Can Breastfeeding Cause Delayed Period?

Breastfeeding mom

Yes, breastfeeding can cause a delay in the return of menstruation after childbirth. This delay in the return of periods is known as lactational amenorrhea.

Breastfeeding triggers the release of the hormone prolactin, which stimulates milk production and suppresses the hormones responsible for ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries) and menstruation in many women. As a result, some breastfeeding mothers may experience a temporary cessation or delay in their menstrual periods.

The duration of this effect varies among women. Some women might not have periods for several months or longer while exclusively breastfeeding, especially if they are feeding on demand day and night without using formula or introducing solid foods. However, it’s important to note that this method of contraception (relying solely on breastfeeding for birth control) is not foolproof and isn’t reliable for everyone.

It’s essential to be aware that ovulation can occur before the return of menstruation, even while breastfeeding. Therefore, relying solely on breastfeeding as a method of contraception (known as the lactational amenorrhea method or LAM) has specific criteria to be effective, including exclusive breastfeeding, no formula feeding, and the absence of menstrual periods.

If you’re breastfeeding and sexually active but not yet menstruating, and you wish to prevent pregnancy, it’s advisable to discuss contraceptive options with a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance on suitable birth control methods that are safe to use while breastfeeding and help you choose the best option based on your individual needs and circumstances.

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