7. Hair Loss
After delivery, you may notice excessive hair loss. Do not panic, as this is normal.
During pregnancy, most women will have a massive mane of hair due to hormonal changes in the body that cause more hair follicles to be in the active growth phase than normal.
But soon after childbirth, a sharp decline in the estrogen level in the body sends more hair follicles into a terminal stage. This leads to excessive hair loss and thinning of scalp hair, which affects between 40 and 50 percent of women.
However, like most changes related to pregnancy and childbirth, it is temporary. The hair-loss period typically occurs within five months after the baby is born, and usually resolves within 15 months.
To fight hair loss after delivery and enjoy healthy and strong hair again, you must:
- Avoid pigtails, braids and any tight hairstyles that cause excessive pulling.
- Follow a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which contain flavonoids and antioxidants. Consult your doctor about supplementing your diet with vitamin B complex, biotin, vitamin E and zinc.
- Use shampoos and conditioners that contain biotin and silica.
- Do not comb or brush your hair when it’s wet.
- Avoid using blow dryers and other heated hair instruments.
8. Hemorrhoids and Constipation
The ongoing hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy and the postpartum period can slow down the gastrointestinal system and cause constipation. Also, pain medications prescribed for new moms can affect the digestive system and lead to constipation.
In addition, women who have hemorrhoids or tears during delivery can find it very difficult to have normal bowel movements, ultimately causing constipation.
To fight constipation, you can take a stool softener and eat foods rich in fiber content. Drinking warm liquids each morning can also help.
Not just constipation, childbirth can stress your rectum and cause hemorrhoids as well. A hemorrhoid is a painful swelling of a vein in the rectum that can cause intense pain, rectal itching, bleeding after a bowel movement and swelling in the area around the anus.
You can try a sitz bath, 2 to 4 times a day, to help hemorrhoids shrink. Applying witch hazel to the hemorrhoids can also help and try to sit on a pillow or waffle cushion to relieve pressure on the rectum. Sitting in a rocking chair or recliner may also provide relief.