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Thread: It's Back! =(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Thumbs down It's Back! =(

    I am still nursing my 16.5 month old, and my period just came back on New Year's Eve of all nights. I don't get it because I still nurse at least 3 times a day, usually 4 or 5, I am so mad it's back! Does this mean I have to start back on birth control too? The last time I breastfed while on B.C. I bled profusely, and irregularly! I am very afraid of having that happen again. If I talk to my doctor he'll just say to wean. He's been encouraging me to wean for some time now, and we're just not ready yet. It is still such a huge part of everyday life for us. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,120

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    15-16 months is a very typical time to see the return of your menstrual cycle, even if you still nurse multiple times per day. Your period generally returns when your baby starts giving you at least one 6 hour stretch without nursing and/or starts eating more solid food.

    You absolutely should be using birth control if you do not want to get pregnant. In fact, you probably should have been using it since around 6 months postpartum, minimum. Breastfeeding provides good protection against pregnancy when you meet all the criteria for LAM (lactational amenorrhea method):
    - baby less than 6 months old
    - period has not returned
    - exclusively breastfeeding (no pacis, no bottles, no solids)
    - baby does not sleep through the night

    What sort of contraception have you used in the past? If you were using hormonal contraception or a non-hormonal IUD, that could explain the irregular bleeding and/or the heavy bleeding. But there are plenty of methods you can use which don't have those unpleasant side-effects!

    Finally, don't let your doc bully you. If he says "I encourage you to wean," just say "Not going to happen, let's move on." And if he won't... See a midwife!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    15

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    So the return of my period doesn't mean weaning time then? That's good news at least. What can I really do other than the pill? While I've been breastfeeding we've been using (pardon the expression, but) the pull and pray method! I know not the best, but so far so good. Maybe an IUD or something until I want to be pregnant...in like 3 years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    15

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    In the past I've used TriCyclen-lo (with which I bled every week or two), or Yasmin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Maine
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    1,805

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*MomNixon View Post
    So the return of my period doesn't mean weaning time then? That's good news at least. What can I really do other than the pill? While I've been breastfeeding we've been using (pardon the expression, but) the pull and pray method! I know not the best, but so far so good. Maybe an IUD or something until I want to be pregnant...in like 3 years.
    I got my period back less than 3mos PP. My LO is now 1 YO and i've been breastfeeding the whole time! So no, doesn't mean weaning.

    I think lots of Moms who are breastfeeding use an IUD of one type or another (paraguard or mirena, p has not hormones, mirena does).
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    3,133

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    The return of your period definitely does not mean time to wean... heck, my period returned at 6 weeks after BOTH my babies, and I went on to nurse my first until 19.5 months, and my second is still nursing at 14 months old.

    As for birth control... I will tell you that my supply is very much affected by just about any kind of medication/birth control that I take, so I am not on any form of hormonal birth control. You DEFINITELY don't want to take tricyclen lo, or anything that has estrogen in it, because your supply could very well be impacted. A lot of moms have success taking a progesterone-only pill (also called the "mini pill), but that one affected my supply too. And there are 2 versions of IUDs... Mirena has hormones in it that could affect supply, and Paragard is just copper and is not supposed to affect supply. For me, however, I already have heavy periods, and Paragard can cause periods to get heavier, so I can't do Paragard either.

    Anyway, all that rambling to say... we have been using condoms to prevent pregnancy the last few years. No, they're not fun, but they work, and I don't have to take any hormonal birth control. My plan is once my LO weans, I am probably going to get Mirena, but definitely not until he's done nursing.

    Hope this helps!
    IRL all my friends call me Buff, Wife to CB since 10/11/2003

    Mom to DD - "MJ" born 9/2007 @ 8lbs 10oz, 21.5" She's 6 years old!
    My journey nursing MJ started HERE, but we got through it and she breastfed 19.5 months, self-weaned on 5/17/09


    Mom to my current nursling, DS - "ME" born 10/2009 @ 10lbs 1oz, 22.25" He's 4 years old! And yup, he's still nursing.

    Ask me about my successful VBAC! Click here for my birth story.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,120

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*MomNixon View Post
    So the return of my period doesn't mean weaning time then?
    Definitely not! I got mine back at around 15.5 months postpartum, and nursed my first for another 2 years after that!

    What can I really do other than the pill?
    Hormonal methods: the pill, mini-pill, shot (Depo-provera), patch, ring (NuVaring), Mirena IUD, implant

    Barrier methods: male condom, female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, sponge, spermicide

    Other methods: ParaGard (non-hormonal IUD), fertility awareness method (FAM), withdrawal, outercourse, abstinence ()

    All these methods have pluses and minuses. All the hormonal methods have the potential to cause the unwanted bleeding you've experienced in the past and they can negatively impact milk supply. On the other hand, they are highly effective, don't reduce spontaneity, and often a good choice for someone who wants to wait a significant period of time before having another child. If you choose a hormonal method, I suggest choosing one that is immediately reversible, like the pill or mini-pill. That way if you hate the method you've chosen or see a significant impact on supply, you don't have to wait for your method to wear off (as you would with the shot) or for an appointment to have it removed (as you would with Mirena or implantable contraceptive).

    The barrier methods are terrific for couples who are willing to use them correctly- which means using them correctly every. single. time.! They do impact spontaneity to differing degrees, which for some people is a big drawback, and condoms do decrease sensation. (Other barrier methods, like the diaphragm and cap, do not impact sensation.) On the other hand, there's no risk to your milk supply from using a barrier method, and they are immediately reversible should you decide that you want a baby sooner than you're planning right now.

    The methods that fall into the "other" category... ParaGard is a non-hormonal IUD. It doesn't impact supply, and it's a good choice if you don't want to get pregnant again for a period of years, but it also doesn't prevent ovulation or fertilization- just implantation of a fertilized egg, which some people find morally unacceptable. In addition, ParaGard can cause heavier-than-normal bleeding. Abstinence, withdrawal, and outercourse are all useful methods- especially if you combine them with FAM. If you know when you're ovulating, you can reserve those methods for your fertile times and have fun the rest of the month. If FAM interests you, I suggest taking a look at the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility- it's a good FAM primer.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Piggott, AR
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    I only have one tidbit to add - be careful with the Depo shot. My second child was born 12/30/00, I got the shot mid January 2001 and my milk supply dropped significantly by the first of Feb. It took Reglan to bring it back up.

    Beyond that, I have no suggestions - I have had a tubal so I am done.
    Lori -
    wife to Davis, my best friend and strongest supporter
    43 yo mom to 3

    Lee Allen Christopher - 18 - precious preemie , all grown up; BF 6 wks
    Connor Ethan - 13 - my red head , ALL boy, ALL the time; BF 14 mo
    Mollie Rhiannon - 4 - my surprise , more fun than I ever expected; BFing, no end in sight!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: It's Back! =(

    I actually got my cycle back around 9.5 months postpartum and my daughter BF'ed ALL THE TIME. She hardly ate solids much until she was around 15-18 months old. I got the copper IUD (Paragard) and have been happy with it. We are still BF'ing at 3 yr. It's not a great option if you have heavy periods & cramping to start with, but I never did, and I've been happy with it since it doesn't have hormones (hormones make me moody). We are undecided as to whether to try for a 2nd or not.

    I'd avoid the Depo shot as it has been linked to bone density loss - not a good thing, to be sure.
    Last edited by @llli*clb.1812; January 5th, 2011 at 04:10 PM.
    Cheryl

    Mommy to Tessa Noelle 12/14/07

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