Breastfeeding Won’t Always Keep Your Period At Bay, Because Mother Nature Is A B*tch
My period came back two months after the birth of both of my children. I exclusively breastfed my first for seven months. I exclusively breastfed my second for almost a year. Sorry to rain on your postpartum parade, but sometimes you get really unlucky and your period comes back even though the internet basically promises you it won’t. The internet is a big, fat, filthy liar.
It’s not just the internet that led me to believe I would be footloose and period-free the entire time I was breastfeeding my child; there are all sorts of people who claim that breastfeeding is actually an effective form of birth control. My midwife was one of them. So was Planned Parenthood. Apparently, if you exclusively breastfeed and feed your child a certain number of times a day, you can use breastfeeding as birth control for six months. Seriously. It’s called LAM for Lactational Amenorrhea Method. It’s clearly not the birth control I used. I was experiencing the most awkward diaphragm fitting, ever — mere months after I had my child. Because, of course I was. I never get the perks.
When it returned so soon after I had my first child, I was convinced there was just some weird spotting going on. I was in denial. I fully needed a tampon, yet insisted on buying pantyliners because of course there was no way I was waking up every three hours to feed a child and not getting the major benefit of breastfeeding. I guess most would argue the major benefit is a better immune system for your child – blah, blah, blah. I just didn’t want anything to be going on with my uterus for a while. Is that so much to ask?
I soon discovered that the cute pantyliners I bought were not going to cut it, and I would need to fully accept my fate. Every time I heard a new mom talking about how great it was to not have a period, I would snarl. Why was Mother Nature fucking with me again? What the hell was her problem?
Baby number two came, and the same, exact thing happened. I’m having a hard time finding the words to describe the emotions I felt when I saw — 7 weeks after giving birth — that I had started my God-forsaken period again. I have no words, so I’ll just use this:
Dr. Sears claims that if you practice feeding on demand and not supplementing with formula — the average postpartum mom’s period doesn’t come back for 14.5 months. 14.5 months!
If your dumb period came back while you were exclusively breastfeeding, you are not alone. It happens to the best of us.