Can breastfeeding cover up a period?

I'm nursing my 10 month old just two to three times a day. When I thought I was having a period last week (on schedule) it turned out to be only mild spotting. My periods are usually very heavy, and I've had two normal ones in sequence since my daughter was born. Is it possible for the breastfeeding to "cover up" a period, or is it more likely I'm pregnant?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Short menses, if they are not typical for you, could indicate a pregnancy. However, it could also be normal during breastfeeding, which can suppress ovulation. When hormonal levels are not high enough to induce ovulation, the menses may be shorter and lighter.

I recommend an exam and a pregnancy test just to be sure. If the test is negative, repeat it in one to two weeks. Each pregnancy is different and the fact that you are nursing may indeed change the symptoms enough to mask a pregnancy.

Good luck.

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