Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hair loss

My hair is falling out - yet another postpartum side effect. It's disgusting and Chuck gets in the shower after me and starts making Chewbacca noises when he sees all the hair that has fallen out of my head and landed in the shower.Here's the deal per BabyCenter:

Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of the hair on your head is growing and the other 5 to 15 percent is in a resting stage. After the resting period, this hair falls out — often while you're brushing or shampooing it — and is replaced by new growth. An average woman sheds about 100 hairs a day. During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage and fewer falling out each day, so you have thicker, more luxuriant tresses. After you give birth, your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon you'll have more hair coming out in the shower or on the brush. This unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about six to 12 months after you give birth. Note: Strands of hair can end up tightly wrapped around your baby's tiny appendages, including his fingers, toes, wrists, ankles, and penis. This is called a hair tourniquet, and it can be quite painful for your little one.

I can't imagine finding a hair wrapped around my baby's penis, but I guess it is possible. For now, I'm just trying to keep the hair out of my face, off my desk, out of my food, off my clothes, and generally in the trash.

6 comments:

Jess said...

I am STILL experiencing this. My favorite is the little baby hairs that start popping up everywhere making it impossible to tame your tresses.

Jennifer said...

That was the WORST side affect of being pregnant. Looking back, morning sickness was more tolerable then my hair falling out.

When I worked for GE, I went to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and there was a really old Radiologist who still taught residents. I was showing him some things on the PACS workstation and asked him to tell me about some of his most interesting cases. He told me about a girl that had been in the ICU as a baby/toddler. She was older now, and was having problems swallowing. They did some test and found a rubber band had worked it's way through her skin, eventually making it's way under the skin and that was occluding her esophagus. Apparently at the time she was in the ICU, they had used a rubber band to hold her breathing tube in place? Sounds crazy, but why would I question this man with so much medical history. I looked at him in disbelief and he told me that it happens all the time with babies with footie pj's. A little string gets wrapped around their toe and eventually works it's way through the skin. As for the little girl, they took her to surgery and were able to pull out the entire rubber band in one piece.

Theresa said...

Amazing!

The Potters said...

That is an interesting story from Jennifer! Crazy! As for the hair loss, I had it all in about a 3-day time period. When I was in the shower when Conley was about 6-months old, I had chunks, and I mean chunks, of hair coming out. It freaked me out. Now, I just have tiny little baby hairs all around my hair line. My hair dress assures me that my hair will be normal again one day. Ah, the joys of motherhood. I will say, though, that I'd take baby hairs over my expanding waistline anyday! :)

Joan said...

One small comment here - The white (gray) hair is thicker and stronger than the colored strands, at least on my head. And I still have the shedding thing going on and my baby is 13. (Okay - maybe two comments)

Emily said...

I feel ya. When I visited my parents at Christmas (after giving birth in March) my mom wouldn't let me in her kitchen b/c I was shedding everywhere. She lets her long-haired cats in the kitchen, but not Chewbacca Emily. :)