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E. About breastfeeding moms: When did your period return? How long were you able to go without feeding (eg on a trip away from the baby) without problems?




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This article is from the Breastfeeding Past the First Year FAQ, by Kim Smith with numerous contributions by others.

E. About breastfeeding moms: When did your period return? How long were you able to go without feeding (eg on a trip away from the baby) without problems?

1. Mine returned after 9 or 10 months......I didn't leave them while I was
nursing, didn't need or want to.....although now I like to get out quite a
bit!! :-)

2. I have a short umbilical cord. I would leave Morganne for 6 - 7 hours.
I didn't go away for the weekend or a vacation. My periods returned at 6
and 11 weeks postpartum. Essentially NO lactation amenhorrea for me.

3. I was really bummed here--my period returned at 4 or 5 months, and I was
exclusively breastfeeding then! I had never been away from my son for more
than several hours at a time, so the second part of your question was never a
problem for me.

4. With all children, my period returned between 11 - 13 months. I was able
to leave the children overnight after about 13/14 months, although it was
hard for me to do emotionally. I let my first child really rule the roost -
it took us a while to figure out that a hefty 11 month old doesn't need to
nurse during the night, and so my husband took over getting him back to sleep
without nursing. With the other two, I pretty much stopped nursing them
during the night somewhen around 8 months (I don't remember very well).

5. My period returned when she was 8 months. I've never been away from the
baby (so far I've managed to bring baby along to every trip! It IS expensive,
but travel is much easier with her).

6. My period returned when Cees was 8.5mo. It wasn't regular yet. Second
period came 8 weeks there after, third period 6 weeks after that. I became
pregnant after that, so I don't know when it would have been regular again. I
think the longest time between nursings has been about 24 hours. I didn't
have problems with that (like overfull breasts or so), but then I was
pregnant so I'm not really representative. But I think that you could go a
few days without nursings and then continue the nursing relationship without
any problems. Cees didn't have problems to skip a nursing when I wasn't near,
but when I was available he wanted to have his regular nursings.

9. Mine returned at nine months--about two weeks after I posed that question
to the net. It seemed that asking was a sign, in itself. As far as trips are
concerned, my breasts can take it a lot longer than my emotions can. I
couldn't bear to travel without my baby! Fortunately I don't have to. If I
did, I could go a day or so, now, without a problem upon my return as far as
nursing is concerned, because an average of two feedings a day has allowed
the supply to drop considerably (it went up when he was sick, so my bras got
tight again).

10. Periods came back a few months after she turned two. Nursing mom goes
out of town for 2-3 days at a time and now does fine with it. The first time
it happened she came home in some discomfort and very happy to see the baby.
WHile she was gone Kayli did fine without it. She would get up the first
morning and ask for momma Sue, cry when she realized she wasn't there and
then life went on.

11. Periods returned 16 mos (1st) and 27 mos (2nd).

12. It hasn't yet - horray! I haven't had a period since June of 1991! I was
really worried about this actually and consulted my OB/GYN who told me to
wait 3 months after completely stopping breastfeeding and if my period had
not returned after 3 months of no breastfeeding -- then I should call. He
also said that he thought there was no problem. My friend who nursed all
three kids had her period back 6-12 weeks after the birth in all cases, so I
guess everyone's different.
I have mild problems after 10 hours without nursing (hard and heavy,
she can clear that up overnight if I bring her to bed with us). I have never
gone longer than 12 hours.

13. My period returned at 11.5 months post birth. I sure didn't miss it!
I faithfully used birth control, however. I took a week long business trip
when my son was 1y2m old. I took a breast pump (the Medela Classic?) with
me and even with the time change, managed to pump a fair amount (and almost
at the "right" times).

15. My period returned in the seventh month postpartum for both. This
varies widely from mom to mom, though. I pumped when I was away from the
baby. When Anna was 18 months old I had surgery with general anesthesioa,
and my family went on vacation right after I got out of the hospital (This
was not planned, and I did not appreciate the attitudes of an airline that
would not let us change the family's flight times because of my surgery).
She went 7 days without nursing, then resumed breastfeeding just fine once
I got down to Florida eventually (UGH for *that* plane flight). I pumped
once a day.

16. My period returned after 4 months (sigh). When he was still nursing
regularly, I had to pump after about a day (although the first time I took
a trip which lasted overnight was when he was about 18 months). Since then
I have traveled more and more; up until he was a little over 2 I always had
to pump, although the interval got longer and longer - finally it was a few
days - but since then my production just seems to turn on & off. I have
been gone for as long as almost 4 weeks (just recently); he has never
decided to wean, and my milk always comes back. I have not felt engorged
for a year and a half now. This is quite surprising to me, by the way, and
I have no idea how typical it is!

17. With #1, my period returned at 11.5 months. With #2, at 12.25 months.
I have never been away from my kids over night.

18. At 3 months :-(! It went away when she had ear infections and was waking
up at night for a few weeks, and then returned almost immediately and has
been here ever since. There really isn't much predictability about this. In
my La Leche League group there are women whose periods returned at 6 weeks,
others whose periods didn't return until they completely stopped nursing,
sometimes for as long as 3 years.
Dare I admit it? I've never been on a trip away from my child! Well,
not overnight at least. I'm getting ready to do it now, but I just wasn't
willing to earlier. We have gone 24 hours without nursing quite often in the
last couple of months, and maybe 36 hours here and there. If I've felt even
slightly full, I expressed a little in the shower, because an early history
of breast infections makes me wary, but I doubt it was really necessary. One
of the nice things about nursing a toddler is how carefree it becomes - no
more anxiety about schedules, dehydration, leaking breasts, etc. I took an
evening class which meant I missed the bedtime nursing once a week and it was
fine.

19. My periods returned when Kenneth was 7 months old. We have not gone away
without him yet. I am currently going 24 hours between nursings, and am
not having any trouble. But, we have been cutting out a feeding about every
2 months, so this was a slow progression.

20. No period yet (12 months post-partum). We have travelled a great deal
this year, but have taken Nolan with me on all my trips. Luckily, my husband
was able to join us most of the time, and my mother served as a backup sitter
when I was on business. Nolan thinks hotel rooms are great fun!

21. 5 months. Didn't take trips, though, but went out for the evening
without problems.

22. (i) My period returned after about 9 months, even though I'd been working
at least half-time since 6 weeks postpartum. With my second baby I had a
mini-period at about 3 months, at a time when he was in a low growth period
(my interpretation) and had cut down on his nursing. When he got back to
normal I had no more periods. (ii) I didn't go without feeding overnight
until the second year, and had no problems then.

24. My period returned 1 year exactly on his 1st birthday! I think it was
the sleeping throught the night that caused it to return.

25. James-weaned at 11 months, period at 12 months
Kim-weaned at 20 months, light periods at 14 months
Nicole-nursing at 14 months, no period yet
I've been away from Nicole (at 14 M) for 7 hours. I didn't have any
problems, but I was ready to nurse her.

26. I haven't had a period yet, and it's been fifteen months. I haven't left
Jeff for longer than 10 hours. But 8 is really as long as I can go without
feeling uncomfortable. I stopped pumping 6 weeks ago,when school started.

 

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previous page: D. When did you stop, and why? Was it your initiative, or the child's? If the child inititiated cutting back, how did this happen? If you initiated weaning, how did you satisfy the child's emotional needs?
  
page up: Breastfeeding Past the First Year FAQ
  
next page: F. In what ways do you feel that you and/or your child have benefitted from long-term breastfeeding? Why would you encourage someone to continue past the first year?