How My Period Changed After Giving Birth

by Anna Sise, COO of Viv

I have such a memory of getting my period for the first time. To paint the picture - I was in seventh grade, a huge tomboy, and got my period in the locker room before soccer practice. I remember when my mom picked me up I didn’t even want to name it - I told her “I had really bad cramps today…” and hoped she could pick up the subtext (and the great mom that she is, she did). Even remembering handling those first few periods, I remember feeling a mixture of embarrassed and overwhelmed - it felt like such a big thing to deal with and manage every single month!

When I got pregnant, a few months in I realized how weird it felt to not have a period every month. My menstrual cup packed away, no monthly hormonal mood changes, no worry about getting caught out and unprepared - it made me realize the amount of mental space a period can take up every month! I have to say, I did not miss it!

So, when my period came back what I felt was early - at about 3 months postpartum - I was not thrilled. I was breastfeeding and thought I had at least another 6 months or so before I would have to enter the world of periods again. But alas, here she was! And instead of feeling like I had picked up where I left off pre-pregnancy, I felt more like when I was a preteen going through it all for the first time.

For me, my first few periods were light and super irregular.  It felt so strange to have only a liner do the trick, and have my period arrive and leave within the span of three days (as a girl with a historically heavy and long period, I was hoping this would stick around!). Then as they slowly became more regular, they suddenly got MUCH heavier - even heavier than they had been pre-baby which was saying something! All of a sudden I felt like I was back in middle school, worried I might bleed through or be caught without enough product in my purse. 

The biggest difference for me though was my different relationship to my period. Unlike my younger days, once I got past my initial disappointment of not getting a few more period-free months, I was suddenly seeing my period as a time of the month to check in on myself. The luteal phase hit me harder post-birth, which made me have to switch things around to prioritize rest as much as I could (which isn’t the easiest thing to do with an 11 month old!). I found the products I gravitated towards had completely changed too. Luckily, having our whole Viv line on hand, I could try out a bunch of options to see what felt right, and that changed by the month and each day of my period. Having the Viv cup for those unpredictably heavy first few days (and first few nights) was huge - and then knowing how absorbent both our pads and liners are was such a godsend to never have to worry about leakage. It felt more like an act of self care to acknowledge this time of the month and rotate through products to best make myself  feel comfortable and cared for.

And now, 11 months postpartum, I try to view my period as a monthly check in. In all the craziness and busy days, getting my period feels like a way to force myself to take stock of how I’m feeling, how I’m taking care of myself, and how I’m prioritizing showing up not only for my family but for me and my body too!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published