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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

Sex, Periods & Breastfeeding

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Photo Credit: Happiest Baby On The Block

Many people assume that no matter how much breastfeeding you are doing that you are protected from getting pregnant and that your period won’t return for a year. Both of those are largely urban myths that are causing much stress for new moms who think that and then become terribly confused when their period returns before their 6 week check up or they find out they are pregnant within 3 months of giving birth.

Yes y’all your period CAN return as little as 3 weeks postpartum and I’ve been seeing this a lot lately, don’t be shocked honey. That just means you need to take some extra precautions if you want to avoid becoming pregnant anytime soon.

speaking of sexual intercourse, yes of course you can while breastfeeding. Note that it could get a little “wet” but around the top half! Orgasm can cause the milk ejection reflex to activate, which would create possibly a spray, squirt or leaking of milk from the chest before, during or after intercourse or anytime you are aroused. It’s not gross, it’s natural and normal. If you are uncomfortable with it, try wearing breast pads or a fancy nursing bra. They have ones that look like lingerie and the also have reusable breast pads that are silicone and clear similar to pasties.

If you are not exclusively breastfeeding. If you bottle feed, offer pacifiers frequently or combo feed, you should have expectations for your period to return between 1-2 months postpartum and if breastfeeding only it can be several months or 1-2 years depends on the length of time you choose to breastfeed. On average, a lactating woman will resume their period between 9-18 months and that was where I feel on the spectrum for both of my postpartum phases. Weaning will definitely cause your period to return, so expect it at that point as well.

Period returning can affect your milk production levels by sometimes causing temporary dip in supply as those hormones balance. There are holistic herbal supplement routines you can be put on to help prevent this or rebound from it. Do not put yourself on these herbs or any herbs as they may conflict with any known or unknown conditions, medications. or other herbs. Talk with an herbalist, Chinese medicine doctor or other qualified trusted care provider to find out if galactagogues might be ok for you for increasing supply.

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