Showing posts with label Hair Loss After Pregnancy; How to Limit the Effects. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hair Loss After Pregnancy; How to Limit the Effects. Show all posts

Hair Loss After Pregnancy - How to Limit the Effects


Although postpartum hair loss is common, many new moms are surprised and mystified when they experience a sudden and dramatic increase in shedding several months after delivering their new bundle of joy. Although it feels scary to see so much hair falling out, it is not uncommon for women to lose the thick, shiny locks they so proudly grew during pregnancy.

A woman's hair is often at its best during pregnancy. Some people mistakenly attribute this to the effects of prenatal vitamins, but the increased volume and beauty of a pregnant woman's hair actually comes from the dramatic hormonal surge and increase in blood circulation that occurs during pregnancy. This unique combination allows hair that would normally transition into the resting and shedding phases to stay in the growing phase longer. Normal daily shedding is greatly minimized during pregnancy, resulting in longer growing, thicker, healthier hair.

After delivery this period of enhanced hair growth ends. The hairs that were in a prolonged growth stage shift into the resting stage. Three months later these "resting" hairs begin to fall out. The delayed shedding during pregnancy results in excessive shedding after delivery. In normal circumstances excessive shedding will begin to taper off within six months, and the woman will be left with only slightly less volume than she had pre-pregnancy.

Unfortunately for some, the shedding is extreme and persistent. If the hair growth cycle is not back to normal by baby's first birthday, it is an indication of an internal imbalance that must be identified and corrected.

In order to prevent long-lasting, severe postpartum hair loss a woman must receive optimal care after delivering a baby. The postpartum period requires additional nutritional support and adequate rest. Many women run on caffeine and very few hours of sleep while tending to their new baby. Although women are often advised to nap when the baby naps, many ignore this advice as it seems like the only time to get chores done. Paying attention to this advice, eating healthy foods and continuing nutritional supplementation may help to prevent excessive postpartum shedding.

Our modern society has forgotten, or dismissed the importance of postpartum care for the new mother. In the 1950's standard postpartum hospital stays in the United States were between eight and fourteen days. During this time the mother could heal, recover and regain her strength. Hospital stays today are so short that they are often referred to as "drive-through deliveries."

Other cultures still understand the importance of pampering and protecting the new mother. In these cultures the new mother is completely cared by friends and relatives for thirty to forty days. Special nourishing foods and teas are prepared for her, and she is not allowed to do any work. Her entire focus is on resting and recovering from the effects of pregnancy, labor and delivery so she will be well equipped to handle the challenges of newborn baby.

This type of care may be extreme and unfeasible in today's society but still, we must not completely dismiss postpartum care.
Many new moms feel guilty and inadequate if they do not jump right back into their fast-paced demanding life (and right back into their pre-pregnancy clothes), but it is important to comprehend that proper postpartum care is not a luxury. It is critical and essential to the health and well-being of the mother. Ignoring this can lead to multiple imbalances and health disorders that can cause hair loss.

Without adequate rest and proper care the postpartum woman is susceptible to nutritional deficiencies, inflammatory conditions, lowered immunity, and hormonal imbalances. Conditions such as adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, anemia, systemic inflammation and autoimmune disorders can be triggered during this time. Any of these conditions can cause hair loss. Extreme care during pregnancy and after birth can help prevent these conditions from manifesting.

Although the most common hair loss condition affecting postpartum women is telogen effluvium, the onset of androgenetic alopecia can also be triggered at this time.

Extreme self-care is the best defense against postpartum hair loss. Relaxing scalp massages with warm coconut oils or nurturing essential oils can also have a positive effect. Natural treatments such as reflexology, massage or acupuncture can also help restore balance during this time.
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