Why can't you hold a baby on your period

Introducing the topic of why it's advised against holding a baby during menstruation invites a discussion rooted in both cultural beliefs and medical considerations. While some cultural practices discourage the interaction between menstruating individuals and infants due to perceived impurity or spiritual reasons, medical experts advise against holding babies during menstruation for more practical health concerns. Understanding the rationale behind this precaution involves delving into the potential transmission of harmful bacteria or viruses that may occur during this time. By exploring both cultural and medical perspectives, we can gain a comprehensive understanding of why it's generally recommended to refrain from holding babies during menstruation.


You shouldn't let someone hold your newborn while they're on their period.

Across cultures worldwide, women have faced limitations and prejudices stemming from myths surrounding menstrual cycles and periods, often influenced by the pervasive stigma that menstruation is unclean or associated with bad luck. However, it's crucial to debunk these myths and recognize that there is no valid, medically-proven reason to believe that a woman's menstrual cycle could pose any harm to a newborn. The return of a mother's period postpartum should not deter her from interacting with her baby, as menstruation itself does not introduce any inherent risk to the infant's well-being. Instead, it's essential to focus on providing evidence-based information and support to empower women to navigate their reproductive health with confidence and without unnecessary restrictions. By dispelling misconceptions and fostering a culture of understanding and acceptance, we can work towards dismantling the harmful stigma surrounding menstruation and promoting greater equality and respect for women's health and autonomy worldwide.


Tips for women after pregnancy

Here we have some tips for you for your first period after pregnancy. Pay attention to the tips below;


When will my period return?

After giving birth, the timing of when your period will return depends on various factors, primarily whether or not you are breastfeeding. Typically, for women who are not breastfeeding, their period is expected to return about six to eight weeks after childbirth. However, for those who breastfeed, the timeline for the return of menstruation can vary significantly. Women who exclusively breastfeed, meaning their baby receives only breast milk, may not experience a period for the entire duration of breastfeeding. On the other hand, for some breastfeeding mothers, menstruation may resume after a few months, regardless of exclusive breastfeeding practices. It's essential to note that if your period does return relatively quickly postpartum and you had a vaginal delivery, your healthcare provider may advise against using tampons during your first menstruation after childbirth. This precaution is due to the fact that your body is still in the process of healing, and using tampons could potentially cause trauma or disrupt the healing process. It's advisable to consult with your doctor about when it's safe to resume using tampons, typically during your six-week postpartum checkup, to ensure your continued comfort and well-being.


Why don’t breastfeeding women get their periods as quickly?

The delay in the return of menstruation for women who are breastfeeding is primarily attributed to the body's hormonal changes. Prolactin, a hormone crucial for milk production, plays a significant role in suppressing reproductive hormones. When a woman breastfeeds, the production of prolactin increases, signaling to the body that it is lactating and needs to continue producing milk for the baby. This heightened level of prolactin inhibits the release of other hormones involved in the menstrual cycle, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Consequently, without the surge of FSH and LH needed to stimulate ovulation, the process of releasing an egg for fertilization, or ovulation, is suppressed. Without ovulation occurring, the menstrual cycle is disrupted, and menstruation typically does not resume. This phenomenon is often referred to as lactational amenorrhea, where the absence of menstruation during breastfeeding is a natural consequence of the body's hormonal regulation aimed at supporting lactation and nurturing the newborn.


Will my period affect my breast milk?

When menstruation resumes postpartum, it's common for breastfeeding mothers to observe some changes in their milk supply and their baby's response to breast milk. This phenomenon is attributed to the hormonal fluctuations that accompany the return of the menstrual cycle. These hormonal changes can have various effects on breast milk production and composition. Some women may notice a temporary decrease in their milk supply or alterations in their baby's nursing patterns, such as increased fussiness or a change in feeding frequency. Additionally, the hormonal shifts may influence the taste and composition of breast milk, potentially leading to subtle changes in flavor or nutrient content. While these changes may cause concern for some mothers, they are generally minor and transient, and should not significantly impact the ability to breastfeed effectively. It's essential for breastfeeding mothers to stay attuned to their baby's feeding cues and continue offering breast milk on demand to maintain milk production and support their baby's nutritional needs. Consulting with a lactation consultant or healthcare provider can provide reassurance and guidance on managing any breastfeeding challenges that may arise during this time.


How might my period be different postpartum?

When your period resumes after childbirth, it's likely that your first menstruation won't resemble your pre-pregnancy cycles, as your body is still readjusting to its menstrual rhythm. Many women experience noticeable differences during their initial postpartum period, which can include variations in cramping intensity, ranging from stronger to lighter than usual. Additionally, small blood clots may be present, and the overall flow might be heavier or exhibit a pattern that stops and starts intermittently. Some women also report increased pain or irregular cycle lengths as their body continues to adjust. The first period after pregnancy is often heavier due to the shedding of an increased amount of uterine lining, which can also cause more intense cramping. Over time, as you continue to menstruate, these symptoms typically diminish and your cycle stabilizes. However, in rare instances, complications such as thyroid issues or adenomyosis—a condition characterized by the thickening of the uterine wall—can contribute to heavy bleeding postpartum. Conversely, women who had endometriosis before pregnancy might find their periods lighter after giving birth. Light periods can also result from two uncommon conditions: Asherman syndrome, which involves the formation of scar tissue in the uterus, and Sheehan syndrome, caused by damage to the pituitary gland due to severe blood loss. It's important to monitor your symptoms and consult with your healthcare provider to ensure any significant changes are addressed appropriately, ensuring your continued health and well-being.


What should I expect from my first period postpartum?

Whether you delivered your baby vaginally or by cesarean section, you can expect some bleeding and vaginal discharge postpartum as your body sheds the blood and tissue that lined your uterus during pregnancy. Initially, the bleeding can be quite heavy and include blood clots. Over the ensuing weeks, this bleeding transitions into vaginal discharge known as lochia, which varies in appearance from clear to creamy white to red. Lochia typically continues for about six weeks, roughly the same time frame when your period may return if you’re not breastfeeding. A key distinction between lochia and menstrual bleeding is that lochia generally isn’t bright red after the first week postpartum and tends to become lighter and more watery or white in appearance. Conversely, bright red bleeding occurring six or more weeks after delivery is more likely to be your period. Pregnancy-related bleeding also tends to increase with physical exertion and decrease with rest, whereas menstrual bleeding does not follow this pattern. Lochia often has a distinct, sweet smell due to its mixture with pregnancy-related tissue; any foul odor should be reported to your doctor. As your body readjusts post-pregnancy, it can take time for your menstrual cycle to regulate. You might experience irregular cycles initially, with periods that are unpredictable in timing and intensity. This irregularity is especially common among breastfeeding mothers. According to the Cleveland Clinic, most postpartum women will eventually settle into a “normal” menstrual cycle ranging from ۲۱ to ۳۵ days, with bleeding lasting ۲ to ۷ days. However, these cycles can differ from your pre-pregnancy experience, reflecting your body’s ongoing adjustment to its postnatal state.

What postpartum symptoms should I watch out for?

It’s crucial to contact a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Soaking through more than one pad per hour
  • Bleeding accompanied by sudden and severe pain
  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Continuous bleeding for more than seven days
  • Passing blood clots larger than a softball
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Severe headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain during urination

If you experience any of these symptoms or have other concerns related to your period, reach out to your doctor. Some of these symptoms may indicate an infection.