Changes in the Female Body during Lactation Period

Any woman expecting her firstborn faces a challenging question: to breastfeed or not? The World Health Organization recommends exclusively this way of nourishing babies up to the age of 6 months. However, half a year is only the beginning as it is considered that a woman is better to breastfeed a child for about a year or even longer.

Such a long period of lactation cannot but leave the signs on the woman’s appearance. Yet it’s not the only thing that changes.

No periods

This one may be called one of the best things that lactation can offer. Lactational amenorrhea is induced by increased prolactin secretion. The more your baby sucks the breasts, the higher prolactin concentration gets. Some women may have no periods for several months after delivery, yet some nursing mothers are lucky to forget about the menses for almost a year.

The absence of menstruation depends on several factors:

  • Number of times you breastfeed;
  • Whether you supplement a baby with a bottle or not;
  • The duration of the baby’s night sleep;
  • Individual peculiarities of the female organism.

breastfeeding hormones side effects

In some cases, a woman may have irregular periods. They can last longer or shorter than usual. Anyway, it is all considered a norm while nursing a baby.

What’s more interesting is that when you feed the baby every two to three hours in the daytime and every three or four hours at night, you may have no ovulation. It means that you are protected from pregnancy. However, this method is not always working so you’d better not rely on it only.

Low libido

One of the breastfeeding hormones side effects is decreased testosterone production. Because of this, women may lose interest in sex. Coupled with a lack of sleep and seemingly constant tiredness, sex may become the last priority for a nursing woman.

Large breasts

Being filled with milk, the breasts may get one or even two sizes larger if compared to the pre-pregnancy and pre-lactation periods. The bosoms may be painful in the first days after the delivery. It happens because of the growing amounts of milk coming to the mammas. But later on, your body will get adjusted to the baby’s needs, and the situation will normalize.

Stretch marks

You may have already faced with this issue during pregnancy, yet stretch marks on the stomach, buttocks, and hips are only “the flowers”. “The fruits” start when your breasts cover with the stretch marks. They are almost impossible to get rid of. Besides, loose skin makes your bosoms sag, and they lose their initial form and elasticity.

Published by Evelyn Green