I can’t believe my little munchkin is exactly “6 WHOLE MONTHS” today. I get a little emotional thinking about it and I’m so eternally grateful to God for getting us to this point. Who knew I could fall so deeply in love with one little tiny person and I can’t imagine what life would be like without her cheeky smile and character. They say you forget but the memory of labour still rings fresh in my mind, it feels like it was only yesterday I went in for an induction on our wedding anniversary and had her 2 days later.
Though it was rough I really would go through the whole thing again just to have her. My ‘Au naturale’ birth plan went out the window after 24 hours of being in labour, I got an epidural literally minutes before that window was no longer an option. I loved gas and air, I’d liken it to having a really good glass of red wine after months of sobriety, and the epidural was like watching a sunset on a sandy beach somewhere gloriously exotic. In a nutshell, the drugs were great! I Kept falling asleep in between contractions, I was exhausted after literally not sleeping for 48 hours, not to mention most of my third trimester. But after all that, in the anticipation of those final pushes, she finally arrived and it was like nothing else mattered. The relief and pleasure of finally getting to hold her in my arms flooded over me. Seeing her little tiny hands and feet, limbs that often pocked and jabbed at me from the inside, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. She weighed in at a hefty 8lbs 1oz despite being 2 weeks early, I definitely wouldn’t have made it through to my due date. Thus begun the adventure of motherhood…
I literally thought I was going to get some sleep now that I’d had her, naive I know, but that was only preparation of the marathon that quickly ensued. The next 2 months were a sleepless blur and my prenatal vitamins were equally as quickly forgotten in the blur, that was mistake number one.
The first couple of times I washed my hair that first month after bringing Thea home were a breeze. My hair was still lavishing the pregnancy hormones and all seemed well, so in my mind my hair was okay. I would occasionally take my vitamins as and when I’d remember to do so seeing as there were no obvious horrible effects of not doing so, but that ride was about to tap me on the shoulder and ask me to get off.
The third time, which was about month 2 of Thea being home I thought I was going to make a wig with the amount of hair that fell off not to mention the hours it took me to detangle my hair. Reality slapped me clear across my face… I was definitely getting back on those antenatal vitamins.
There are a few things I now know I wish I’d known then like how much vitamins matter especially if you’re nursing, styles that will cause more harm than good in those first few months and investing in good hair products sooner rather than later; all go a long way.
Don’t panic!! Post-partum shedding is normal and apparently affects 50% of women after giving birth. Stress will probably do more harm than good, my advice is take the ride.. go with the flow… it won’t last forever. Oestrogen levels plummet after having a baby and hair in its resting stage will be shed, some more than others. However the good news is, things should begin to settle down and get back to normal after 6-12 months. There is a light at the end of that tunnel and hair will grow back. However if you’re still concerned about over excessive shedding you can speak to a heath practitioner.
Multi Vitamins If you’re a new mum, those antenatal vitamins are definitely your best friend at this stage. I’m definitely going to stick with mine as long as I’m nursing. There was definitely a change in my hair, nails and skin when I took my vitamins back up again. The change wasn’t immediate and I’d probably say my hair still sheds but not at the rate that it used to. Nutrition is key, those vitamins and minerals that help hair growth play a vital part. Foods rich in folic acid, iron, zinc, vitamin A, E and B complex vitamins are good for promoting hair growth; that’s a balanced diet of greens, root vegetables, fish, meat, poultry nuts and a variety of fruits.
Hair styles I carried on with my twists thinking that as long as my hair was in a protective style, all would be well. I’d twist my hair up when wet after wash day, making sure the twists were comfortably tight enough to last me to my next wash day. I noticed my hair thinning on my temples and all along my hair line, this was the first sign I should have paid close attention to. The resounding advice I’ve come across is less is more. Having hairstyles that don’t require slicked back edges or excessive tagging and pulling will be easier on the hairline ergo loose twists or twist outs for me. I know its very tempting to find a style where hair is tucked away for ease, however having your hair in braided extensions or tight weaves will probably only add to the problem.
Products From Black jamaican castor oil for growth to shea butter for moisture; there’s a plethora of information out there on hair products that help promote hair growth. Unfortunately when it comes to post-partum shedding, the shedding is inevitable. I haven’t come across a product that will stop that from happening. However shedding hair means an opportunity for new growth, so rather than focusing all my energy on retaining hair that is doomed to fall out I’ve decided to focus on helping new growth. Biotin, Naicin3 and Pantothenate (B5) vitamin infused products seem to be all the rage at the minute in promoting hair growth. Ogx, Mielle Organics and The Mane Choice have got some of the products I’ve got on my wish list this year, I’ve been seeing some really good reviews on them and I’ve been using Ogx products for 3 years now. I recently changed my conditioning treatment, I’ve used Organic Root Hair Mayonnaise for as long as I’ve been natural and it’s served me well, but I felt the need to try something different to help retain moisture for longer and in turn minimise hair loss. I’m currently trying Shea Moisture Intensive Hydration Hair Masque and I have to say my hair seems to be loving it so far. Finding a product that will serve particular hair needs is key.
So there it is. I’ll try and document my postpartum journey to see if any of the products or regimens I adopt make a difference. But if there are any readers out there with tips on other ways to combat postpartum shedding please share it on the blog by leaving a comment below.
With Luv xx