In the little time I spent with my OB we mostly covered how my baby was doing.
Even my one postpartum appointment was mostly baby centered. I remember we talked about how the baby was sleeping & how breastfeeding was going.
I spread my legs, we did the check down there, and I made a decision on birth control. That was that.
I definitely wasn't inquiring about my period. I had been told by a friend I wouldn't get it for months and months after delivery; especially if I was breastfeeding.
It was kinda the last thing on my mind with everything going on.
Then it came... unexpectedly.
I literally had to use those giant pads they give you when you leave the hospital (you know the overnight on steroids pads) because I wasn't prepared.
It went on so long and I was so bloated and uncomfortable on top of the feelings I already had about my postpartum body.
Why are postpartum periods so heavy?
Turns out some women have no cramping when their periods come back and everything is so much better. Seriously? Who are these unicorns and why couldn't I be chosen as one?
Cmon... ok well why was mine so heavy and what could I do about it?
Some women experience heavier, longer or more painful periods after having a baby The changes are likely due to a larger uterine cavity causing more endometrium (mucous lining the uterus) to shed.
Another reason could be due to an under active or overactive thyroid (the thyroid can be the cause of other postpartum issues including increased or longer hair loss).
For me, I think it was likely tied to the pill. I was so used to my light period from being on the pill that I was overwhelmed by how it felt without it.
There wasn't much I could do about my period so I started looking for ways to beat the excessive bloating without compromising my milk supply.
My supply was already dipping during my period. Likely from the lost iron and hormone changes.
Because of hormone changes, its pretty common to have drops at certain points in your cycle.
Beating the bloat:
DRINK LOTS OF WATER: I was already doing this to keep up my supply.
LIMIT SODIUM: This is hard for me. I love salty over sweet; but limiting your intake genuinely does help.
EXERCISE: I'll be honest, when I'm on my period under normal circumstances I just want to be left alone in my sweatpants. Factor in a new baby and a heavy period - just leave the dark chocolate on the nightstand and walk out quietly.
But...there is something to be said about getting outside and just walking with the stroller or solo with your music.
I find most of the annoyance is getting myself dressed and ready; but once I'm out there I really do feel much better.
Even if you only have a few min for some quick floor exercises/yoga postitions it can get the blood flowing and can be a boost. In fact certain yoga poses can position the muscles in the abdomen in a way that encourages the release of excess gas from the GI tract. This quickly reduces bloating. Try child's pose, happy baby pose, and squats for some quick relief.
- Apple Cider Vinegar- my absolute favorite find and the easiest thing I do is take two apple cider vinegar gummies (the liquid is not for me friends).
Apple Cider Vinegar has so many benefits for the body but when it comes to periods its pretty incredible. ACV can reduce PMS symptoms such water retention, bloating, even headaches and cramping.
Apple cider vinegar is so amazing too, because it helps to regulate blood clotting, and contains both potassium and calcium that will ease cramping in the uterus muscles.
Oh, and it can also reduce your body fat percentage, help you lose belly fat and decrease your blood triglycerides.
What are triglycerides you ask? Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood.
When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells.
I have had a bottle of the liquid stuff forever in the door of my fridge but I just can't stomach it. Taking acv in gummy form is incredibly easy and not only does it help with my bloating but I get a decent energy kick from it as well. I'm more likely to check exercise off my list.
It needs to be said that no brand comes close on taste and ingredients as the Baby Blues vegan postpartum apple cider vinegar gummies. They aren't sticky or big (insert the cutest apple shaped gummies).
Of course that would all mean nothing if they weren't effective. They are, and I literally keep extra bottles on hand for that week out of a month when Aunt Flow comes to visit.. or sometimes two weeks... (oh wait they didn't tell you your periods are irregular postpartum).... I'm sorry.