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Breastfeeding & Menstruation

Breastfeeding & Menstruation

Pregnancy sure comes with its own set of shenanigans, but the one joy it definitely brings is a break from your period cycle. But did you know that your periods will take a while to return even after childbirth? This is because breastfeeding suppresses menstruation, at least for a while.

So when does the Period return?

Although this absence could last for weeks, months or even years, the average time a woman takes to start ovulating is six to seven months after delivery. Your period is more likely to come back sooner if:

- Your baby is sleeping through the night

- You have introduced the baby to formula milk

- Your baby has begun to eat solid foods

- Your baby is using a pacifier

- The level of hormone progesterone is low in your body

But, you should not treat breastfeeding as a contraception. Even though you are off your period, you might still get pregnant.

What to expect once the Period returns?

When your period returns, you might experience some irregular bleeding. There might be a month when you skip your period altogether. You could also experience a slight change in your milk supply since the levels of calcium in your blood decrease during menstruation. A Calcium and Magnesium supplement could help here. Some women might experience nipple tenderness during ovulation a few days before, or even during the period.

But the most important thing to remember here is, Menstruation does not affect the nutrition of your milk. It does not make your milk go sour or bad.

What diet should a mother follow?

If you experience a drop in your milk supply and do not wish to take supplements, here are a few foods that will help boost lactation.

 - Fenugreek Seeds are rich in Omega3 fats and a great addition to increase milk production. Just add a few to your tea or vegetables.

- Fennel Seed can be soaked overnight in a glass of water or brewed with a tea. They are effective in reducing gas and colic and this benefit is passed on to the baby through the milk.

- Leafy Green Vegetables are a great source of minerals such as iron, calcium, and folate. Add them to your daily diet and enjoy the benefits.

- Oatmeal is rich in fiber which helps your digestive system. It is also a great source of energy.

- Papaya is considered one of the best fruits to increase milk supply. It also works as a natural sedative to help you relax.

- Water, the most essential and often overlooked supplement. Proper hydration can boost milk production a great deal. So, make sure you drink enough water.

So, these were a few facts, tips and tricks of managing your cycle while breastfeeding. But if you experience any pain or discomfort, you must consult a doctor.

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