Hair loss and breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have never had fabulously thick hair, or even a normal amount of hair. My hair now is thinner than my 65 year old father's hair!

My hair started falling out at about 10 months PP, and it's still falling out in hand fulls at almost 17 months. I can see scalp everywhere and it's horrible I am taking prenatal vitamins, and everything and it's still looking like I will be totally bald in a year at this rate.

I have some hair coming in, but it's not coming in fast enough to replace what's going out. I do have an extremely mild thyroid situation that I am taking .025 Synthroid for, but my levels are great now.

Have any of you noticed a continuous postpartum shed throughout breastfeeding?

Does it come back?!

HELP!!!!
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#2 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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It has nothingto do with breastfeeding. Your hair became think because of pregnancy hormones. Now they are gone and your "extra hair" is falling out. Mine started at 3-4 months. It was so pronounced. I remember my pillowcase and sheets being covered and having to clean the drain during the shower and then again after the shower. I found a scalp massage before the shower and a good conditioner kept what was left looking good.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#3 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not talking about the extra hair that I grew during pregnancy, my hair is twice as thin as it was before I got pregnant!

Sure, my hair was lovely when I was pregnant, but I knew it would be temporary.

I certainly wasn't near bald before I was pregnant!
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#4 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:25 PM
 
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I had a lot of hair loss from about3-7 mths. It was pretty painful for me to see since I've also lost a lot of hair compared to what I had until my early 20's. It should level out at some point and stop. Although I don't know anything about thyroid conditions and how that would affect your hair.

Leslie, mama to Paige 8, Zara 3 and Audrey, Sophia & Nina June 7/11 @32.6
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#5 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This started long after the 3 month postpartum shed, that was all of the 'extra' hair, then the shedding went back to normal. The massive shed started about 10 months postpartum.

ANyone experience shedding after 10 months?
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#6 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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Have you talked with a doctor about this? I don't think that sounds normal for either postpartum or breastfeeding.

*** DH (wed 5/03), DD (6/07), and DS (8/11)
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#7 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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That sounds like more than any usual post-partum shed to me. 17 months? And you can see scalp? I'd say you should get that checked out, blood levels other than thyroid may need checking.

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#8 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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You may want to talk to your doctor about it just to see what's going on. The "normal" postpartum hair loss that happens for women who are not breastfeeding around 3mos can be delayed for women who do breastfeed and it can be rather dramatic to the point where you do see the scalp. Hormones can do that without something else going on, but since you already have a diagnosed thyroid condition, you may just want to get that investigated further. It can also be attributable to iron deficiency anemia or some other nutritional deficiency, so you should make sure you're eating well and getting enough rest. For me the hair loss (which was extremely dramatic to the point where I did see my scalp and basically gave myself a buzz cut so I didn't have to deal with the shedding hair any more) was a combination of the hormone shift, a crashing thyroid, and iron deficiency. It's taken a while to get it all straightened out, but my hair is finally becoming healthy and strong again. While it is still short, it's thicker than it was pre-pregnancy even (but I was iron deficient then as well).
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#9 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did see my doctor, and he said it's just a postpartum thing right - at one year + postpartum! He's of a mind that it takes the body 2 years or so to fully recover from childbirth. He sent me to a dermatologist, and all he had to say was "Try Rogaine" :

Other than cut my hair super short, I'm not sure what to do. Thyroid is fine, I've always had low iron, but I take Floravit, fish oil, Biotin, multivitamins, non-sls shampoos, it's really upsetting!!
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#10 of 16 Old 08-03-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dianna11 View Post
I did see my doctor, and he said it's just a postpartum thing right - at one year + postpartum! He's of a mind that it takes the body 2 years or so to fully recover from childbirth. He sent me to a dermatologist, and all he had to say was "Try Rogaine" :

Other than cut my hair super short, I'm not sure what to do. Thyroid is fine, I've always had low iron, but I take Floravit, fish oil, Biotin, multivitamins, non-sls shampoos, it's really upsetting!!
(((HUGS))) I know, it IS really upsetting!! I've gone through this with both my daughter (who's almost 7.5yo) and now my son who just turned 3. Alas, I agree with your doctor that the postpartum period for some of us really is 2 years which is why the recommendation is that women not get pregnant for two years after the birth of a child. Growing a baby is hard work and can deplete our bodies. My hair is just now coming back and starting to look healthy and my son just turned 3yo three weeks ago. My kids are 4.5 years apart and, while I admit my body was taxed with 4 pregnancy losses between the two of them, I didn't think I would go through the hair loss thing as dramatically as I did the first time around.

The thing that really helped me was that I had watched my shrink lose almost all of her hair after her second child many years previously. I mean, I could see her scalp and she cut her hair very very short to the point where I wondered if she were very ill and I gently inquired and she explained that it was a postpartum hormonal crash (I think her baby was about 9 or 10 months old at the time).

