Exploring Changes in Menstrual Flow After Childbirth

Dr. Charlene Okomski, DO, FACOOG

Pregnancy and childbirth are transformative experiences that bring about significant changes in her body.

A woman’s journey through childbirth doesn’t end with delivery; instead, it extends into the postpartum period, a phase marked by numerous adjustments in a woman’s body.

Among the concerns that women commonly raise during this time is the observation of a substantial increase in menstrual flow. If you find yourself having heavier periods after childbirth – rest assured, you are not alone.

We encourage you to reach out to our Celebration Obgyn Providers with any questions and concerns, you may have.

Navigating the Postpartum Period Transition

Following childbirth, a woman’s body undergoes a series of natural changes to revert to its pre-pregnancy state, and one crucial aspect of this transition is the resumption of the menstrual cycle. For some women, the initial periods after childbirth may be noticeably heavier than those experienced before pregnancy.

The question arises – why is this happening?

There are a number of changes in a woman’s body that are attributed to women having heavy periods after childbirth, here are some of the primary reasons.

Breastfeeding’s Role in Menstrual Changes

Breastfeeding, a fundamental aspect of postpartum care, also plays a role in menstrual changes. Women that are breastfeeding exclusively, may experience suppressed ovulation, which can cause a delay in the return of your menstrual cycle. However, when menstruation resumes, it may be accompanied by a heavier flow due to hormonal fluctuations associated with the cessation of breastfeeding.

A Change in Hormonal Fluctuation: A Key Contributor

Pregnancy and childbirth induce significant hormonal changes to a woman’s body, and it takes time for these hormones to get back to normal levels after delivery. This fluctuation can influence the uterine lining and blood vessels, contributing to a more pronounced menstrual flow. Understanding this hormonal dance is pivotal in comprehending the shift in your menstrual cycle postpartum. Having a conversation with your Obgyn can help you understand the changes.

Adjustments in Blood Volume

During pregnancy, the body’s blood volume increases substantially to support both the mother and the baby. After childbirth, your body will work to restore your blood volume to its normal levels. This adjustment in a woman’s body, can also contribute to a heavier menstrual flow as the body works to eliminate excess blood accumulated during pregnancy.

Uterine Involution: Contracting to Normalcy

Uterine involution, the process of the uterus shrinking back to its pre-pregnancy size after childbirth, is a crucial factor. As the uterus contracts, it can lead to menstrual cramps that are heavier and stronger. These cramps may also be accompanied by an increase in blood flow. This physiological process contributes significantly to the changes experienced in the postpartum period.

When Should You Seek Medical Guidance?

While some increase in menstrual flow postpartum is considered normal, certain signs warrant attention and discussion with a healthcare professional. Recognizing these signs is crucial to ensuring optimal postpartum health. Consider reaching out to your provider if you experience:

– Bleeding between periods
– Heavy flow that requires you to change tampons or pads frequently
– Passing blood clots that are larger than a quarter
– Unusually strong pelvic pain
– Excessive fatigue
– Any lightheadedness or dizziness
– Have anemia or a history of bleeding disorders

Getting Support at Celebration Obstetrics & Gynecology

Our board-certified providers at Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology specialize in all aspects of women’s health including obstetrics, gynecology, pregnancy and many other women’s health issues like menstrual bleeding.

We encourage you to reach out with your questions and concerns, ensuring that you feel informed and supported in your postpartum journey.

Remember, while experiencing heavier periods after childbirth is common, you should contact your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing severe pain, excessive bleeding or any unusual symptoms you’re experiencing. Your body has undergone a remarkable transformation, and seeking help when needed is a testament to your commitment to postpartum well-being.

For further guidance and postpartum care, contact us. We have 3 offices in Central Florida – Celebration, Davenport and Winter Garden. You can call us toll free at (877) 800-0239 to book an appointment nearest you or conveniently book an appointment online to start your postpartum care journey today.

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