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Hair Loss After Birth | What to Expect, the 4th Trimester

Updated: May 5

Hair Loss After Birth | Mother's Helper Jax, FL

Hair Loss After Birth | What to Expect, the 4th Trimester Hair loss after birth is a thing. It's a sucky, messy, slightly disturbing thing.

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What science says about hair loss after birth. During pregnancy, your body produces more estrogen. This increase in estrogen makes you lose hair more slowly. So you're holding onto more hair than you were pre-pregnancy. Your hair may even grow a little faster in length. When this happens your hair appears fuller and overall more luxurious, but you're not actually growing more hair on your head. It sure feels that way though!

Once you've given birth your body takes a hormonal dump as it begins to find its new normal. Hormone production changes and adjusts since the additional hormones are no longer needed to support the pregnancy. As the hormonal changes are happening so too are the physical changes like hair loss and emotional changes like baby blues.

Hair loss after birth, or rather shedding, can be annoying and downright freaky! Whether you seem to be losing more hair than a rapidly balding man or you're seeing your beautiful strands come out in clumps while showering, there is hope for you! Pregnancy is a wild ride and our physical, mental, and emotional health are all affected during pregnancy. What most people don't understand is that we take an even bigger hit during the postpartum time period, all of about a year or even two years. Wowzers!

Your body is badass, your body is prioritizing! Similarly to your body growing your baby for nearly 40 weeks give or take and then birthing your baby, this also happens with your hair. The difference is your baby needs to be born within a relatively short time in comparison to your hair shedding which happens more slowly over the course of about a year. Understanding that this occurrence is crazy as hell, but normal will help lessen the blow, a little. There's nothing to date that has been scientifically proven to stop this from happening, because, well it's normal.

Here are several inside tips for hair loss after birth from a seasoned postpartum & infant care specialist and mom of four:

1. Patience and time. Give yourself at least the amount of time your body was pregnant to start looking for reasons it's not back to "normal" yet. 2. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins. Not only do they support your body's return to a new normal they can also help your body if you're breastfeeding. Biotin and Hair, Skin, and Nail vitamins specifically seem to be helpful to most moms. Always do your own research and check with your provider before beginning supplements. 3. Brush your hair and massage your scalp often. The stimulation to your scalp is relaxing and may encourage better circulation. Visit your massage therapist for a postpartum massage and ask for some extra attention to your scalp. You could also lay on your back on the bed and put your head in your partner's lap while they give you a few special minutes of their time. 4. Resist the urge to pull your hair back on the regular. This can actually make things worse. The occasional pony is fine, but a daily bun or ponytail can make the situation worse. Putting traction on the strands for extended periods of time can cause breakage or pull it out from the follicle where it grows. If you feel you must pull it back all the time, instead consider a loose side braid or a nice medium to short haircut cut and rock it! 5. Drink up! Your body is approximately 55-65% water! Making sure you stay well-hydrated is never ever a bad thing. Your body needs water especially when you are fighting off an illness, exercising, have a compromised immune system, are in extremely dry or hot conditions, breastfeeding, and you guessed it, during pregnancy and after you give birth! 6. Avoid prolonged use of heat from curling irons and straighteners. When using a blow dryer dry on medium to low heat. 7. Avoid chemicals and products promising a thicker head of hair for at least until your baby's first birthday. You may just be surprised at what your body does when you give it some time.

BONUS TIP: Beware of hair getting wrapped about your baby's toes or fingers and cutting off blood flow or becoming embedded in their skin. Check your baby at least once or twice daily. If you can't remove the hair or it's become embedded in your baby's skin seek medical attention right away.

Hair loss after birth is the pits! Pregnancy, birth, and childrearing take a serious toll on our bodies. My wish for you today is that I would love for you to love yourself just as you are, just for today. We all have things we love about ourselves, focus on THAT today. Drop us a comment and come back in two weeks for another blog in the What to Expect During the 4th Trimester series

Happy Birth and Parentings!

~Elizabeth Luke

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