When beets turn your pee red

As a lactating woman, I spend a lot of time thinking about my milk supply, both consciously as well as subconsciously. And with that, in the back of my mind, I think about when my period will return, which hopefully will not be until at least month eight or nine postpartum so that my milk supply can at least remain stable at the level that it currently is at. When you are lactating and your period returns, your hormones shift, which causes an inevitable drop in your milk supply. This tends to freak out most lactating women, particularly those who exclusively breast-feed their babies and are strongly averse to formula.

So you can imagine my horror when one day, I went to pee, and before I flushed the toilet, I noticed that the liquid in the toilet bowl was a pinkish red color. For a split second, I flipped out a little bit. What? I thought. Is my period back? I touched myself down there and did not see any blood. Then, I remembered that I’d roasted beets and eating them for dinner. And beets have the ability to change the color of your urine if you eat enough of them, similar to how asparagus can change the smell of your urine. Phew, I thought. Thank God for the beets! I was only about 14 weeks postpartum and the idea of having my period back this early in my breast-feeding journey did not sit well with me. Most of the time when you hear of women getting their period back after giving birth this soon, it’s because they are exclusively formula feeding or they are not nursing enough. In my case, I was pumping milk around the clock and nursing a few times a day consistently for the last 14 weeks, so if my period had come back that soon, I would have been completely devastated. So hopefully, I still have at least 4 to 5 months before it returns.

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