Period After C Section

Whether you have a C section delivery or vaginal delivery, the one thing that will happen sometime in the next months is the return of your monthly period. This is all based on your hormones and your period after c section will return in the same amount of time as if you had a vaginal delivery. While a c section could make your first period a bit different at first, it will eventually return to your pre pregnancy state. This article will give you more information of the return of your periods after you have a c section.

When Will You Have Period After C Section?

When you give birth to a baby, starting up your normal monthly periods depends on when the hormones returnto their pre pregnancy state. These include lowering of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin which kept the pregnancy going for 10 months, and balancing of estrogen and progesterone.

No one knows when their body will ovulate again after having a baby, which needs to happen before you have your period again. On average, women will have her first period after c section from 45 days to 7-9 weeks if she bottle feeds, but the period will come 6 months or later if she breastfeeds. Keep this in mind when having sexual intercourse before your period starts again. You may ovulate and not know it and this puts you at risk for another pregnancy before your body has recovered.

Here are a few situations that influence when your period will arrive and the time frame to expect:

Breastfeeding Exclusively

Breastfeeding your baby can prevent ovulation for up to six months after your baby is born. This occurs as long as you are only breastfeeding over a 24-hour period and not using bottles to supplement. This isn’t 100% true for everyone so make sure you use a condom or back-up method since you can’t be sure when you will ovulate before your period comes back.

Once your baby starts sleeping through the night and/or you supplement with some solid foods, there is a chance you may ovulate. If your baby sleeps through the night prior to six months of age, you may ovulate sooner and your period may return.

Some women have been known to breastfeed exclusively and still have a period at six weeks after the baby is born and a small number of women even sooner at four weeks.

Bottle Feeding

If you are feeding your baby with formula, your period will most likely return after four weeks and up to twelve weeks after delivery. It is important to let your doctor know if your period has not returned after 3 months to make sure there isn’t a problem.


Your first period after c section or vaginal delivery may be different than what you are used to. It can be spotty and light or very heavy. You may not go back to your regular cycles for months. You could have longer cycles or shorter cycles until your hormones become balanced again.

Let your doctor know if your periods are very different for more than a couple of months. You may need to have your uterus checked for abnormalities or hormonal blood testing done. Always call your doctor if you are soaking more than two pads an hour when your period returns.

What Will Period After C Section Be Like?

It isn’t uncommon to hear about some women having heavier bleeding during their first periods after delivery. It is also pretty common to hear that periods are irregular with heavy cramping. It can also be the opposite with lighter bleeding and lighter cramping.

How your body deals with the hormonal changes after having a baby definitely will affect your first few periods. It depends on your health status prior to pregnancy, how much your hormones change, and if you had any issues during pregnancy. Your period after c section isn’t necessarily affected by how you delivered your baby.

There are other factors that can make your first period different and they include:

  • Weight loss
  • Stress
  • Thyroid disease
  • Exhaustion
  • Too much exercise

When you have a c section, you will have a normal amount of heavy bleeding for about the first week. This isn’t your first period, but a normal cleaning out of uterine tissue from pregnancy. You will hear the nurses in the hospital talk about “lochia,” which is the name for this bleeding. After a week or two, you will notice this bleeding getting lighter and it completely goes away in the first month after your baby is born. It is important to not use tampons at this time because they can increase the risk of infection. Only use sanitary pads during the first six weeks.

What Others Have Experienced

“My first period after c section arrived about a month after my baby was born. The entire month I seemed to have pretty bad cramping, but not my normal period cramping. The bleeding that came with my first period wasn’t too bad, but I do have to say the cramping after c section seemed to be worse.”

                                                                                                             Karin, mom of 8-week old

“This baby was my third c section and I bled really heavy after delivery. When my first period came after six weeks it was really heavy and I had to use one tampon per hour plus a pad underneath. I had horrible cramps and bled for an entire week. I started on the pill right after delivery and it isn’t helping to lighten the flow at all. I am giving this one more cycle and if the next one is this heavy I will ask for my birth control to be changed. I also want to ask my doctor if it is because I am almost 40 and this is my third baby.”

                                                                                                              Marie, mom of 7 week old

“I had my first baby via c section and my fourth baby via c section. With those I breastfed exclusively and didn’t have a period for eight months. My second and third babies were vaginal deliveries and I breastfed exclusively with those as well. My period returned after eight months with the vaginal deliveries so I don’t think the way your baby is born has anything to do with when your periods return.”

                                                                                                                          Chris, mom of 4

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