Having a baby is, in equal parts, the most wonderful, the most exciting and the most stressful experience you will ever have. During pregnancy and afterwards, you are bombarded from all sides with advice about absolutely everything.
One thing nobody ever mentions though is how having a baby affects your hair and you can often find that – when you’re not tearing your hair out in frustration – your hair can start to fall out.
What Causes Postpartum Hair Loss?
This is the sudden shedding of hair that can commonly occur in new mums around three to six months after giving birth. Everyone sheds hair all the time but as we usually lose only a few strands at a time it goes relatively unnoticed but following the birth of a baby the new mother will often notice her hair coming out in clumps. This can understandably cause not insignificant consternation to say the least but it will help you to know why it’s happening.
During pregnancy, a woman’s hormones are working overtime. Oestrogen, in particular, is produced in large amounts to enable the body to adapt to the pregnancy and to help suppress the body’s immune system in order to support the growth and development of the baby. And while oestrogen is helping to do all this it also affects your blood circulation which is probably why you notice changes to your skin along with an extra lush head of hair. Once you have the baby your oestrogen production falls off a cliff for a while and that is why you suddenly notice your hair disappearing as the hair follicles go into a resting stage – unlike the new mother!
Don’t Worry, It Will Grow Back
The postpartum shedding generally becomes noticeable at around the 4-6 month stage after the birth. The bad news is that it can go on for many weeks and some mums have reported ongoing shedding problems for anything up to a year.
There are several products on the market that claim to prevent hair from falling out in the post-pregnancy period but these are largely ineffective. The variation in hormone production is the thing which makes hair loss a completely natural and unavoidable event and no supplement can combat this. Just make sure you eat well and sleep well whenever possible. The good news is that as your hormone levels return to normal the shedding will stop and your hair will grow back as normal.
If you’re over the 1-year mark and at all concerned about your hair loss, then why not give us a call. Here at the Wimpole Clinic, we’ll be happy to talk you through what’s normal and what’s not, to determine whether or not it’s just your hormones affecting your hair.