Bigger boobs, shiny hair, baby showers. Pregnancy brings with it a lot of sometimes surprising perks. Among them is saying farewell to your period for the duration of your pregnancy, and beyond! But, as with most things in life, nothing lasts forever - including your period-free existence. If you’re deciding which is the right protection for you for when it does return, take a moment to consider the not-so-humble menstrual cup.
With a solution for every woman - the ultra convenient Lily Cup Compact by INTIMINA is your go-to choice no matter whether you’re experiencing heavier periods after pregnancy, or are simply seeking a more sustainable alternative to tampons or pads.
But before we discuss the specific benefits of choosing a menstrual cup for life after your first postpartum period, it’s important to understand what to expect - and when! In the weeks immediately after birth, you can expect fairly heavy vaginal discharge of something called lochia. An entirely normal process, the body is ridding itself of uterine lining, as well as mucus and blood built up during pregnancy. This isn’t a period, and your healthcare provider will likely offer you maternity pads to see you through a stage which could last anything from two to six weeks.
When to expect your first actual period after pregnancy depends on several factors - including whether or not you’re breastfeeding. That’s due to a hormone called prolactin which simultaneously encourages milk production, while suppressing ovulation. A new mom who’s not breastfeeding might welcome back her period around 10 weeks postpartum; for one who is, that could extend to 20 weeks or more.
Once you’re clear whether the bleeding you’re experiencing is, in fact, your long-lost period, talk to your doctor about whether a cup might be right for you, and prepare to join a menstruation revolution!
- Things Change
Pregnancy changes everything - and we’re not just talking lifestyle here! Your body has done something amazing: it needs time to recover and adjust. Along with a whole host of other changes, your periods may be heavier, or they may be lighter. The change in flow might be temporary, it might be permanent - or things might switch right back to how they were before you were expecting.
There are various reasons for that, but like most things surrounding this milestone event, it comes to hormones. Pregnancy directly causes levels of estrogen and progesterone to increase dramatically, but so too can side-effects, including weight gain. Another physical change may be the position of your cervix, which adjusts throughout pregnancy. Finally, bear in mind that if your birth was vaginal, the opening may take a while to snap back (all totally worth it, though - promise!).
The good news is that INTIMINA boasts a range of menstrual cups to suit every woman, no matter what havoc pregnancy has wreaked on her periods! The original Lily Cup is ideal for women with a higher cervix; while Lily Cup Compact, better suited to a lower-sitting cervix, is available in two sizes. ‘A’ is recommended women who have not given birth or did not give birth vaginally, while ‘B’ is designed for, well, the rest of us - including those with heavy flow.
- You’re About To Get Very Busy Indeed…
As any new parent can attest, the entire concept of “having no time” takes on a whole new meaning once baby is here. If your experience is anything like ours, you can temporarily kiss goodbye to things like drinking hot tea (it’ll always be cold by the time you get round to slurping it); and your multitasking skills will reach dizzying new heights.
At the same time, expect to discover muscles you never knew you had as you simultaneously lift, carry and rock your tot, all the while carrying diaper bags, steering prams, and negotiating baby change facilities. With that in mind, your menstrual protection needs to excel in two ways: it should offer total freedom of movement, and it should have sufficient capacity to put in hours as long as you do.
Menstrual cups are designed to form a leak-free vacuum-seal inside the body, meaning that unlike pads, no activity is off limits. What’s more, because they can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, cups give you more time to focus on baby - without worrying about your period!
- Babies are Expensive!
From onesies to wipes, booties to bibs, babies call for very long shopping lists indeed. There’s no sugar-coating this one: all that baby paraphernalia quickly adds up. While it’s not going to drastically fix your finances at this expensive time, menstrual cups represent a much more cost-efficient alternative than tampons or pads. Because unlike tampons or pads, both of which have to be changed frequently and may even call for several different sizes throughout your period, a menstrual cup is a one-time purchase - leaving more money to splash on those baby essentials!
4. Time to Embrace New Habits!
Whether this is your first, second, third or fourth bundle of joy, you don’t need us to tell you that life is about to change in almost every single way. What better time to shake things up and start embracing new habits that are better for you, for the world around you - and with the added advantage of making life that little bit easier! Did you know that many tampons and pads are laced with residual and highly toxic dioxin, a chemical byproduct of the bleaching process? We know: it’s icky. INTIMINA’s silicone menstruation cups are free from all chemical nasties commonly found in tampons - think rayon, BPA, and many others besides. Our advice? Start afresh and make life simpler and safer, with a reusable Lily Cup Compact by INTIMINA.
- Consider the Environmental Cost
This final point affects every single one of us, and not just moms. It’s estimated that on average, a tampon-using woman will get through 11,000 of them in her lifetime. Eleven thousand! And while the convenience that comes with their being disposable might seem attractive at first, believe us: it’s definitely not once it winds up in landfill. Did you know that both tampons and pads too take centuries longer to biodegrade than the women who wore them will live? Menstrual cups are a smarter, more environmentally responsible solution, and the INTIMINA range has been designed as an eco-friendly, one-time purchase that’s easy on your wallet, as well as the world around us.
So there you have it: five reasons a menstrual cup by INTIMINA could be just the thing for new moms - or any woman with a lot on her plate! Available in all CVS Stores, a menstrual cup by INTIMINA isn’t just for your next period - it’s for the long haul!
For more tips check out our article DEALING WITH PMS PAIN: WHAT HELPS CRAMPS.