This post may be a little bit too much information to be shared with you all, but it's my blog. I want to write it down.
After over two years since I started getting pregnant in June 2008, gave birth to Ben in March 2009 and now, July 2010... 9th July 2010 to be exact, I'm getting my 1st ever period after 2 years plus. I dread this day, not because of the pain or cramps or pimples or moodiness that comes along with it. Don't get me wrong, prior to being pregnant, I was regularly being very happy when I get my period. Not sure whether my hormones are normal or not but yeah, I was happy instead of being moody like most women.
And now, 2 years plus, or I think to be exact, 25 months on... I am getting my period. I am sad cos whenever I read any mother's blog post about getting period, it means they have weaned. But I have NOT weaned yet, and still it felt like that way.
I am still breastfeeding Ben since the day he was born, 16 months on now... and yes, not a speck of formula powder in the house at all since day 1. I'm not sure how long I can breastfeed on. I hope this period doesn't interfere with the breastmilk. It has always been my wish to breastfeed Ben for as long as he wants, and I don't want to be the one to stop it.
According to this website:
"Almost anything is considered normal when it comes to your periods while breastfeeding. All women experience a time of postpartum bleeding following birth which is not considered a menstrual period. If bottle-feeding, most mothers will have their first real period not long after this. Breastfeeding, however, suppresses menstruation at least for a while. For some mothers, there may be an absence of menstruation for weeks, months, and even years while still breastfeeding. Some mothers will even need to completely wean before they see their first period. Others, once their babies begin taking supplemental foods or sleeping longer periods at night, will see the first period. Once menstruation returns it may continue to be irregular during lactation. It's not uncommon to have a shorter or longer than normal period while breastfeeding. It's also not abnormal to skip a period or see the first period return and then find that months pass before the next one.
When the first period returns depends upon several factors: how frequently the baby is nursing, how often the baby is supplemented with bottles, whether or not the baby takes a pacifier, how long the baby is sleeping at night, whether or not solids have been introduced, and the mother's own individual body chemistry and the way it responds to hormonal influences associated with breastfeeding. Any time the stimulation to the breast is decreased, especially at night, menstruation is likely to return soon after.
When menstruation does return, you should consider yourself fertile and take precautions against pregnancy if desired. Some women consider their first period as their "warning period" that they are now capable of becoming pregnant. However, it IS possible to become pregnant before the first period returns, although quite rare.
The return of menstruation does not mean the end of breastfeeding. The milk does not sour or "go bad" when you are having a period. The milk is no less nutritious when you are menstruating than when you are not. Some women do notice a temporary drop in milk supply in the days just prior to a period and for a few days into one. This is due to hormonal fluctuations. Once the period begins and hormone levels begin to return to normal, the milk supply will boost back up again. Most babies can compensate well for this temporary drop in supply with more frequent nursing.
Nipple tenderness occurs for some women during ovulation, during the days before a period, or at both times. Some mothers report a feeling of antisiness while nursing at these times, too. As with the drop in supply this is also hormonally influenced and therefore temporary.
Some babies may detect a slight change in the taste of the milk just before a period, again, due to hormonal changes. These same babies may nurse less often or less enthusiastically during this time as a result."
Okay, I am comforted by these few statements:
* The return of menstruation does not mean the end of breastfeeding.
* The milk does not sour or "go bad" when you are having a period.
* The milk is no less nutritious when you are menstruating than when you are not.
Currently, Ben nursed about 2-3 times during daytime (I nursed him to sleep for his daytime naps) and about 2-3 times also at night when he sleeps (he dreamfeeds - meaning, breastfeeding while still asleep). I can count with 1 hand the number of times he uses a pacifier (we don't encourage the idea of using one anyway, just that MIL insisted to use it and failed...).
Oh, I do hope I can breastfeed as long as possible. I really really dread to think the bond is going to be broken one of this days... I love breastfeeding Ben!
Ben, mummy promise you, mummy will try her very best to breastfeed you for as long as it takes. If one day mummy has no more breastmilk for you, please know that it doesn't mean mummy loves you less. (After all mummy quits her job so that she can breastfeeds you!)