Not having a period was fun while it lasted, but eventually that monthly visitor returns. Never has there been a more dreaded return than that of the menstrual cycle after a nine month break from tampon changing and aspirin popping. Sure, you know Aunt Flo's going to come back eventually, but what you may not be prepared for are the weird things about your first postpartum period that every woman goes through. Because having a baby can change more than just the number of people in your family — giving birth can alter the way your period comes back, especially the first time around.
From stressing over your supply of feminine hygiene products to wondering where in the world all the extra blood is coming from, there is really no way to prepare yourself for what will happen. Since your body and hormones changed while your were pregnant, and continue to heal and change again in the postpartum phase, it takes a little bit of time for everything to return to proper working order. Meaning the first cycle you have after delivering your little one could be full of surprises. But you're not alone — women everywhere experience these weird postpartum period occurrences.
1. You'll Anxious For Its Return
Not knowing when or where that first period will strike can be a bit nerve wrecking. When I felt the first niggling of cramps, I stuffed my diaper bag with tampons and asprin so when Aunt Flo showed up, I was more than prepared.
2. You Notice Blood Clots
I know it doesn't sound pretty, but it's totally normal. According to Healthline, many woman notice blood clots once their period returns after giving birth. But no need to panic, it's probably just clearing things out after all these months with no menstruation.
3. You Remember How Much It Sucks
Although pregnancy isn't always a walk in the park, having a break from your monthly visitor is a nice perk. If you're like me, the first time your period returns, you're a little bit in denial. "Was it really this bad before?" you may wonder. You kinds forget how bad it all can be after months of freedom from tampons.
4. You May Not Suffer As Much
For some (like me) the return of the period can be rather hellish, but some women may find a pleasant change of events has occurred. As Today's Parent pointed out, women who may have suffered terrible menstrual cycles due to conditions like endometriosis, can find the period pain they once experienced disappears after delivering a child. Consider that some good karma for creating and delivering a human.
5. You May Have A Different Flow
Sometimes even the most basic things can surprise you — and the first period after baby is no exception. Just when you thought you knew what she was up to, your period can return either lighter or heavier than before you became pregnant, according to Baby Center.
6. You Soak Through
Make sure you have plenty of back-up packed in your bag when you leave the house, because heavier periods and blood clots could mean you soak through your feminine hygiene products faster than you used to. Staying stocked will keep you from a code red while out and about.
7. You May See Something Else In There
If you notice something with a creamy white color mixed in with period blood, there's an explanation for that. Lochia is a type of vaginal discharge which is common after pregnancy, as Healthline explained. Depending on how soon after delivery you start your period, you may see some lochia appear.
8. You May Notice It Affects Your Breastmilk
For breastfeeding mamas, changes in breastmilk can accompany that first period. Although it's usually temporary, the reboot of your period can cause your supply to dip as well as changes to the taste of your breastmilk, according to the website for What To Expect.
9. You May Feel Bummed Out
I'm not going to lie, when my period came back, it really bummed me out. Not just for the obvious reasons (it's annoying, uncomfortable, etc) but because it represented the end of a special phase. It felt symbolic, like life was moving on and those special months of pregnancy and newborn bliss were over. Don't be surprised if some unexpected emotions pop up along with the return of your cycle.