What is postpartum lochia?
For about six weeks after giving birth, you will pass postpartum discharge or lochia. Lochia is a mixture of placental tissue, blood, and mucus, and often appears as thick, menstrual blood for the first few days and then tapers off to a typical menstrual cycle until the end of the second week postpartum. Between weeks two and six, spotting is most common. After the initial postpartum menstrual cycle, you may find you get a brief reprieve from your monthly period.
Not having a period yet doesn't mean that you can't get pregnant.
Why don’t I have a menstrual period?
Some women do not experience the first true menstrual bleeding or period for six months to a year after giving birth. There are several reasons this could happen, but the first, and most accepted, is that there is no ovulation. Regular ovulation is a prerequisite for a regular menstrual period, and without regular ovulation, menstrual periods are irregular or do not happen at all.
Breastfeeding can delay ovulation but does not prevent it. So even if you breastfeed, you can ovulate, and if you ovulate, then you are fertile. In fact, ovulation and fertility can happen before you get a menstrual period. Not having a period yet doesn't mean that you can't get pregnant.
Some experts believe the female body stops menstruating while breastfeeding to control procreation. As long as you are breastfeeding, the body knows a baby needs your care. After breastfeeding ceases, hormones that trigger nipple stimulation to produce milk fade away, and the menstrual cycle (and fertility) returns. If you start taking birth control immediately after the baby is born, this could cause amenorrhea or cessation of the menstrual cycle.
Why did my periods change?
Before pregnancy, you may have been used to your menstrual cycle being mostly regular. For example, it may have been heavy on day two, lasted for only five days, and ended without a trace until 28-31 days later when it started again. You may have known your body very well before pregnancy but now it is changing a little. Every pregnancy will change the typical menstrual cycle in some way. Usually, once you have given birth, you will need to relearn your cycle and patterns.
Can I use tampons again?
For the first menstrual cycle after postpartum bleeding has stopped, using tampons is perfectly safe. The first postpartum cycle, however, should be met with pads. The hospital will likely give you the long, thick pads with no adhesive on the bottom (and bringing your own brand with adhesive in your hospital bag is probably preferable).