During pregnancy, your luscious locks are shiny and thick. You can thank hormones, good nutrition and prenatal vitamins for this. You’ve just spent 12 months growing your hair and losing very little then suddenly, the Great Postpartum Shed starts. Seemingly overnight.
At around three months postpartum, you wake up one morning and you are losing gobs of hair — literally by the hand full. In the shower, when brushing your hair. You have hair in your panties. Hair in your bra. You find hair in your clothes. On your pump parts. In your baby’s mouth. You’ve got enough from one single hair brushing to make a sweater or a rug. You’re going to go bald with the amount you are losing right?
Chances are, you won’t. Your pony tail may get thinner, but aside from the annoyance of finding hair everywhere, there may be no other indication you are losing all of this hair at a rapid rate. Some new mothers may experience thinning spots in their hair (usually around the front hairline on the temples) but there really isn’t too much you can do about this phenomenon. You might get these annoying whispy fly-away bangs right there too!
Your best bet to help combat the great postpartum shed is continuing to get good nutrition with a ton of protein and continuing your prenatal vitamins (especially if you are breastfeeding). Pregnancy is hard on your body as is breastfeeding so continuing to replace the nutrition you are losing will help your hair loss level out. Further, if this continues and you think the hair loss is excessive, contact your doctor as there are some conditions following pregnancy that could cause excessive hair loss. Many times this can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. To lessen the amount loss randomly, brush your hair before and after you shower.
Finally, this one is important. As you are finding strands of hair on every surface of your home, car, work etc, be diligent to check your baby for any strands of hair. There is a condition called Hair Tourniquet Syndrome where strands of hair will get wrapped around body parts of newborns and infants. Many times this can go unnoticed due to the sweet chubby rolls on babies but it can be serious. The most common body parts that hair can get wrapped around on babies is their fingers, toes, penises and even the fold at their wrists. If your baby is extra cranky and you have done all of the usual things to make him or her happy, check over their body parts very closely to make sure there isn’t a hidden hair cutting off circulation to the body part. If left undiagnosed, this can become a serious problem!
Hair loss is something many people don’t talk about or we simply forget between pregnancies. It can be totally normal. It is totally annoying but as with most other things motherhood related, this too shall pass!
Written by: Melanie Binversie, Owner & Washington DC Doula