I wish I had an easy solution or answer for you, but all I can do is commiserate. My body was totally depleted by pregnancy (and maybe breastfeeding too since I've been pregnant and/or breastfeeding since June 2001 now as my 3yo is going strong and my daughter nursed until she was 4 at which point I was 20w pregnant with my son) and I've had several IV iron infusions, I have to mega-dose vitamin D (50,000 IU 3x/wk), etc. and to watch my hair fall out and basically leave me bald while trying to manage a normal life, take care of my kids (and, hey, did I mention how TIRED I am??) ... doesn't feel good.

The hair does grow back, but it takes time. And, I know, it doesn't grow back fast enough and it's hard to feel good about it. But it'll be okay when all is said and done.

I'm so sorry!
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#11 of 16 Old 08-04-2009, 08:56 AM
 
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I'm sorry you are dealing with this too, it is awful! I had the same thing happen and it was separate from the PP shed at 3-4 months.
I was also taking iron supplements because I've always been slightly or more anemic.
However, at the time my hair started falling out like that, I had regular bloodwork done at the family doc and my iron stores were so low that the lab called my doc as an urgent report.
I had to go to a hematologist because supplements did not increase them enough and he started IV iron every week along with some bags of IV vitamins!
I guess it's now about 11 months later and I'm still taking IV iron, just once a month now.
He said my stores just got very depleted during pregnancy and breastfeeding and that combined with my menstrual cycle returning made it severe.

My hair started growing back after only about a month and it was wonderful!
Of course, now I'm pg again so the PP shed will happen but at least my iron is monitored this time and I will not have the other hair loss.

HTH,

Deb

Deb, Mom to Madeleine 8/2005 and Maia 11/2009 Nick: and Chris
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#12 of 16 Old 08-04-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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My hair is falling out too. Right now, I have more hair on one side than the other. My little one is 10 months. I think I began to notice it falling out a month or so ago....I HOPE I do not ever see scalp - that will suck.:
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#13 of 16 Old 08-05-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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I see that you have said your thyroid is fine but I would make sure that all of teh thyroid tests have been run. Sometimes Docs rely on just a TSH when they may need to run other panels. This is definitely a symptom of thyroid issues. You may be on too much synthroid. I would speak with an endocrinologist not just a family MD.
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#14 of 16 Old 08-17-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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I can relate; I noticed something similar going on after my second was born, and it never seemed to even out and return to that normal "pre-pregnancy" state. My eyebrows were falling out, my eyelashes were puny. I recalled my grandmother praising the benefits of molasses (she was a nutritionist and home ec teacher!) and decided to try taking 1 or 2 tablespoons a day, and I soon noticed that my eyebrows and lashes started growing back in. During my third pregnancy, which was twins, I daily took a cup of molasses "tea" which was just boiling water in a cup with a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses. I like "Plantation" brand unsulphured blackstrap, I found it at whole foods. It has 20% vite A, 20% iron and 20% calcium requirements. I feel a big energy difference when I do this.

Aside from this suggestion (which I've just started again, as I currently have no eyebrows and am have nursing 17mo old twins who are only just getting interested in solids -- sigh), I might add that you could consider giving homeopathy a shot. Find one who has worked with women in childbearing years, or even check out the books by noted homeopath Miranda Castro, which she wrote especially for women who are pregnant, childbearing, nursing etc as well as a lot on the benefits of homeopathy for kids...

Hang in there! I know, it is hard..you're taking care of everybody else full-time and so much of yourself can fall by the wayside -- it would be nice if our hair at least behaved.

~weegift333, SAHM to abc, 03/03/03; irc, 03/18/06; ccc, 03/17/08 & mcc, 03/17/08
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#15 of 16 Old 08-17-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DWAXSMOM View Post
I see that you have said your thyroid is fine but I would make sure that all of teh thyroid tests have been run. Sometimes Docs rely on just a TSH when they may need to run other panels. This is definitely a symptom of thyroid issues. You may be on too much synthroid. I would speak with an endocrinologist not just a family MD.
Totally agree with this - but I would go to a different doctor too, take all your medical records to get a second look.
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#16 of 16 Old 08-18-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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Hi All,

I hope this will be helpful to you all - I work for a hair awareness campaign in Ireland and have spoken to many women about this.

Firstly, PP - Our progesterone hormones rise during pregnancy which keeps the hair growing for longer, but after delivery, the progesterone hormones return to normal levels. So the hair that you would have lost naturally during pregnancy can do so all at once.

This hair loss tends to peak between three and four months after delivery, as the hair follicles rejuvenate themselves – your normal rate of hair growth generally returns to normal within six to twelve months. If you feel it’s getting worse after this time and your GP hasn't been helpful - seek out a Trichologist in your area, who can conduct tests to establish if there is something else contributing to the problem.

If you are stressed, have a thyroid condition or your anemic this too can cause hair loss - http://www.managethinninghair.ie can help you understand the different types of hair loss and their causes. Hope this helps.
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