Old Aunt Flow, is that you? It's been a while...how ya doin'?
Oh shit... it's back.
Why it’s back
⁃ If you’re exclusively supplementing it’s likely to come back around 6-12 weeks or maybe longer.
⁃ If you’re mixed feeding it really varies
⁃ if you’re exclusively breast/chest feeding expect it around 6 months - 18 months postpartum.
What does that mean for my current chest/breastfeeding situation?
⁃ You *may* notice a temporary dip in your supply around mid cycle - until your period drops and mayyybe a couple days after that. This doesn’t happen to everyone and won’t make a huge difference for baby—usually people notice it when they are pumpers and they see less milk in the reservoir and wonder if something is wrong.
⁃ A daily dose of 500mg-100mg of calcium / magnesium from mid cycle to your cycle’s end *may* be protective of supply (Wiessinger, West, Pitman).
Does that mean I can get pregnant?
⁃ Hell yeah it does. If that isn’t wanted, explore different contraceptive methods that work for your lifestyle. Some birth control pills have a pretty big impact on supply for a lot of people and some have little to no impact. Ensure to tell your prescriber if you want to protect your supply. Typically the pills that are the safest, though may still impact supply, are “mini-pills” aka progestin only pills.
If I haven’t gotten my menstrual cycle back that means I can’t get pregnant, right?
⁃ WRONG! Though breast/chestfeeding can be used as a form of birth control—LAM (Lactation Amenorrhea Method) it has to be done super specifically to have a low margin of error.
My baby has seemed to be a bit less interested in the breast/chest or is even having a nursing strike and I just so happen to have just had my flow drop. Wtf?!
⁃ Some babies notice a change in the taste of your milk around your cycle. What picky little things! Granted, the sodium does go up a bit and the milk sugar does go down so… fair enough. It’ll return to normal super soon. If you need support around a nursing strike HMU
My PMS is spinning me out into some dark ass places
⁃ Your first few cycles can be intense, physically and emotionally. If you notice marked depression or anxiety that sends you into some dark places, contact your doc or nurse practitioner ASAP. You may have PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) and you may need some additional support. Some of us have brains that are just more sensitive to hormonal shifts. Sucks, but there are things you can do to relieve the intensity.