What Causes Irregular Periods After Someone Has a Baby?

causes-irregular-periods-after-someone-baby Credit: Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

Hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy often cause a woman to have irregular periods after having a baby. Breastfeeding and the healing of the body can also cause changes to a woman’s period after childbirth.

Pregnancy causes many significant hormonal changes in a woman’s body. It can take several months for hormone levels to balance out and a woman’s periods to go back to normal.

Some women who are not breastfeeding get their first period within six to eight weeks of childbirth, but it is sometimes heavier or comes with more cramps than normal.

Women who fully breastfeed may not get their first period until after they cease breastfeeding. This is nature’s way of preventing another pregnancy when a woman has a new baby. When a breastfeeding woman’s period does come back, it typically does so gradually as she starts to breastfeed less. She may experience “spotting"—irregular and light bleeding that may be only spots of blood versus a typical flow.

Women who have recently given birth may also experience blood clots as part of an irregular period. This can be due to the body healing inside, and it is not usually a cause for concern unless it continues for a week or more. If it persists, a doctor or midwife should be consulted.