It isn’t easy being a new mom. The new responsibilities and routines (or lack thereof) of motherhood can be overwhelming. Chronic sleep-deprivation and a body recovering from pregnancy and childbirth while also producing wildly fluctuating hormones don’t help matters. This hormonal whiplash manifests itself in several physical and emotional ways, and for many women, that includes unwelcome and unexpected hair loss.
Also called postpartum alopecia, hair loss after childbirth is a common phenomenon. Up to 90 percent of new moms experience some degree of hair loss three to five months after giving birth, and many women experience excessive shedding, even hair falling out in clumps, during that time.
While postpartum hair loss is almost always temporary, some new mothers have underlying, chronic hair loss problems as well and may be considering a hair transplant. While hair transplants are a safe, proven, and effective way of addressing hair loss in women, undergoing such a procedure in the child’s first year, especially if that child is breastfeeding, is not advised.
Why Does Postpartum Hair Loss Happen?
Many pregnant women feel that their hair seems thicker and fuller than it did before their pregnancy. That’s due to elevated estrogen levels that increase the percentage of hairs in each growth cycle, while simultaneously freezing follicles that are in the resting phase of hair growth. But estrogen levels fall dramatically after childbirth, and all the hair that was thriving starts to fall out. While we all shed hair regularly, at a rate of about 80 hairs per day, the extent of postpartum shedding can raise that number to closer to 400 hairs each day.
This increase in shedding, and the chances of postpartum hair loss eventually resolving itself on own, is part of the reason that new mothers should wait before they consider hair transplant surgery. With your hormones and your hair follicles so much in flux, it can be difficult for your hair transplant surgeon to determine the optimal locations for the extraction and transplantation of follicles. This lowers the chances of achieving the desired result.
More critically, breastfeeding moms should wait until their child is weaned before undergoing a hair transplant. The procedure is a surgical one, which means that medications will be ingested during and after the surgery to address pain and assist in healing. These medications, like all medications taken while a child is breastfeeding, could wind up in breast milk.
While you may not be able to stop postpartum hair loss during these first months after childbirth, changing up your hairstyle and keeping your stress levels under control can help you ride out this temporary condition. Just as life slowly returns to a new normal as the months go by after having a baby, so too will your hair.
Call the Miami Hair & Skin Institute Today If You Have Hair Loss Questions
While most postpartum hair loss is temporary, not all hair loss problems are. If you are concerned about or are experiencing hair loss and want to know what you can do about it, please contact the Miami Hair & Institute. Our world-renowned physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases through advanced hair restoration surgery techniques and alternative non-invasive treatments.
To receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.