on the individual case. If you have had a natural birth, or if it was by caesarean section, the complications that have accompanied it, etc… Even so, there are some things you should keep in mind regardless of the type of birth you have had.
After giving birth, the body enters a phase known as puerperium, which colloquially we would call the postpartum phase in which the uterus recovers and begins to return to normal. The duration of this stage will be approximately 6 weeks.
During these 6 weeks or quarantine as it is commonly known, it is advisable not to insert anything into the vagina or have penetrative sex, as the vagina and uterus are sore, swollen and trying to recover their original state before the birth.
Even if your birth was not vaginal, in a caesarean birth your body also undergoes many changes, because your body has also been preparing to give birth to a baby, and your pelvic floor may have been weakened. Therefore, you should wait a reasonable time to use a menstrual cup after childbirth and consult your gynaecologist first.
Can I use it immediately or do I have to wait?
Just after giving birth it is not recommended to use the cup because the pelvic muscles may be weakened.
If your gynaecologist finds it suitable after 6 weeks, of course, the cup and motherhood are compatible!
It is therefore very important to have a good postpartum evaluation with your gynaecologist or better with a physiotherapist specialised in this subject. After 6 weeks you will have an examination of the state of your pelvic floor. This professional will give you the go-ahead to use the cup again, have penetrative sex, etc.
Can I use the same size or do I need a different size?
If you are a first timer, you will most likely need to go up a size after giving birth naturally. If you wear the small size you will need to go up a size. If you are already a plus size, you will not need to go up a size.
The plus size is created specifically for postpartum women and coincidentally fits most women over the age of 30-35 or women with exceptionally large hips.
If you were already wearing our plus size and your cup leaks after giving birth, consult your gynaecologist about your pelvic floor, there are some steps to take to strengthen it and get it back to its old size.
Can I use the cup for postpartum bleeding?
Although it can be very tempting to use a menstrual cup after giving birth and after those 9 months stored in your bag… When we have a natural birth, the vagina is inflamed and if it has been vaginal, it may have wounds, so inserting something inside it will be painful and is contraindicated.
During the quarantine or postpartum recovery phase, there is bleeding. This blood comes from the uterus. When the placenta detaches, so do the blood vessels in the walls of the uterus.
You may wonder what happens if I have a caesarean birth. I’m afraid that bleeding from the uterus is not unique to vaginal birth.
Even if you have a caesarean section, your body is ready for labour, so bleeding will still occur and usually lasts for 15 days, although it always depends very much on the woman and other factors, such as the size of the baby.
Under no circumstances can menstrual cups be used after pregnancy for postpartum bleeding, but there are equally healthy and sustainable alternatives such as menstrual panties.
Is my menstruation affected after pregnancy?
As I said before, pregnancy involves a lot of changes on a hormonal level, so of course you will experience changes in your period after pregnancy, especially if you choose to breastfeed your baby.
Normally breastfeeding causes your period to be suppressed due to the hormonal fluctuations that occur after birth. Estrogen and progesterone levels drop to make way for prolactin. But not all bodies are the same, example: mine.
When your period returns, be patient, because it may not be as regular as before, as you may still have a bit of a hormone mess.
Your bleeding may be heavier or lighter than before, or your blood may change colour.
As you know it is not an exact science and you will only know when it happens.😉