Post Pregnancy Hair Loss

The battle is real! It is one of those things everyone says happens but you don’t fully appreciate it until it happens to you, at least I didn’t. I have always had lots of hair, naturally thick and curly (and always wanted sleeker straight hair, isn’t that always the way), so when the post pregnancy hair loss warning came I didn’t really give it much thought. Then at around 4 months after baby E made his grand entrance my hair started making its limp exit.

It was more extreme than I expected. When I washed or brushed my hair it just came out by the handful, my scalp was also quite tender and I spent many a night complaining of ‘sore hair’ to Mr W (that is a thing, right?). I was so taken aback by the amount of hair that would come out during and after washing it that I had to show my parents when we visited them. To which my dad helpfully responded ‘Christ, is that normal?’ well yes dad, yes it is.

So over the next two months my hair continued its great escape and I started sporting the fetching look of two triangles, sparsely populated with hair by my temples. I also became obsessed with checking Baby E for little cheese wire-like devil hairs that may have sneaked onto him. My house took a good hit too, my hoover and shower plug groaned as they became engorged with the tangle of hair and my floors turned into the Wild West with a tumbleweed of hair balls.

While the only thing that is guaranteed to stop your hair falling is the floor, there are a few things I did to help take care of it while it worked its way through this difficult phase.

Hair Loss

I started taking an iron supplement each day. This may have helped, it may not but what it did do is give me the feeling that I was doing something to try and help. Stress can contribute to hair loss and even though I repeatedly said to everyone ‘it’s completely normal’, the hardest person I had to convince was myself. Taking an iron supplement each day made me feel a little more in control and feeling like I was doing something positive to help.

I invested in a Tangle Teaser hairbrush. This does seem more gentler than dragging my normal brush through my hair and while the hair obviously still came out it was less than the usual handfuls that had been making their new home on my old brush.

I made a conscious effort to be kinder to my hair. I didn’t tie it back so tightly and took more care when washing, brushing and straightening it and tried to give it a good break between washes. I also tried to nourish it, my long term favourite leave in conditioner is Vitapoint, an oldie but a goodie in my opinion.

Now at just over 7 months since giving birth my hair loss has slowed considerably, so I can now more convincingly say it is completely normal and it will stop! However, when those lovely locks do decide to take up residence in their custom made follicles it appears they decide to revert back to little wisps with a mind of their own…a whole new battle.


What was in my hospital bag?

Hospital BagTurns out it didn’t really matter.

I was that pregnant lady…I read all the hospital recommendations, scoured pregnancy blogs and gorged on YouTube ‘What’s in my hospital bag’ videos. I created list upon beautiful list of what I thought I needed and dragged my husband along to the shops to fully immerse him in the experience – because he really needs to experience the dilemma of which maternity pads to buy, right? I packed, unpacked and repacked more times than I care to admit and definitely more times than necessary.

Cut to 24 hours after I hobbled my way across the maternity hospital threshold, I set my weary eyes on my lovingly packed hospital bag for the first time.

You see my bag had never even made it into the hospital until then so it missed its big career defining moment. As we left our car we thought ‘let’s just get in and we can worry about the bags later’, what were we thinking! Well, what we actually thought was there was a good chance we will be sent home and if not Mr W can just pop out and get it. As it turned out once we were there we were in it for the long haul and the way my labour unfolded the only person I wanted ‘just popping out’ was Baby E.

So what was in the bag?

For Baby E

  • A selection of sleep suits and vests
  • A ‘going home’ outfit
  • A couple of hats
  • A cardigan
  • A few bibs & muslins
  • Nappies, cotton pads, Water Wipes, nappy bags, Bepanthen
  • A little teddy
  • A blanket

For Me

  • A couple of nightshirts (I even bought a Gownie!)
  • Cosy socks (many people assured me my feet would get cold)
  • Disposable maternity pants & normal pants (in a size fit for the occasion)
  • A couple of nursing bras
  • A vest top, yoga pants & cardigan for going home
  • Maternity pads & nursing pads
  • Lanolin nipple balm
  • Travel shower gel, facewash & deodorant, my normal moisturiser
  • Lip balm (another recommendation as your lips get dry using gas and air, this is very true)
  • A hairbrush, extra hair bobbles & dry shampoo
  • A can of Evian Face Mist (another recommendation, I cannot comment on its effectiveness for labour but I still have it and is very refreshing from time to time!)
  • Some boiled sweets (which I also still have, the expiry date is 2016 so maybe next time??)
  • My kindle (just in case I happened to get bored, ha!)

What would I change?

  • I would include some jammies I would normally wear for after the birth as I am more a trouser and t-shirt girl than a nightshirt wearing one
  • I would not bother with a Gownie, the hospital one was just fine and to be honest I was completely unaware of anyone wearing any form of clothing when things got going
  • I would not bother with the disposable maternity pants and just ensure I had lots of normal full brief ones, if they don’t get used in the traditional sense I can always use them as a makeshift baby sling
  • I would not bother with maternity pads, instead I would get stocked up on good old night time sanitary towels

So for all it was worth during the actual labour, that is what I lovingly packed in my hospital bag. My advice would be to pack what you want, having now done it I can assure you no one will be doing spot checks and scoring you out of 10 (if they had I would have got a big fat 0 for leaving it in the car).

Take what makes you feel happy, relaxed and prepared. So if that’s enough make up to shame an Avon lady or nothing but a bottle of Champagne, well…Cheers!

Let's Talk Mommy

What would I tell my pregnant self?

There are a few things I would tell myself with the benefit of that handy thing called hindsight if I could talk to my pregnant self.

Take time…

Take time for you and for that tiny little person you are growing. It is very easy, particularly in the beginning when it is not obvious you are pregnant, to let everyday life take over and you find yourself trying to keep going at the normal pace you would. Of course your life does not grind to a halt and you do not need to float around in a protective bubble just because you are pregnant. However, make a conscious effort to clamber into that bubble every so often and take some time out for yourself and to take some quiet moments to think and be really aware of your baby. As soon as I knew Baby E existed I instantly felt a bond was there and those first little flutters of movement through to the giant thumps towards the end of the pregnancy were little reminders as I plodded on through day to day life. Even though I did take time to think and be aware of my baby, I feel that Baby E has showed me what it really means to grow, produce and sustain a little life. Thanks to him I would be even more conscious of taking time to really appreciate it as I now know what it really means.

Take a record…

This links to why I have decided to create this blog. If I were to speak to my pregnant self I would tell her to stop what she is doing grab a camera and take that bump shot every week and grab that pen and paper and note how things are going. I obviously did not crawl into a darkened cave for nine months so do have a few photos of my growing bump but looking back I would love to have a record of its gradual progression. I also think it would be nice to have a record of how I was feeling and what was happening during my pregnancy. The good, the bad and even the ugly.

Take a massage…

So this seems a little frivolous compared to the other advice I would give myself but no matter how great your pregnancy is you will be tired and have aches and pains. In fact I think I will promise myself right now that if I were to become pregnant again I will get a pregnancy massage.

Take comfort..

Again this may seem fairly frivolous but finding a good bra could be a total game changer. When I was pregnant my main source of discomfort and at times outright pain, was my ribs and upper back. Now, I am happy to admit that even when pregnant I am not particularly blessed in the chest department so didn’t really put that much thought into it. I now know a good, comfy bra can go a long way to help with those aches and pains and would tell myself to get it sorted out sooner. I might even go crazy and suggest a fitting.