All you need to know about postpartum periods - with Here We Flo

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Today’s blog is brought to you by our friends at Here We Flo. The sustainable period care experts put women and the planet first with organic and vegan products for life’s messiest moments…

Whether you’re thinking about conceiving or are already in the process of creating, birthing (if only labour were so chill that you could read blogs during it!) or basking in the radiant glow of a newborn, chances are you’ve done a lot, and I mean a lot of research into how to avoid messing up this magically mysterious stage of your life.

mum and baby

Preparing for a baby’s arrival is no easy feat, especially given how much attention 2022 parents pay to paving every step of the way for their newborns. From sorting your finances out, to then splashing on very short-lived baby equipment and clothes, to baby-proofing your rooms, the internet is now filled with advice on how to prepare for the arrival of that Mini You that will change your life forever.

But what we tend to focus less on (and who could blame us?) as individuals, and as a society, is our own physical, mental and emotional recovery during the first few weeks after giving birth. So our lovely team, which includes kick-ass mamas of babies, toddlers or full-blown teens, thought it would be great to give you an introduction to postpartum periods and help you feel a bit less anxious about this part of the process.

1.   Right after birth, you will experience a ‘bloody mess down there’

Underwear on washing line

Postpartum bleeding is called lochia and is a combination of all the gooey parts of your womb that your body will be shedding after you’ve given birth. If your baby has left their metaphorical 9-month old home, your body will want to make sure the home itself is leaving too, making room for - would you believe it? - another potential home for another potential baby. That’s the last thing you want to be thinking about right after birth, right? Well, Mama Nature never sleeps, but neither will you in the first few months.

Postpartum bleeding lasts for around 4 to 6 weeks but could last up to 12 weeks after your baby is born. Similar to a regular period, the blood starts off super heavy and red, and gradually turns lighter and browner as the time goes on. During this period, it's recommended that you wear thick maternity pads to allow your body to eliminate all the fluids at its own pace and avoid vaginal trauma from tampons. You may experience small blood clots in your period, which are perfectly normal, but large blood clots can flag something serious and should be discussed with your midwife, GP or any medical professional supporting you on your journey ASAP. 

2.   Your period might not return for months…

period tracker

It's difficult to be exact about when your period will start again, as everyone is different. If you bottle feed your baby, or combine bottle feeding with breastfeeding, your first period could start as soon as 5 to 6 weeks after you give birth.

If you fully breastfeed, your periods may not start again until you stop night-time breastfeeding or begin weaning your little one. When breastfeeding, your body is producing prolactin, which is a hormone required to help your body produce breast milk. Prolactin inhibits our reproductive hormones (oestrogen and progesterone), which can, in turn, affect your whole menstrual cycle by changing or stopping your ovulation altogether, which can lead to irregular or missed periods.

When your period does return eventually, you might notice some changes in your milk supply or in your baby’s reaction to breast milk. Your period might be irregular, heavier and you may experience more, or less, cramps than before. We’re all different, after all, so our periods will differ too, but it’s great to keep an eye on your own symptoms so you can get the right medical attention you need, if you ever need it. 

3.   Even if your postpartum period hasn’t returned, you can still get pregnant again

Woman pregnancy test

If you’re the kind of superhuman that doesn’t need time to rest in between big, time-consuming and energy-taxing projects (see what we did there?) - and we really don’t think there’s many of you out there - you might wonder: when could I get pregnant again after childbirth?

And the technical answer is: as early as three weeks postpartum. That’s right, even if your period doesn’t return, you may still become pregnant again if you have unprotected sex, as only birth control can reliably help avoid back-to-back pregnancies. Now, before you overachievers of the world get excited, you must know that a back-to-back pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth and the rupture of your C-section scar (if you have one), and that pregnancies are safer if spaced out by at least 18 months, so your uterus can get back to its optimal shape and your body can replenish the nutrients it lost when you were…making a whole human being.

So don’t forget to speak to your medical professional of choice and select the best form of birth control for you before you go back to making aubergine salad. And, as we were saying in the beginning, try - as much as you can - to dedicate time and energy to your own recovery. Your physical, mental and emotional health are all important for your wellbeing, as well as for your newborn’s.

If you want to hear more from Here We Flo, or would like to try our their eco-awesome period care, head to their website where they are offering 10% off for all Pura customers. Simply use the code PURA10 at checkout. 


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