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At risk of tempting the universe, I’m going to put it out there: my last period was in August 2008. I got pregnant about two weeks after, and since then, have not had a single bout of menstruation. My child will be fourteen months on the 27th, and, just to remind everyone, it’s May 2010. Jasper has started to wean, but part of me wants to keep going until August just to make it two full years.

I was getting a little antsy about this, because I think nearly everyone I know who had a baby around the time I did has their period back. Some of them are still breastfeeding, and some of them aren’t. Some of them never breastfed, so it’s no surprise there. Anyway, I started doing some online research, and here is what I’ve found:

  • While not super common, if you’re breastfeeding, it’s totally normal for your period to still be MIA fourteen months after giving birth. In fact, there are numerous instances in which menstruation does not resume until eighteen, twenty, or even twenty-four months postpartum.
  • If you aren’t nursing overnight, but are breastfeeding during the day, your period is probably going to come back before or around 20 weeks. It seems that overnight feedings, coupled with your unique hormone levels and arrangements, are what keeps the period at bay.
  • If your period HAS come back and it’s been super heavy (like it’s necessary to use tampons AND pads, for example) for months on end, there is evidence that acupuncture treatments can help regulate your cycle.

So, now I know: I’m (most likely, barring any major medical conditions I’m unaware of right now) ok.

My question for YOU, Offbeat Mamas, is this: what are good alternatives to plastic pads and tampons?

Pre-baby, I always used whatever came wrapped in pink (or green) and sold by the dozen or two. Meaning, I always used plastic menstruation items. I never even thought about cotton alternatives until five or so months ago, when I was at a local store that sells them. At the time, I was politely bemused by the idea, but convinced they could never be strong enough. Once my period nightmares (about it coming back) started a few weeks ago, I started re-visiting the idea.

I know about the DivaCup. I don’t know exactly how it works, though I get the general idea. Lunapads seem like an alternative I can work with, but $17 a pop is a bit pricey (though I suppose spending $5 each month for the next twenty to thirty years, it would all even out). I visited the websites for Pandora Pads and Glad Rags, and am now more overwhelmed than ever. Too many choices!

You know where I’m not sure I can boldly go? To Lunapanties land.

So, riddle me this, Mamas: have you tried Lunapanties? Would you? Also, what did you pick–Lunapads, Glad Rags, or Pandora, or something else?

Comments on How are you dealing with your postpartum period woes?

  1. Thank you Kristi! You actually put my mind at ease about using cloth pads. I think I’ll be making my own since I need a new project to keep me busy 🙂 I appreciate the insight!

    I personally don’t think I’ll bother looking into the DivaCup or anything. I am already uncomfortable with the idea, so I don’t think it would work for me. The way I look at it is, it’s natural for the blood to come out, so keeping it in kind of freaks me out.

    And thank you Stephanie, for posting this to begin with!

  2. I feel that if I’m gung-ho about using cloth diapers for our future children, then I should be up for trying new things for myself. I just finished my period (4 days when I’m on BC) that included another frenzied run to the store to buy tampons as I was out, and I want something different. Thanks to all you ladies out there who are willing to share your stories! Now off I go to check out the 8 different product links I’ve saved…

  3. Cotton disposables are a good compromise in my experience — they’re like 90% biodegradable, but they have the convenience of normal disposables. And they crackle less when you move, which is nice if you’re shy 🙂

  4. Hey, I just wanted to let everyone know that I completed my 2nd month with the DivaCup, and it’s getting better. Since I bought an extra one when I got it for myself, I’ve decided to give the 2nd away on my blog. For anyone who’s interested 🙂

  5. I LOVE my Keeper (it’s like a diva cup, but rubber… and lasts longer- 10 years). However, I have a super heavy flow (before baby) and often use a cloth pad in addition at night, and on my heaviest days.

  6. I sometimes use a mooncup, but didn’t need the bigger size post-partum, and i love it, especially when I’m not sure how heavy I’m going to be (avoiding the dry tampon situation!)
    Also, I was devestated when my period returned 4 weeks after the birth of my munchkin, despite the fact i was fully breastfeeding and continued to feed til 17 months! I guess there’s got to be the opposite of the women who’s periods don’t come back for months too!

  7. i can’t use the other/alterna/cup methods. but i’m a big, big fan of Glad Rags. wish there were a glad rags laundry service for periods like i have a cloth diaper service for the baby!

  8. It is best to empty your cup at least every 12 hours. You probably don’t want to keep it in all day.

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