After giving birth to your little bundle(s) of joy, you might expect losing your pregnancy bump and excess pregnancy weight. But did you expect to lose your hair? Keep reading to know all about why postpartum hair loss occurs and what you can do to stop it or slow it down a bit.
What causes postpartum hair loss?
- Hormonal changes
Starting from the early stages of your pregnancy and up until the end of it, levels of production of the hormones, oestrogen and progesterone in the body tend to skyrocket. Its effects are the increase in hair growth, improvement of its quality and slowing down the process of hair loss in general. Shortly after you give birth to your child, production of oestrogen and progesterone levels in the body begins to slow down. This means hair growth will take a hit too. Oestrogen and progesterone hormones return to their normal pre-pregnancy levels as soon as 24 hours after giving birth. You’ll start noticing more hair is falling out at a faster rate.
- Blood volume changes
During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume can increase by up to 50%. (Source: NIH) Increased blood volume and more blood circulation result in less hair falling out. Your blood volume levels gradually decrease and get back to normal pre-pregnancy levels within a few weeks after childbirth. This means your hair’s going to start falling off at a faster rate again.
How normal is postpartum hair loss?
Losing hair clumps left and right seems very unusual. Postpartum hair loss is more common than you might think it is. It has been shown to affect between 40% to 50% of women. (Source: Pregnancy Magazine) And don’t worry, it’s surely not a condition that’s here to stay. It’s a temporary phase that usually goes away in due time.
When does postpartum hair loss begin?
Some women notice they’re losing hair in bunches very soon after delivery. Others don’t begin noticing this until after 3 or 4 months after giving birth. Some others only start going through this a whole year later. There is a common time frame most women experience postpartum hair loss. And that’s between 2 months to 6 months after childbirth.
Not all women essentially experience postpartum hair loss. Some women go through many pregnancies without ever being affected by this; while others aren’t so lucky. Up to 90% of women experience varying degrees of hair loss after giving birth, like postpartum alopecia, while the rest – around 10% – do not go through any of this. (Source: British Medical Journal (BMJ))
Just because you experienced postpartum hair loss in one pregnancy doesn’t essentially mean you’re going to go through this again in any future pregnancies. And just because you didn’t experience postpartum hair loss in one pregnancy doesn’t essentially mean you won’t in future pregnancies. Some women have genetic hair loss problems that become more obvious with each pregnancy.
How to stop postpartum hair loss?
Are you panicking because of all that beautiful hair of yours falling out in clumps? Take a breath, because it isn’t as bad as you might think it is. Here are some things you can do to help stop postpartum hair loss in its tracks or help slow it down a bit.
- Less stress
Pregnancy is a stressful stretch of 9 months. Giving birth is stressful and painful. And all of parenthood appears to be just one stressful event after another. Therefore, finding effective ways to manage stress will help lessen the hair shedding.
- Nutritious diet
You should be eating a healthy and nutritious diet – one that’s rich in adequate amounts of protein to help make the hair growth process a more effective one.
When should you see a doctor?
It’s important to tell apart what’s regular from what’s irregular. This enables you to know when it’s best to leave things up to your body to solve on its own or go see a doctor for help in its place. Experts warn new mothers to expect losing around 500 hair strands a day shortly after giving birth.
Generally, you should notice a significant reduction in the amount of hair you shed after around 6 months to 12 months after you give birth. If everything’s normal, you’ll go back to losing between approximately 100 to 150 hair strands a day.
Are you losing more than 500 hair strands a day shortly after giving birth? Or 12 months passed since you’ve delivered your baby and you are still noticing hair loss in full force? It’s perhaps best that you talk to your doctor about all of this. Your doctor will ask you queries and run tests they think essential to diagnose possible health problems that might be causing or intensifying your postpartum hair loss. Often, it might be conditions like hypothyroidism, postpartum thyroiditis or iron-deficiency (anaemia) causing you these troubles.
Homeopathic treatment for postpartum hair loss
The main advantage of opting for homeopathic treatment is the absence of any related toxic side-effects. Also, homeopathic medicines are not disease-specific. They are prescribed only after your homeopathy doctor evaluates your problem and your case history in depth.
If you’re concerned about postpartum hair loss, visit your nearest homeopathy clinic and talk to a homeopathic doctor. The treatment is administered after a carefully evaluated study of the patient’s case history.