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Good News: I’m Not Pregnant; Bad News: Guess How I Know?

By Meredith Carroll |


Hello, Tampon, my old friend

I know, I know. Don’t believe everything you read. Or every little piece of urban myth associated with getting pregnant, being pregnant, and having children that you hear from your mother/sister/girlfriend/in an Internet chat room.

But I went ahead and believed one little thing anyway: that thing about how you don’t get your period while you’re nursing.

Guess what? It’s not true. Guess how I know? Yup.

I got my period today for the first time in over 14 months.

I sort of thought I was ovulating a few weeks ago (I have two kids after 5 pregnancies; I really know when I’m ovulating). But I went ahead and chose to pretend I wasn’t anyway.

My baby is nearly 7 months old and has not had a drop of nothing else liquid but my breast milk in that time. I figured I wouldn’t start seeing red until after I finished nursing, which I was figuring would probably be around the 12-month mark.

Just the other day I was quietly musing about how nice it was that I haven’t thought about my period once since that time I notably missed it around early December, 2010. Like the corners of my mind . . .

Then this morning I was absentmindedly answering nature’s call when I, uh, noticed that some of the drops were not like the others.

Then this afternoon a trip to the pharmacy began necessary.

Damn you urban myths for going and getting my hopes up. Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Did you get your period while you were still nursing, and did you also think you wouldn’t?

Photo credit: iStock

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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26 thoughts on “Good News: I’m Not Pregnant; Bad News: Guess How I Know?

  1. Alyssa says:

    It stays away while you are nursing every 4 hours. Once you start giving solids and cut back on nursing it returns :) Mine came back when my little guy was 14 mos, but I also have Mirena.

  2. Gwyn says:

    it IS an urban legend that breastfeeding prevents ovulation/periods/pregnancy. But if certain parameters are met, such as before the six month mark, baby getting no supplementation, night nursing is happening, and no periods, then ovulation is suppressed in 99% of women.

  3. Meagan says:

    It’s not so much an urban myth as something that is true for some people and not for others. And like Alyssa said, as you start to nurse less it is more likely to come back. But hey, 14 months isn’t bad!

  4. babyblue says:

    ummmmm, i nursed my son every 2-3 hours on demand ALL day and still got my period at 4 mos post birth. my sister in law stopped nursing her son at 6 months and 3 month later was pregnant and never got her period. every woman’s body is different, and YES i felt cheated that i got such little time off with my period lol!

  5. Jess says:

    Definitely nurse on demand, co-sleep and nurse OFTEN throughout the night, no solids or liquids, little man is only five months old and YEP, mine returned at four months post-birth. Urban myth, for sure.

  6. Karina Lee says:

    luckily, i didn’t get my period until about 2 months after I finished nursing

  7. Jen says:

    I got mine at 7 mo pp too! I nursed on demand (which was pretty often) and at night. I still do. I have friends who got theirs at 14-18 mo pp, and I can’t lie, I am a bit jealous. :) I think maybe it’s genetic? My mom said hers came back in the 7-8 mo range.

  8. Elle says:

    I nurse on demand and I got mine about 6 WEEKS after giving birth.

  9. heidi says:

    My baby is 8.5 months and I keep expecting it to come back now that he eats a lot of solids in addition to nursing.
    I thought it had come back 8 weeks pp when I started the mini pill — I got one period, and then nothing…which was weird. I’m no longer on the pill, as we wouldn’t mind having two close together, but that doesn’t seem in the cards (I’m def not ovulating).
    Different for everyone…

  10. Nkem says:

    I can relate! Imagine my shock and confusion when my period started 6 short weeks after I had my baby!! I wasn’t prepared for it at all especially since I was breast feeding. Alas I guess Aunt Flo couldn’t stay away *sigh*

  11. Lola says:

    My son is 22 months. I still nurse at night and nap times. My period never came back but I am 2 months pregnant right now :)

  12. Lola says:

    My son is 22 months. I still nurse at night and nap time. I cosleep and due to health issues/surgery w/my son I nurse way more than I want to (to be honest). My period never came back but I am currently 2 months pregnant :)

  13. Amber Grace says:

    My son is almost 10 months old, nurses and co-sleeps, but also has been eating solids since about 6 months, maybe a couple weeks prior and I have yet to see the return of “old faithful”! So I agree, for some it stays away and others it comes when it comes! There is no rhyme or reason, just a bunch of bodies and hormones who are all completely unique and independent!

