Why Does Your Period Stop During Breastfeeding?

New mothers often have questions about the changes they experience due to pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Some women find that their period stops during breastfeeding, while others experience no change. Why is this? And could breastfeeding be a method of birth control? Find out the answers in this article.

Published on:Oct 2nd 2023 |Updated on:Jun 10th 2024
توقف الدورة الشهرية

Periods postpartum

Many women expect to resume their regular menstrual cycle after the postpartum period. The period often returns a few weeks after childbirth. However, if the mother exclusively feeds, her menstrual cycle may be interrupted for several months or become irregular. It's worth noting that pumping breast milk and bottle-feeding the baby doesn't have the same impact on a woman's body as direct breastfeeding does. Therefore, menstruation may not stop in such cases.

The Reason Period Stops During Breastfeeding

The main reason is the milk hormone “Prolactin,” which significantly increases during breastfeeding. This hormone is mainly responsible for the period stopping or becoming irregular and stopping ovulation. Your cycle may occur every six weeks instead of monthly or become very light and end within a shorter period than before.

When Will Your Period Resume After Childbirth?

Your period can return after five or six weeks post-childbirth. It may be absent throughout the breastfeeding period and may return once the child starts eating solid food, decreases the number of feedings after six months, or once the child is completely weaned off breastfeeding.

It is possible for the first menstrual cycle after childbirth to be heavier and more painful, or it could be as expected. Many women also note that their postpartum period has less severe PMS.

Reasons for Delayed Period After Weaning Off Breastfeeding

If you stop breastfeeding and you still experience a delayed period, the causes might be one of the following:

  • Excessive weight gain.
  • Severe stress.
  • Thyroid issues.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • If the mother is over 35, it could be due to the onset of perimenopausal symptoms.

How Does Your Period Affect Breastfeeding?

Menstruation can increase nipple sensitivity, so you might feel discomfort while breastfeeding your child during your menstrual cycle. Or you may not notice any difference at all. Menstruation can also affect the amount of breast milk produced; some women experience a decrease in milk supply during their period, prompting the child to nurse more frequently. Consult your healthcare provider for advice and medication to increase your milk supply. Don't forget to stay hydrated and consume foods and beverages that increase milk supply.

Is Breastfeeding Sufficient for Birth Control?

The absence of menstruation during breastfeeding could indicate a pause in ovulation. However, relying solely on breastfeeding as a method of birth control can be risky. Ovulation can occur before the return of menstruation, so it's essential to use a safe contraceptive form during breastfeeding if you wish to postpone another pregnancy.

Best Birth Control Methods During Breastfeeding

Consult your healthcare provider for tests and evaluations before they can recommend a safe and suitable contraceptive method for you while breastfeeding. Some of the options may include:

  • Progestin-only birth control pills (The mini Pill).
  • Copper intrauterine device (IUD).
  • Hormonal IUD.
  • Male condoms.
  • Female condoms.
  • Contraceptive patch.
  • Withdrawal method during intercourse.


Check out Foods to eat and avoid during your period



OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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