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Everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss

Everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss

Everything you need to know about postpartum hair loss
Many new mums are surprised to be shedding more hair than usual in the first few months after giving birth, but it's perfectly normal. And there's no need to panic: Your hair should be back to normal around your baby's first birthday. 
 
Shedding hair at a noticeable rate in the first two to six months after having a baby is not unusual—online parenting groups are full of new mums posting, “Is this normal? I’m freaking out!” But the experience can vary among women.
 
What cause it it?
The body experiences soaring estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker, more lustrous strands. Then your hormones level out in the months following childbirth. Hair remains in this ‘resting’ stage for approximately three months before it falls out and new hair growth begins.  
 
How much is normal?
If you’re finding strands on your pillow or clogging up the shower drain, dont panic. This is the case for most new mums. It is totally normal. When you haven’t just had a baby, losing about 80 hairs a day is normal, new moms shed about 400 hairs a day. By six months postpartum, the hair loss should slow to pre-pregnancy amounts.
 
If you feel the shedding is not slowing down, chances are good that there are other health issues at play. Pregnancy can change your level of ferritin (a blood cell protein that helps your body store iron) and can affect your thyroid, so make sure to tell your doctor that you’ve noticed a lot of hair loss, and ask to have blood tests done to check both.
 
Treatment?
Looking after a new born can be an exhausting time and can put a lot of strain on your body, as can breastfeeding. Start by ensuring your blood sugar, iron, ferritin, zinc and vitamin D levels are normal. Next, do as much as you can to minimize stress (easier said than done when you’re caring for a baby), eat a healthy diet with lots of protein to aid the hair growth process, and don’t be afraid to shampoo frequently. It’s commonly thought that not shampooing as often will minimize hair loss, but the truth is, the frequency with which you wash your hair will not affect the amount of hair you lose.
 
Though losing clumps of hair feels anything but normal for most women in their child-bearing years, it really is. I like to wear it as mum badge of honour!
 
Written by Laura Doyle, Staff Writter at Family Friendly HQ. Laura also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com