New baby in your life? Finding your hair actually falling out at a rapid pace? Before you freak out, let me tell you a little story.
Several years ago we got a puppy after years of hearing our kids beg and plead for a dog. We were smitten with fluffy dogs that look like huskies or chows, but had a tiny house, a tiny yard, and a small budget. So we went with a small dog that looks like a miniature version of the larger dogs we loved. Pomeranians stole our heart, and we picked out a cute puppy from a breeder and we waited for her weaning time to come so we could welcome her into our family. (See above photo...could you resist?)
Finally the week came for us to get her, and out she came in all her fluffy adorableness. We loved her immediately, but she was a little different color than her online profile (shocker, I know). They brought out her prizewinning daddy in all his fluffy glory. He was a show dog--and it showed. J But his coloring was very different than our little pup, so I asked to see what her mama looked like. “Um…hmmm. I’m not sure if we can get her,“ replied the breeder. She disappeared for a few minutes and appeared with the mother and put her down in front of us.
The mother of our beautiful pup was shrunken, her belly skimmed the ground with the effects of nursing pups and gravity, and she lilted to the side a bit when she walked. But mostly we noticed her coat. The coat that matched the color of our pup. However, instead of newborn puppy fluff, she had a scraggly patchy outer coat, and a mostly missing undercoat (part of what gives Poms their fluffiness). She looked like she had been run through a washing machine and then wrung out to dry, now missing much of her hair. It was a sad experience, especially compared with the 'show dog' father.
Why do I share this? Because this is a dog who had recently whelped. Yep, whelped. That is what they call it when dogs give birth to a litter of pups. Whelping. Doesn’t it sound glamourous? Not surprisingly the first thing I thought of was my postpartum mom clients--and myself!
We don’t look our best after we have ‘whelped’ either. We are a little saggy, we are feeling the effects of gravity on parts that we didn’t even used to notice, and then there is our hair. Yes, our beautiful pregnancy hair which didn’t fall out, was thick and lustrous, and generally made us feel attractive begins to leave us.
Sometimes in chunks. With full brushes, clogged shower drains, and sweater backs covered in our shedding, we start to lose the luster around month 3. And we keep losing it.
For 3 months.
Then our hormones shift and mellow out a bit, and the hair. Stops. Falling. Out.
When our lustrous hair returns (which varies considerably depending on what we started with) we are usually too focused on watching our babies roll, sit, crawl, make messes with solids--and generally keep us working to find new ways to make them smile and belly laugh--to even notice much.
But it does happen. I can’t promise this to everyone because I have had a couple moms (over the 1000 moms we have served) that didn’t regain hair and actually had some more permanent hair loss. But 2-3 moms over 1000 is not unusual in terms of some outliers, right?
Why do I tell you this story? Because I want you to know that it probably will happen. Some of you have so much hair that losing some will be a relief. But many of you will worry that your hair loss will remain, which most likely isn’t the case. And many of you will feel like you look like that mother of our pup, her whelping state not her ‘best look’.
Because you will get back to your hair. And your confidence. But like many things in mothering, it will take some time. It’s ok to focus on other things until you start to embody your radiant new mama self.
So take heart, mamas who are feeling saggy bellied, sparse-haired and generally worn out. This is not your show season, but it will return! And what a fantastic brag piece you have with that adorable baby you made in that body of yours.