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When will my periods start again after pregnancy?

It's hard to be exact about when your periods 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 (including at night) without any bottle feeding or using dummies, your periods may not start again until you stop night-time breastfeeding or start giving your baby solid foods, formula or other milk (weaning).

This is because the hormone that causes your body to make breast milk can stop your body making the hormones that control your periods.

What will my first period after labour be like?

You first period may be different from how your period was before.

You may have:

  • irregular periods – especially if it returns while you're breastfeeding
  • cramping – this may be worse or better than before you were pregnant
  • heavier periods
  • small blood clots in your periods

If you have blood clots in your period, or have much heavier blood loss than you have had before, you should speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP.

When would I be able to get pregnant again?

You may be able to get pregnant as little as 3 weeks after the birth of your baby, even if your periods haven't started again yet.

Read about sex and contraception after birth.

Further information

Page last reviewed: 24 April 2021
Next review due: 24 April 2024