As we spend the first few weeks of our baby’s lives in awe, we can often become a little bit distracted with the healing process of our own bodies. After nine months of pregnant bliss, our bodies are required to revert back to their original versions, and so a change in hormone levels, weight and shape can be expected. With these changes come unexpected bouts of hair loss that is enough to send any new mom into a frenzy of anxiety. However, in an effort to ease the anxiety, we have some comforting advice for moms!
As we cradle our little ones, we may begin to notice the strands of hair caught between their little fingers and toes, and as time progresses, you may begin to notice an increase in strands that collect at the bottom of the shower, on your sweater or shoulders or in your comb. As alarming as it may seem, there is no reason to panic! We can assure you that you will not go bald or end up with a patchy scalp – the reason is not only natural but it is also simple to understand.
During your pregnancy, you will notice how drastically the condition of your hair changes – not only does the appearance of your hair change to look healthier but your hair also becomes thicker due to the change in hormones. However, once you’ve delivered your baby and your hormone levels return to normal, the ‘extra’ hair will begin to fall.
While some new moms will only experience hair fall when they stop breastfeeding, many more moms will experience it from about three months post-partum. As dreadful as hair loss may seem, we can assure you that it will normalise by the time your little cherub celebrates his or her first birthday.
While post-partum hair loss seems inevitable and there is almost nothing that we can do to prevent it, there are steps that you can take to ensure that hair remains healthy through your hormonal changes, making it easier for it to return to normal. Here are a few tips:
1. While it might be tough to prepare healthy meals in between your busy schedule, it is important to follow a healthy diet, drink lots of water and keep up with your prenatal vitamins as these will help your body return to its normal state.
2. As much as we would love a fresh set of highlights once our little one has settled into a routine, it is best to avoid any chemical or heat treatments (embrace the ‘au naturel’ look).
3. Invest in a gentle shampoo and conditioner that don’t contain any harmful chemicals or parabens. Be gentle on your hair and scalp when washing and make use of a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair.
If, however, your hair loss seems excessive – which can be tough to determine – it is best to chat to your doctor about the onset of postpartum thyroiditis; an underactive thyroid brought on by the changes in the body after pregnancy. Easily treatable and manageable, if you test positive, you will notice an improvement after just a few months of taking the prescribed medication.
Although it may be daunting, take comfort in the fact that moms from all over the globe have to endure post-partum hair loss. While it isn’t ideal, and may be the reason the vacuum cleaner has taken up residence in your baby’s nursery, it will soon be a distant memory. If you find your strands on your baby’s clothes and linen, simply make use of an adhesive roller and pop the items into the wash. Add your favourite laundry fabric softener and the items are sure to come out of the wash looking as good as new!