How your period changes after giving birth

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When I had my first period I found it strange and confusing as most young women do. I spoke to my mother at the time and she made it all seem clear and part of the natural cycle of life. She put my mind at ease. In truth, I was one of the lucky ones. My flow was small, my cramps were nonexistent and my period was never anything more than a mild inconvenience. When I had my first child, that changed.

Of course, while I was pregnant I had a holiday from periods. I would like to say that was a pleasant time but let’s be honest here there is no holiday during pregnancy. I went without a period for well over a year and I assumed that when it returned it would be in the same manner I was accustomed to. I was wrong. It came back with a vengeance.

My new period was like the one’s we have all read about. I had gone from ranking my period as a one or two out of ten on the pain and discomfort scale to giving it a solid nine. It was excruciating. While the pain was hard to bear I could process and understand more pain. It was the other changes that I found hard to cope with. My flow was now far greater than ever before. In the past, a simple tampon would stop any flow but after pregnancy, I needed the thickest they had and I usually doubled up with a pad too. It felt like wearing a diaper. My moods were intolerable as well. I was all over the place emotionally and it was really strange for me as my moods had never been impacted before.

It felt like I was a kid again only this time my mother wasn’t there to explain the world to me and ensure everything would be alright. I was embarrassed about my flow and didn’t know who I could talk to about it. I know lots of women have strong flows and they cope with it, but I had never had it before. It was like a short kid suddenly having everyone stare at her for being too tall. I felt sorry for my husband too. The woman he married was a calm patient person, now I felt like I was someone else.

After some time, I came around to my new situation. I spoke to my husband about it and he was incredibly supportive. I spoke to my OB-GYN and he explained how this happens many women. My larger uterine cavity was causing more endometrium, whatever that means. While I still have the pain, the flow, and the mood swings, I now know how to cope with them, by relying on my support environment. 

If you are pregnant and enjoying the period free lifestyle now get ready for the return. In some cases having a baby actually makes periods easier. Painful periods are referred to as endometriosis. After you have a baby you may have a higher stockpile of progesterone and this can cause the endometrial implants to shrink. Be wary though because this pain relief may only be temporary until your progesterone returns to normal levels.

I thought I knew everything about my body but pregnancy showed me that I was wrong. Even after the arrival of my child, I realized there was still a lot to learn about how my body acts. The experience has brought me closer to my husband and closer to my own body. I feel that I am now more intune with my body and my emotional needs than ever before.