The breastfeeding journey always brings its own challenges, Mother. Including when the weaning phase is passed. There’s just a problem, Mother. One of them is whether weaning affects menstruation.
Before weaning, maybe the mother will feel that she thinks that the struggle of breastfeeding morning, noon and night is finally over. However, the reality is not like that, Mother.
After weaning, mothers still encounter various things. Some mothers feel that weaning affects menstruation. The reason is, some mothers find that their periods become disturbed when weaning their children.
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Yes, some mothers may start getting their periods again even while breastfeeding. For others, their periods may return when they start to stop breastfeeding. Either way, you may notice some changes in your cycle once it resumes.
Irregular periods are normal for a while, and late (or even missed) periods are not unusual. No need to worry. Your periods will become more regular after a few months.
Some mothers also find that their periods after pregnancy and weaning generally become more intense. They may experience more cramping and PMS symptoms. Other people may experience more regular menstruation and fewer PMS symptoms, as quoted from the Lancastergeneral page.
So, how does weaning from breastfeeding affect a person’s hormones?
“There are hormonal changes during pregnancy and postpartum, but what many women don’t expect is the huge hormonal changes during the weaning process,” said Stephanie Cortner, founder of Root and Branch and licensed Acupuncturist, herbalist and Functional Medicine practitioner, quoted from the Parelelhealth page.
We can actually trace these hormonal changes back to pregnancy, when our breastfeeding hormones start to kick in. Prolactin is a hormone that tells the body to produce breast milk and makes the mother feel calm and relaxed. Prolactin production begins early in the first trimester, and levels continue to increase throughout labor, and remain at their peak for the first 6 weeks postpartum.
Prolactin also produces the hormone oxytocin, which is often nicknamed the “love hormone” or “baby bonding hormone”. “Oxytocin is the reason why we feel so satisfied and happy when breastfeeding,” explains Cortner.
“When we start weaning,” he says, “prolactin levels drop, which also stops oxytocin production,” explains Cortner. “From the perspective of Eastern Medicine, postpartum and breastfeeding women are extremely blood deficient or as we say, liver blood and yin deficient, due to fluid loss during breastfeeding and blood during childbirth.”
In other words, our bodies are already drained after going through so much and what’s more, rapid hormonal changes can make women feel even more unhealthy.
What symptoms arise from these changes in my hormones?
“As prolactin and oxytocin levels decrease, progesterone and estrogen levels will begin to increase, which in turn triggers ovulation and the restart of our menstrual cycle,” says Cortner. If you had a difficult time with hormonal fluctuations before pregnancy, this may be quite a challenging time for you.
“As prolactin and oxytocin levels decrease, progesterone and estrogen levels will begin to increase, which in turn triggers ovulation and the restart of our menstrual cycle,” says Cortner. “Not only are we dealing with a decrease in all the ‘feel good’ hormones but we are also dealing with the hormonal changes that occur in the menstrual cycle. If you went through a difficult time with hormonal fluctuations before becoming pregnant, this may be quite a challenging time for you.”
Regarding this, there’s no need to worry. Because you are not alone and many women also experience it. Most symptoms will only last for a month or two and will disappear completely after three months. If this is more than that or feels uncontrollable during the weaning period, please contact your ob-gyn for further help, Mother.
In order to proactively support themselves during this transition, the most important thing is to always remember to take it slow to help ease your body and baby through the weaning process. Then, look for postnatal vitamins to support postpartum.
Hopefully the information helps, Mother.
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