Witnessing a sudden thinning and loss of hair during post-partum is quite normal. But, while most women blame breastfeeding for the issue, it isn’t necessarily breastfeeding that’s the issue.
Most hair loss, sudden deterioration, and damage to the hair are all due to a sudden hormonal imbalance. The changing hormones during postpartum lead to hair shedding, poor quality of the skin, etc.
While the hair is often at its best health throughout the pregnancy, things can soon take a tumble for the worse right after giving birth. It is normal and nothing you have to be worried about.
This article will highlight more about Breastfeeding and hair loss and what you can do to combat the issue.
In this Article
- 1 What kind of Hormonal Changes does the Body go through during Postpartum?
- 2 How do the Hormones Affect or Cause Hair Loss?
- 3 Are there Treatments for Postpartum Hair Loss?
- 4 Tips to Reduce Hair Loss After Childbirth
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 FAQs
What kind of Hormonal Changes does the Body go through during Postpartum?
As you step into your pregnancy, there is a sudden change in the hormonal balance. Hormones like the human chorionic gonadotropic (hCG), estrogen, and progesterone are some of the hormones that peak throughout the pregnancy term.
However, after you give birth, the body tries to revert to its stable and standard hormonal level. This sudden drop, paired with the hormonal changes related to breastfeeding, all contribute to subsequent hair loss and damage.
The good news is that the situation is somewhat temporary. Once your hormonal imbalance is fixed and you get back to a healthy lifestyle, things should start looking up.
How do the Hormones Affect or Cause Hair Loss?
Irrespective of the breastfeeding techniques, you need to understand that it isn’t breastfeeding that’s contributing to hair loss.
Instead, the unrest in the hormonal balance in the blood is to be blamed. Ideally, once you are post-partum, there is a sudden drop in the estrogen and progesterone levels, which could be a contributing factor.
Since the blood volume and circulation in the body are elevated during pregnancy, even that boosts the hair quality. As the blood volume decreases after pregnancy, it leads to hair loss and damage.
You also need to realize that every human normally loses around 100+ strands of hair naturally. It is part of the hair growth and development process. However, during postpartum and breastfeeding, you will likely lose big clumps of hair, making it seem like you are losing a lot, but, in reality, it isn’t that worse than normal.
Post-partum hair loss can continue up to a year after the birth of your baby. So, if you suddenly lose a lot of hair, be assured that it’s normal and not something you need to panic about – at least not yet.
Are there Treatments for Postpartum Hair Loss?
As we just discussed, postpartum hair loss isn’t permanent. It typically peaks during the fourth month of post-partum and might last up to a year after your child’s birth. The advantages of breastfeeding are that it nourishes your baby but also stabilizes your hormones. This can help correct the hair loss issue over time.
Remember that if the hair loss doesn’t get better after a year and gets progressively worse, it could be a sign of underlying chronic diseases, including thyroid disorders. You’d need to consult a doctor for a confirmed diagnosis and treatment in such cases.
Tips to Reduce Hair Loss After Childbirth
Nobody likes to lose their hair, especially after childbirth, when you are focused on prioritizing the baby instead of indulging in self-care most of the time.
However, some tips can support hair health post-partum and reduce hair fall complaints with which most new mothers struggle.
1. Focus on Good Hair Care Products
When you are already shedding like crazy, the last thing you want to do is make things worse for yourself by using chemically formulated shampoos that strip the moisture off your hair and make it dry.
Instead, we’d recommend you focus on using good-quality shampoo, especially the volumizing shampoo and condition that strengthens the hair follicles from the roots. They also give the hair a fuller look, which can be a great way to conceal the degree of hair loss you are experiencing.
Also, when applying conditioner, apply them in excess around the ends of the hair. Avoid lathering up the conditioner on the scalp since it’s harder to get off, leading to complications like scaling and drying the scalp.
2. Forego the Hair Styling
When your hair is already in a very fragile state, the last thing you want to do is make things worse. Styling with heated straighteners or curlers can irrevocably damage the hair.
Instead of exposing too many chemical products and heat to your hair, focus on letting it air dry. Style it naturally with a quick brush through, at least for a few months until your hair is back on track.
Also, when brushing your hair, go gentle on the strands. Even if you have knots, don’t pull on them since that can lead to further hair loss. Instead, focus on gently untangling the knots and brushing through the length of the hair.
3. Focus on your Diet
What you put into your body reflects on the exterior as well. This means that if you aren’t eating a healthy and balanced diet, it will lead to further hair damage. The advantages of breastfeeding are diverse, but it is a healthy diet that makes all the difference in the body. A proper diet can change many things, from supporting lactation to the mother’s health.
Include a balanced diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Foods like green vegetables, fresh fruits, eggs, lean protein, fish, carrots, sweet potatoes, etc., make an excellent addition to the post-partum diet.
In some cases, you might be asked to continue taking prenatal vitamins to supplement your body’s growing needs. Always discuss your options with your doctor before you take any supplements or even stop any supplements.
There is an ongoing debate between breastfeeding and hair loss. And while most mothers think that their hair loss and damage are due to breastfeeding, that isn’t the standard case. In fact, it is the hormones that cause sudden hair loss. If you are experiencing the issue even after a year, we’d recommend consulting a doctor.
Also Read :
If you are losing hair post-partum, taking Vitamin E and biotin supplements can subjectively reduce hair fall to an extent.
Taking biotin supplements for hair loss during breastfeeding and post-partum is considered safe. However, we’d recommend you consult your doctor about the dosage before starting.
Postpartum hair loss generally peaks 4 months after childbirth. However, the hair loss and damage might prolong for up to a year in some cases too.