  14. KLB says:

    I breastfed my son till he was about 2 1/2 and didn’t get my period till a few months after he was completely weaned off.

  15. Lynn says:

    Mine came back at 3 months, nursing full time, all the time. ALL the time. It really bugs me when people suggest that I was doing something to make it come back. like not nursing frequently enough. You know what? We’re all different. I’m a little older, so my body is in super-fertility mode. I got pregnant 3 months post-partum, lost it at 6 weeks, ovulated 2 weeks later and am currently 25 weeks pregnant with #2 (my first is 1 year next week).

    We are all different, our bodies all do things differently. Please be careful about telling pregnant moms that they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant if they’d been nursing, etc. It is a little frustrating and quite insensitive to say the least. And it makes you look like a jerk.

  16. Heather says:

    Mine came back when she was around 6 months! I sure didn’t miss it >.> lol. From what I’ve read it’s different for everyone, some people will get right back in to their flow, other’s go over a year without it! I wish I were that lucky, lol.

  17. Amanda says:

    Mine returned on the EXACT same day it was missed when I found out I was pregnant, one year later. After all the work pumping when my son was in the nicu, and feeding on demand every 2-3 hours Once he came home. And it’s back to an exact 28 day cycle. I’m happy it’s back to being so regular, but not so happy it’s back

  18. Brittany Shea says:

    I too breastfeed exclusively, You guys who do not get a period while nursing are really lucky, I got my first postpartum period like clock work at 4 weeks with all 3 of my children. I am very fertile as I got pregnant on birthcontrol while breastfeeding lol! uhhh what can I say, now whenever it’s a day late I freak since I am that fertile….my hubby had a vasectomy so really I shouldn’t be concerned.

  19. Nicole says:

    I was ebf, on demand and i got mine two days after my post partum doctors appointment, so bout 6 weeks. It sucks because most people dont know that so its a sucky surprise

  20. BT says:

    I thought the same thing! And I was very surprised when my daughter turned 3 months and started sleeping for 6-8 hours at night…mother nature came shortly after. I was so looking forward to not having my period for at least 9 more months!

  21. Helen says:

    My lovely husband gave my son a bottle once every night so i would go for chunks of time without bf’ing from when he was little (and get some much needed sleep) and after he was on solids i didn’t breastfeed feed him between 10pm and 8am and i still didn’t get my period till his first birthday. It’s just luck of the draw i think.
    There are some benefits tho to getting your period. I found my sex drive finally came back with the hormone change *grin*

  22. Adrienne says:

    My daughter is almost 14 months and eats solids and I have yet to get my period back. I’m not complaining either! She is my fourth and the one I have breastfed the longest. I’m trying I wean but that doesn’t seem to be happening soon. She nurses 4-5 times a day still plus regular food

  23. Jessica says:

    I got my period one month after I started nursing and was regular every 28 days… So I guess I’m one of the odd ones

  24. Samantha at ShesNotBroken says:

    Mine’s only made a couple half-assed attempted at coming back with more than just a little PMS, but I also have a Mirena encouraging it to limit itself. Oddly enough, though, my cycle’s exactly two weeks later from what it was pre-pregnancy.

  25. margo says:

    I breastfeed my 15 month old, but he eats regular food too since he was 6 month old. Also, from the begining I had periods of long hours without breasfeeding. We wanted second child this year, but my period didn’t come back. Maybe next year… I can’t wait!

  26. Megan says:

    My last pregnancy, apparently we conceived on my first ovulation after the previous pregnancy (1st baby was 9 months and breastfeeding) because I had not yet had a period and was already pregnant. Needless to say it’s been about 3 years and I have yet to have a period…

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