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Ovulating After Child Birth

Updated on September 5, 2014
C.V.Rajan profile image

C.V.Rajan is a retired Engineer and a spiritual seeker. He writes on a variety of subjects that interest him.

After a childbirth, the early return or delayed return of menstrual period, which indicates resumption of ovulation, depends on one major factor: whether the mother breast-feeds the baby or not.

Such of those mothers who do not breast feed their babies will find that their period returns after about 10 weeks. But remember that the hormones are the ones which trigger beginning of ovulation and the hormone levels are not same in every woman. Hence when we say 10 weeks, it is an average figure only. Naturally there will be variations in these estimates. Ovulation generally takes place about 2 weeks prior to the beginning of periods. It means that for woman who does not breast feed her baby, the ovulation would take place in about 8 weeks after child birth.


On the other hand, statistics show that for regularly breastfeeding women, the menstrual cycle starts in about 20 weeks after delivery. This means that ovulation begins in about 18 weeks after child birth. The nature has designed that the woman should breastfeed her child and the more regularly and systematically she does it, the more the onset of next ovulation gets delayed. This is the nature's way of ensuring that the woman is not burdened with the next pregnancy too early, which will prove to be too detrimental to her health.

There are cases where the women regularly breastfeeding their babies over a year have not seen their periods resuming till they totally stopped breastfeeding!

However, it should be noted clearly that this fact can not be taken as a clear-cut guideline for the couple to engage in unprotected sex hoping that nothing wrong would happen!

The question of when the mother will start ovulating again is generally linked to the desire of the couple to resume their normal sexual relationship after the child birth and to suitably protect them from the hazard of an unwanted pregnancy too soon.


It is highly undesirable to resume sex within the first six to eight weeks after child birth since the female genital organs that have been subjected to a severe strain while giving delivery to the child require so much of time to heal. Emotionally too, young mothers are so much preoccupied with their sweet little darlings that they have very little craving for sex during this period.

After this safe period, if the couple want to resume their sex life, it is always better to have protected sex and use of condom by the man is the best option.

Is it possible to know exactly when the ovulation resumes to take place? It is difficult. Some woman can notice a small abdominal pain at the time of release of ovum. Some woman may also notice a small spotting of blood in their vaginal discharge. During the likely time of ovulation and a couple of days afterwards, the woman normally has increased mucus secretion inside the vagina (a pale white viscous fluid) which is noticeable by the woman. A resumed desire to have sexual intercourse is also normal for the woman in that period.

If such indications are there, then perhaps the ovulation has begun.


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    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 2 years ago from Kerala, India

      Could be, bethperry! Thank you for the feedback.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      Very interesting. I breastfed both my daughters (unable to breastfeed my sons), and had no problem with my regular menstrual periods. Perhaps I was an exception?

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 3 years ago from Kerala, India

      Hi Ahdilarum,



    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 3 years ago

      Nice tips for new mothers..

    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 3 years ago from Kerala, India

      Hi Alli,

      That's an interesting. May be the gap between 1st child and second pregnancy was too short!


    • Alli Rose profile image

      Alli Rose Smith 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      This is really interesting. I actually have known people who breastfed the entire time they were pregnant with the next kid. I couldn't do that.