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The Dermatology Series: Hair Loss. Series 1 of 7

By Published On: January 9th, 2013

Unfortunately at least some hair loss is almost an inevitable process after delivery. Around the time that baby is a few weeks to a few months old, you will probably notice more hair on your comb, on the pillows and in the shower, and this can be very alarming and upsetting.

The process is perfectly normal though. This is the body’s delayed reaction to the stress of the delivery and the hormonal changes that are still ongoing . The good news is that for most women the duration of hair shedding is limited. Usually, within a few months, the excess hair loss will cease and your locks will begin to return to normal.
For some new Mums though , the increased hair loss (everyone loses some hair all of the time) persists for longer, or the amount that has already been lost has resulted in an overall scalp hair thinness that is noticeable and nature may not be filling in the blanks fast enough and might need a helping hand.

What you can do before getting pregnant

Most importantly, maintain good hair and scalp health. Seek advice if your scalp is excessively oily, itchy , you have severe dandruff or pimples. Do take supplements to maintain good hair, nail and skin. Your doctor may do some blood tests at any time to determine if there is a deficiency in the vitamins and minerals needed. Start on a suitable shampoo and a lotion to encourage hair growth that is deemed safe in pregnancy.
Also, as you embark on the great healthy diet that is such a good idea when you are preparing to conceive, many of the foods you will adding more of to your daily menu are actually as good for your hair as they are for the rest of your body.

For example, the advice is these days that women preparing to conceive, and expectant Mums, eat at least two servings of a fatty fish every week. Salmon is a popular choice because it can be prepared in so many different ways and is pretty delicious. it is also great hair food too though. Salmon is a great natural source of omega 3 fatty acids which are essential not only for the health of your hair but your body in general. Omega 3 fatty acids are powerful antioxidants and they protect hair from the everyday damage free radicals in the environment cause on a daily basis.
Other healthy foods that are great for your hair as well include spinach, nuts, whole grains and low fat dairy foods.

What you can do during pregnancy and while nursing

Hair growth actually generally improves during pregnancy and hair loss is not so much of an issue. Do however maintain on a suitable shampoo and a lotion to encourage hair growth and prevent hair fall that is deemed safe.

What you can do after nursing is completed

Minoxidil and similar topical medications can be applied to the scalp to improve hair growth, thickness and decrease fall. Oral medications can be used to thicken hairs on the scalp, and this should be discussed with your doctor for suitability. Devices that emit light or low level laser energy can be used in conjunction with other medications to maintain hair health. Surgery is an option for some women who want to thicken the hairs on the scalp if the hair loss that they have suffered during pregnancy was very excessive.