Tips for Surviving Your First Postpartum Period

Caitlin Houston
3 min readOct 12, 2023

The first period after a pregnancy is one of the most unwelcome guests to visit after the baby is born. Here is the ultimate list of tips for surviving your first postpartum period.

When I had Annabelle in 2013 I had no idea what to expect regarding my first postpartum period. Not only did I not get a period for over a year after she was born, but when it finally arrived — my PMS was horrible. I wish I had had a list of tips for surviving the first period because I was clueless and completely unprepared.

Caitlin Houston and Baby Daughter in white pajamas sitting on bed First Period After Pregnancy

The First Period After Pregnancy

The first period after a pregnancy is always the worst for a number of reasons. First, there is extra blood in your uterine lining that needs to be shed. This can make your flow extremely heavy. Second, as your body sheds the uterine lining, your cramps may feel more intense.

Not ALL women experience heavy, painful periods after pregnancy. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to months for your cycle to appear and for it to become regular again. Read more about first periods after pregnancy from specialists here.

Tips for Surviving Your First Postpartum Period

Just in case you are one of the lucky ones, here is how to make sure you’re prepared to survive your first postpartum period.

  • STOCK UP on both pads and tampons. Carry one of each in your diaper bag — no one wants to be caught off guard! If your period comes before your doctor says you can use a tampon, you will need a supply of pads.
  • REST if you can. My period always makes me tired — and if your baby isn’t sleeping you’re really going to want to try to rest when you can.
  • STAY HYDRATED. Dehydration can lead to cramps and discomfort. Plus, drinking more water than normal can help move your period cycle along more quickly as it helps prevent blood from thickening.
  • EXERCISE regularly, even when you have your period. However, avoid certain exercises, like inverted yoga posts that can lead to vascular congestion in your uterus.
  • WATCH WHAT YOU EAT. Did you know tweaking your diet could be one way to tackle PMS? Here’s a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid during your period.
  • WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK. Wine is one of my comforts when I have PMS, but it doesn’t actually do anything positive for my body. Alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks have high levels of sugar in them, which can cause inflammation and make cramps more severe (source).
  • CRAMPS are the worst, but heating pads and Epsom Salt baths can help alleviate the pain! Want more? Here are 30 Ways to Alleviate Period Cramps.

Note: There is a lot of advice out there for ways to have a better period — but not all tips are created equal. For example, there are a few herbal teas on the market that are recommended for alleviating premenstrual symptoms. However, not all herbal teas are safe if you are breastfeeding. Make sure to check labels or with your doctor before trying any supplements, vitamins, or herbs for period relief.

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Caitlin Houston

Caitlin Houston is a Mom of three and creator of Connecticut based life + style site Caitlin Houston Blog.