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Thread: Can period come and go? Or just go?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    24

    Default Can period come and go? Or just go?

    Hi there ,

    So I have a 3 month old who is EBF and my period just showed up. . This is the earliest I've ever had it - it took 15 months to 2 years with my other 3 kids. I believe I got it because my babe sleeps through the night. She has actually done this since birth but since she's a slow gainer and we've had nursing issues I've only let her do this for the last 3-4 weeks. The thing is that since I've stopped waking her and have let her tell me when she wants to eat, her gain has finally improved.

    At this point I let her get at least a 5-6 hour stretch in. She doesn't wake me at that point but we bed share and she usually stirs is I feed her then.

    So my question is this - if I start waking her again is there a chance my period might disappear again for a while?! And how often should I night nurse to have it be effective for that? I realize there are no exact answers and every woman is different. Just looking for thoughts and experiences.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,739

    Default Re: Can period come and go? Or just go?

    Hi Hopi. I agree that it is possible your period returned due to the longer sleep stretches, but it is not necessarily the case. Some moms who are nursing around the clock see an earlier return of period.

    I am wondering what your concern is exactly that you want to try to stop your cycle again. Do you just not want the bother of a period? Are you concerned about becoming pregnant? Or is your concern about your milk production?

    If letting baby sleep has actually improved weight gain rate, I think it does not make sense to wake baby to try to get baby nurse more. Do you think the improved gain is about baby getting more rest or YOU getting more rest? Both? Something else? I am curious.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Can period come and go? Or just go?

    Thanks for your thoughts and questions Maddie. Your question on why is a good one. I think there's a few things wrapped up in it for me. First is that my period tends to be longish with spotting before and after - feels like half the month I'm spotting or bleeding or expecting to be. This is typical for me and has been for a while. Second you are right that I don't want to get pregnant but that won't be an issue in another month when DH gets his vasectomy. Third is milk supply for sure. I've struggled very hard with supply and felt the dip in the days leading up.

    Overall I think it's just that I've had so many challenges nursing this sweet babe and to add the inconvenience of a period on top of things just has me down. I feel like having no period is such a great perk of nursing!

    I'm glad to hear that it's maybe not just the sleep that may have brought this on. Regarding your questions on sleep and why the improved gain...it's an interesting case in my opinion. It went against my instincts to let her sleep and I wasn't until I'd seen the fourth ibclc that I agreed to try it. I think the gain is improved not so much from the rest but from the fact that I'm truly letting baby lead. I nurse her when she shows any hunger cue or wants comfort etc. Previously when I was waking her at night it was such hard work. She did NOT want to wake to eat no matter what, for a good while past the sleepy newborn stage. She is now asking more in the day too which is great. Gain has gone from avg of 4 oz per week to more like 6 or 7. Who knows if I will sustain that though given the recent drop due to my period. Also the improved gain could be from just getting older and better at nursing.

    So do you think there's a chance it will go away? Any idea how often I would try to nurse at night to encourage that? I certainly don't want gain to drop again...maybe I just need to deal with it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,739

    Default Re: Can period come and go? Or just go?

    I just do not have an answer for you. Sure there is a chance your period will stop again, and more nursing may cause that to happen, but it may not, and there is no way to quantify exactly how to make that happen.

    Generally speaking, overall milk production is helped by more frequent milk removal and lowered by less frequent milk removal. But your experience with better gain with longer sleep stretches is slightly at odds with that...although I do think it makes sense that with baby nursing when they really wanted rather than when they preferred to sleep, and allowing baby to get on a 'natural' internally based sleep/wake cycle, increased per session milk transfer and that in turn increased weight gain.

    One option would be to try pumping once at night, rather than trying to rouse baby. But again I have no idea if this would "work" for stopping your cycle again.

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