Postpartum Hair Loss – What people forget to tell you about having a baby….

I almost feel like crying. Seriously. I just washed my hair and feel like half the hair came out as I finger combed in the conditioner. WHAAAHHHH!!! And yet I knew this was coming, it has been slowly building since my little number 4 was born. Those luscious locks that built up while he was brewing in my belly (due to all that oestrogen I was making) are now falling out faster than the last of the winter leaves, I just hope I don’t end up as bare as those tree branches. Hair loss after pregnancy affects women differently and some not at all.  For me I have found that when my babies get to about 4 months old, the hair just starts coming out in clumps for what feels like is for ever, but is probably only around a month or two.

Trying to research information for this post I really couldn’t find a good source of factual information to link to. There is no hospital fact sheet out there because basically although quite worrying, unless it goes on and on and you do end up with big bald patches on your head (then go see your doctor who might refer you to a trichologist – a new word I learnt today to label someone who scientifically studies the health of the scalp and hair) it is absolutely normal. I quite enjoyed reading a description of the process on this Mamamia blog page about how our hair grows and goes into a kind of dormant stage before it falls out naturally. When we are pregnant the extra production of  oestrogen extends this resting stage leaving us with a fuller luscious head of hair and then after giving birth, when our oestrogen levels begin to reduce to their normal levels all that extra hair comes out of hibernation and falls out – but like ALL. at. the. same. time.   – YEAH! Isn’t that awesome!

The director of dermatology at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Rodney Sinclair writes “When you’re pregnant, oestrogen extends the hair growth cycle – hair stays in its resting phase longer and therefore remains in your head beyond its ‘use-by date”ABC.

One thing I am happy to report that I also learnt from the Australian parenting website, is that it has nothing to do with breastfeeding which I think can be a common myth, as though the baby is sucking all the nutrients out of your body. When I remember I do take a pregnancy and breastfeeding multi vitamin and try to eat a healthy diet, but I am in no way under the impression that this will help to stop the loss. So it was interesting that whilst also web researching the topic of postpartum hairless, I found an array of articles (which I am not going to link to you can google them yourself if you really want) suggesting foods and diets you can eat to reduce the hair loss and even some serums to help the hair regrow, but as a 4th time postpartum hair loser I would tell you to save your time and money because it will stop, it is normal and unfortunately unless you were willing to be a hormonal wreck and pump oestrogen back into your body to keep those extra hairs dormant or got pregnant again (um no thank you, not just yet….), there is not much you can really do to stop them from falling out.

If you are seriously worried, it is affecting you in any way mentally or emotionally or womens hair loss is hereditary in your family your first point of call should be your GP.

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