The abundant presence of some vital hormones in pregnancy is observed as a blissful period for both skin and hair. Pregnant women observe a radiant skin and luscious hair if their nutritional status is well maintained.
However after delivery withdrawal of certain hormones (which were the cause of beautiful hair and skin), results in skin changes like pigmentation, acne breakouts, under eye dark circles, sagginess of skin, stretch marks and hair loss. These added to post-delivery mood swings can be very depressing for the mother as self-esteem regarding body image is already lowered. Dr. Aman Dua, a dermatologist, and co-founder at AK Clinics gives out the reasons and remedies to deal with post-pregnancy hair loss and breakouts:
Reasons for Hair-loss
Hair-loss after delivery can happen due to many reasons. The main causative factor is hormonal withdrawal. Female hormones present during pregnancy are promoters of hair growth. After delivery, the withdrawal of these hormones takes around 4-6 months to be appreciated. This withdrawal correlates with the time of teething of the child leading to the popular belief that teething leads to hair loss in mother. Other causative factors which contribute to hair-loss in this period are excessive blood loss during delivery leading to iron deficiency, low calcium and vitamin D levels, poor nutrition, stress and lack of sleep.
Managing Postpartum hair-loss
If one wants to avoid hair-loss during postpartum period one has to be careful regarding nutrition level during pregnancy.
1. High protein and iron rich diet during pregnancy takes care of hair loss later.
2. Avoid crash dieting after delivery. Rapid weight loss leads to more hair loss.
3, Watch intake of water and proteins like egg whites, soya, milk( at least 2 glasses a day and more if lactating), sprouts, paneer, curd, almonds( at-least 5-6 soaked), walnut, figs, and dal.
4. Haldi or turmeric has hair growth properties and if taken the last thing at night in hot milk promotes hair growth.
5. Avoid chemical treatments like hair re-bonding and streaking as hair is already in shedding phase and would break more.
6. Excessive oil massages are also not good as they lead to breakage of already weak hair. Overnight oiling should be avoided, rather the application of warm oil like olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil 15-20 minutes before the head bath can act as good moisturizers for hair.
7. Excessive use of hot water for head bath is to be avoided.
8. Use mild shampoos and conditioners.
9. Avoid stress and lack of sleep as this can be a major cause of hair loss in post-delivery period.
10. Try to get as much rest as possible and time sleep pattern as per baby.
11. Watch serum hemoglobin and ferritin (iron storage protein) levels along with vitamin D-3.
Certain Do’s and Dont’s
- Skin also shows a lot of changes like acne breakouts due to hormonal changes and diet patterns.
- One must drink lots of water (at least 12-15 glasses per day) along with salads and fruits.
- Avoid fat rich and sugary diet. It will also promote skin lightening. The so-called pregnancy mask or melasma on the face can also improve with the good diet.
- Avoid heavy sun exposure like sitting in sun in winters and use good quality sunscreen while moving out. Acne can improve with anti-acne face wash and use of oil-free moisturizers.
- Use of cold water for face wash is recommended as hot water dries out skin leading to skin chapping. Avoid facials in acne. One can go for homemade masks. Regular grooming of skin along with proper sleep restores one’s self-confidence.
Pregnancy is a period of lots of skin and body changes and post-delivery one wants to enjoy the motherhood. Let’s make the skin and hair better with proper care and attention.
About the Author
Dr. Amitabh Singh is the founder of AadyantaLife and Bio-Energetic & Crystal Healer and Wellness Coach. He provides Alternative and Complementary Healing therapies to difficult ailments including Cancer. He specializes in Mindfulness Meditation Coaching for Corporate and Business Leaders. His thought-provoking Enlightening Lectures.