It’s one of the perks of pregnancy — no periods! At some point, though, your period will come back. But here’s a spoiler alert for you: There is no such thing as a standard postpartum period.

Just like the newborn phase, periods after pregnancy can be confusing. Many new moms are surprised to find that their period symptoms have changed.

Your period may be heavier or lighter, your cramps may be stronger or weaker and your cycle may be longer or shorter than it used to be. This sort of irregularity is normal for new moms. Over time, these symptoms improve for many women, but it may take up to a year for your period to regulate — especially if you are breastfeeding.

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting Your Period

There are a lot of reasons why periods can change after childbirth:
  • The uterus taking time to return to its normal size
  • Hormone levels shifting
  • Breastfeeding affecting hormone levels

If you’re not breastfeeding, you could see your period return as soon as five to six weeks after delivery. If you are breastfeeding, the timing is less clear. It might be six to eight weeks, several months, or a year or more.

For those who breastfeed, you likely won’t have a period while you’re breastfeeding. In order to produce breast milk, your body produces higher levels of the hormone prolactin, which can stop your body from making the hormones that control your periods.

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Postpartum Period

Typical periods arrive every 21-35 days, with bleeding lasting two to seven days. Especially in the months immediately after giving birth, it is common to have shorter, longer or irregular cycle lengths, so it could take your body some time to get back in this sort of rhythm.

Your first postpartum period will likely be different from how it was before. You may experience:

  • Irregular periods
  • Cramping
  • Heavier periods
  • Small blood clots in your periods
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Note that if you experience extremely heavy bleeding, pass any large clots, or find yourself in severe pain, contact your doctor immediately. You’re navigating a new normal, true, but these are warning signs that may indicate an infection and should not be ignored.

Help for Your Period Symptoms

Midol® can help relieve period symptoms like minor aches and pains, cramping, bloating and water weight gain. You have a new baby to care for, after all — you don’t have time for period symptoms to slow you down. Find the right Midol® product for you and check out our tips for feeling better. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before using any Midol® products.


Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Do Your Periods Change After Pregnancy? Retrieved June 2022, from

National Health Service (NHS). (2021) When will my periods start again after pregnancy? NHS. Retrieved June 2022 from

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC). (2022). Pregnancy and Your Period. SOGC. Retrieved June 2022, from