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Postpartum alopecia and alopecia during pregnancy
Most pregnant women notice a significant improvement in their condition. This is the effect of significant growth estrogen levels in their body - female sex hormones inhibit the process of hair loss (hair is stopped in the anagen phase) and maintain their continuous growth. The positive effect of estrogens is already noticeable in the first trimester and increases with the duration of pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the postpartum period is associated with a significant and rapid decrease in estrogen. Hence, about 2-3 months after dissolution, the hair development cycle is released and a dense hairstyle from the period of pregnancy can be significantly thinned (up to 50%). We call this phenomenon postpartum alopecia and it can last up to 6 months.
A separate topic is emerging baldness already during pregnancy. This is a much rarer phenomenon. There may be many reasons for this. We will try to discuss some of them later in our article.
Alopecia during pregnancy - causes
For some women, the process of baldness can start as early as during pregnancy. The reasons for this state of affairs include:
- Nutritional deficiencies - estrogens secreted during pregnancy strongly stimulate hair development. However, this process cannot take place when a pregnant woman suffers from various deficiencies in particular nutrients. Deficiencies in calories and vitamins (especially those from group B) should be mentioned here. Also worth noting, estrogens are steroid hormones, and therefore require adequate fat intake for their synthesis.
- Stress and sleep deprivation - these factors adversely affect the course of pregnancy itself. They can also induce excessive hair loss. This is due to, inter alia, an increase in the concentration of cortisol (the so-called stress hormone) and a negative effect on other hormonal axes of the body.
- Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism - thyroid hormones affect the functioning of the whole body. One of the effects of disorders of their economy is excessive hair loss during and after pregnancy. An unrecognized hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism in a pregnant woman is a threat to the life and health of her unborn child.
- Chronic infections, injuries, hospitalizations and the need for surgical interventions. These conditions overload the pregnant body and affect its hormonal balance. As a consequence, this can lead to hair loss.
How to prevent baldness occurring during pregnancy?
A proper diet, taking care of your good health and avoiding excessive stress can in many cases protect pregnant women against baldness. Thus, future mothers should remember that their menu was very rich in products containing large amounts of zinc, iron, antioxidants and vitamins of groups B, C and E. These ingredients can be found, among others, in raw vegetables and fruits. Care for sleep hygiene is also important in the treatment and prevention of baldness. The right length of sleep and the time of falling asleep and waking up are important. Take care of your daily dose of physical activity in the fresh air.
Alopecia in pregnancy is usually temporary and disappears after a few months after termination. In his treatment and prevention, the biggest role is played by lifestyle changes and paying more attention to your health.