For some breastfeeding mamas, menstruation can mean a drop in milk supply. Some mommies don’t experience a period at all while breastfeeding, and it all depends on the chemical and hormonal balance happening in your body.
If you are looking for The Postpartum Period Smoothie, scroll down for the recipe!
Breastfeeding can actually be a form of birth control, and can inhibit ovulation all together. Of course you shouldn’t depend on this 100 %, just like any other birth control, but it is a natural way to prevent pregnancy.
How to use breastfeeding as birth control
Exclusive breastfeeding, along with night feedings can inhibit ovulation in many women. In general, the more you breastfeed, the lower your estrogen levels. When estrogen drops very low, your body won’t menstruate. There has to be a certain level of estrogen in order to create ovulation, or have a healthy pregnancy, and your body knows this.
In order to decrease your estrogen, you need to increase your breastfeeding.
Pumping doesn’t quite do the job as well as nursing your baby, but you can also increase your pumping sessions too. Adding in night feedings is the easiest way to ensure you are breastfeeding enough to drop your estrogen low enough to prevent ovulation. Keeping baby close at night, and skin-to-skin as much as possible is also a great way to keep up the pheromones necessary to produce more milk.
Low estrogen levels are required for healthy breastfeeding. There are individual factors that come into play on what is considered “low” for your body. One mama might have much lower levels and still ovulate, while others will have higher levels and not have a period. In general, more breastfeeding means less estrogen.
What happens to your milk supply when your period comes?
Your body won’t have a period unless estrogen levels increased enough to support menstruation. When you get your period postpartum, your hormone levels are fluctuating, which can affect your milk supply temporarily. During ovulation is when your estrogen is the highest, so while this is happening, you may notice a drop in your supply. Higher levels of estrogen are necessary to release an egg.
Estrogen increases impact milk supply increased estrogen changes breasts and milk ducts.
Estrogen and progesterone stay increased during the Luteal phase, or 14 days after ovulation, which also cause changes in breasts and milk ducts. Depending on how your body reacts, these changes may slow down your lactation for a bit, as your body adjusts.
How to handle changes in milk supply during menstruation
If your period has returned postpartum, and continues to show up regularly, dealing with some ebs and flows in your milk supply might become a normal part of life. There are some simple ways to handle these changes, particularly at specific times of the month.
Pump more and increase milk supply right after your period:
Right after your period is when your estrogen is at its lowest. Make sure to take advantage of this time to pump more milk and increase your supply.
We have a lot of great ways you can increase your supply, written by our lactation consultant and nurse, as well as our Milk Dust, which can quickly help you jump back into breastfeeding and a larger supply.
As ovulation approaches, increase skin to skin contact:
As your estrogen slowly rises, make sure to increase skin-to-skin contact with baby, and add more feedings.
During ovulation and leading up to menstruation, use lactation boosters:
Lactation boosters like fenugreek, fennel seed, milk thistle, brewers yeast and other herbs and nutrients can all boost milk supply during this time.
Adding in more Milk Dust smoothies is an awesome way to nourish your body as well as boost your milk supply. Milk Dust has Red Raspberry Leaf, which is known to help balance hormones and increase hormonal health. This is such a great herb to take during this time, or all month to make the monthly transitions a bit smoother.
Try this hormone balancing smoothie during the PMS phase to encourage a happy mama and milk supply:
The Postpartum Period Smoothie
- 1 scoop Milk Dust
- 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup fresh strawberries sliced
- 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (or ice if you don't have)
- 1/2 fresh avocado
- 1-2 cups milk of choice, though cashew milk does well with this one Use milk according to desired texture and blend
- Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy!
This smoothie offers key nutrients to help you balance your hormones and milk supply during menstruation.
Milk Dust offers hand-picked nutrients specifically for the postpartum and breastfeeding mamas. These nutrients, combined with a unique lactation-herb blend protect a mother’s milk supply combat sugar cravings, hormonal roller coasters and nutritional deficiencies.
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