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Most common questions on postpartum hair and skin problems

Most New Mothers complain of hair fall during the postpartum period. It's the last thing she wants to worry about. So, how to handle this during postpartum?

There is a saying in Indian culture that “if the baby starts looking at the mother, the mother starts losing her hair”. This is scientific because it takes around 3 months for the baby’s gaze to come to focus, till then the baby cannot really focus on something and the distance that a baby can see is also less.

And this is actually the time when your hair starts falling during your postpartum period. Do not worry, your hair will be just fine and it will be back. It is a good sign that your hair fall has started, it means that your hair has started the recycling process.

What happens during the pregnancy is, as the body is busy working and working hard for the growing baby inside the womb, the body decides to halt the growth of hair and nails. What happens is, the hair does not fall as it used to before, so it appears to be thick during pregnancy. The hair basically goes into the resting phase.

And after 3 months of childbirth, all this hair that was in the resting phase starts to fall off to give space for the new hair to grow.

The rate at which your hair will grow is 1cm per month and it takes a few months or almost a year to be able to get proper thickness for your hair.

Meanwhile, if there are other issues like lack of sleep, improper nutrition, stress, anxiety, then it can hamper hair growth. There could be many reasons for this but you should know that you have to take care of yourself and prioritize your health.

There are so many changes in the skin post-delivery, hypersensitivity, acne, puffy eyes, stretch marks, itchy skin, patches. Not every woman has all these but they might have it as well, why does it happen, this might cause worry in some of us. Is it something to worry about and when should we consult a Doctor?

The saying that “it takes a village to raise a child” is actually true. You cannot take care of the baby alone, you have to seek help.

During the initial days, if you are a breastfeeding mother, a hormone is released that will make both mother and the baby sleepy during the breastfeeding sessions. You have to take that rest whenever you can.

If you are not resting well, not taking nutritious food, the effects can show up on your skin. You have to take your postnatal supplements as prescribed.

Sometimes even after you do everything right, you may look tired, you should know that, while you breastfeed, nature always nourishes the baby and takes it away from the mother.

Skin is the reflection of your health. If there is an imbalance in your body, the skin reflects it and you have to notice such changes in your body.

Make sure to take your fluids properly and stay hydrated. If you are having an iron deficiency, this can also show up as dark circles. One simple way to know this is if you have started bathing your baby within 1 and 1 ½ months and you are getting breathless, then you are iron deprived because lifting your baby should not make you breathless.

Acne - depends on the skin type of an individual. Some women have a smooth pregnancy, but some women have acne issues during pregnancy that can continue during postpartum as well.

Having a good skincare routine, oil control face wash, eating a nutritious diet can help you in this. Do not self-medicate yourself, consult a dermatologist, get it treated the right way.

Commercial soaps - you can use mild hypoallergenic soaps, without sulfate and parabens.

Dermatologists do not recommend using a scrub powder like besan or other homemade powders for babies, as this can cause friction while rubbing the scrub powder on the skin, and it can lead to pigmentation in the long run.

Also, avoid the usage of loofas or other body scrubbers as they can be too rough for your skin. Use your fingertips to scrub your body as nothing can replace the softness of your skin.

Melasma - is a pigmentation that appears during hormonal changes in the body. Once the pigmentation appears, it does not go away. During pregnancy, it is called chloasma. This happens mainly due to hormonal changes and this can aggravate when skin is exposed to heat.

The heat is not just being out in the sun, it can also be caused by the heat waves while cooking, sun rays through window panes, not covering your face while stepping out in the sun during peak hours.

Use sunscreen even at home, and every 3 hours when you are out. For prevention, make use of sunscreens, apply them 30 mins before you go out, wear nice big sunglasses. Include vitamin C-based fruits and vegetables in your diet.

There are two types of sunscreens - physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens are safer than chemical ones as they do not get absorbed by the skin. Look for non-comedogenic skincare products.

Skin tags with gestational diabetes - skin tags have a tendency to increase during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and they won't cause any harm. Once they are there, they cannot be removed by any creams, they have to be removed by following a simple procedure.

Removal of skin tag is not recommended during pregnancy and can be done after childbirth. Skin tags do have a relation with gestational diabetes, when you are getting skin tags you can also notice darker underarms, you can also see a black thick line at the back of your neck, the inner region of the thighs is slightly darker and thicker.

This is the first sign the body shows that you are insulin resistant. You have to listen to your body and have a watch on your diet, exercise regularly, practice yoga, and be physically active.

Take away

  1. Skin is the reflection of our health. Any new changes on your skin mean there is something your body is trying to tell you.

  2. Follow your traditional food and include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. The pregnancy and the postpartum period is when you have to include a healthy and nutritious diet.

  3. Change of hormones behaves differently in every woman. So, do not compare yourself with others. Every individual’s treatment will differ.

  4. Rest well during your postpartum period. Ask help wherever needed. Do not overload yourself with work, this is the time to rest well so that your body is able to heal itself. Join support groups on social media.

  5. If you have tried any home remedies and nothing seems to work, then do not hesitate to call your doctor.

There are many changes that your body goes through during pregnancy and the postpartum period, but your body has the ability to cope up. All you have to do is listen to your body!

Take care mommies!


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