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Can I Breastfeed If I'm On My Period?

Courtesy of Rachel Smith

One of the things breastfeeding mothers look forward to the most is not getting their monthly visitor. For moms who don't breastfeed, menstruation can return anywhere from three to 10 weeks after delivery. But when you are breastfeeding, your period can stay away up until you wean your baby. But, if you're one of the moms whose menstrual cycle starts up again while you are still nursing, you may be asking yourself, "can I breastfeed if I'm on my period?"

The answer is, yes.

According to Mother & Child Health, the return of menstruation does not mean the end of breastfeeding. Contrary to old wives' tales, your milk does not sour or “go bad” when you are having a period. The nutritional value of your milk does not change, either. The only thing you may notice is a slight and temporary drop in milk supply in the few days leading up to your period and for a few days during, according to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center.

Most often, if you are breastfeeding and get your period, it is because you are no longer breastfeeding around the clock. Very Well noted that once your baby is sleeping through the night or you have started weaning, your period is likely to return.

Courtesy of Rachel Smith

Another surprising fact, according to Very Well, is that pumping or hand expressing your milk does not have the same effect of fending off your menstrual cycle. If you want to try to keep your period away, you have to always put your baby to the breast.

Once your period returns, it will continue to come each month. Breastfeeding more won't make it stay away. Of course, some moms have irregular periods, so you may not have a 28 day cycle. Parents warned that even if you're not menstruating regularly while you're breastfeeding, you could still ovulate and become pregnant – just ask any mom strolling around a set of Irish Twins. It is important to use an effective form of birth control each time you have sex if you are not ready to get pregnant again. There are some oral contraceptives that you can take while breastfeeding, but your doctor can advise you on which form of birth control is right for you.