Today, I would like to share a few resources for mental health and crisis assistance. While that may seem like a depressing conversation for such a joyful holiday, I want to acknowledge that there are people who are struggling, and might be having a tougher time than usual because of it being a holiday.
All resources are geared towards Ottawa and Canada. If you need help, please don’t hesitate to either google your own city, or reach out to people who can help you.
You might notice that a pregnant person has especially lustrous and thick hair. This is because of the high levels of estrogen and increased blood volume; during the nine months of pregnant, normal hair loss just…doesn’t happen.
After the baby (or babies) is born, hormone levels and blood volume decrease dramatically, but in terms of hair loss, that doesn’t start happening until at least a couple days after the baby is born, and sometimes up to a couple of months!
But this re-start of regular hair loss doesn’t mean that they’ll go back to the normal amount of hair loss – there are nine months of no (or low) hair loss to make up for! The walls of the shower, the pillow, the hair brush – it starts to feel a little scary to see the massive quantities of hair being lost, especially if you weren’t aware of the phenomenon.
One of the ways to help mitigate is to get a short haircut.
(This has the added benefit of not getting your hair in baby burp-up, because no matter how chill your baby is and how little they burp-up, they still will occasionally, and if you have long hair, it WILL get in it.)
With my first child, I wore my hair in a ponytail until she was 4 months old. (And even then, I occasionally got my hair stuck in a sticky wet mess on my shoulder.) At that time, I read an article about a baby that had almost lost a toe because one of the mother’s long hairs had wrapped around the toe inside the sock.
So I chopped off my hair. Better not to risk it. And I deeply regretted not getting it cut earlier. It was so much easier to deal with!
Now, with my second child, I cut it off just before he turned 1 month. I’m barely noticing the hair loss (at 2 months, it is still possible that it hasn’t reached maximum loss yet) but compared to when I had long hair, I doubt I will notice unless it starts falling out in clumps.
Longer hair definitely makes the hair loss seem more extreme.
Shorter hair also reduced the amount of stress on your hair follicles. Less weight, less brushing, and fewer forceful hair styles (pony tails, braids, etc) means less hair loss.
There are cases of extreme hair loss – large patches of missing hair, higher levels of hair loss for more than a year – and in those cases, see a doctor. It could be related to a hormone imbalance or a vitamin deficiency.
There are things you can do to help lessen hair loss other than chopping your hair off. Diet, supplements, reducing stress, and modifying hair care routines can all help. See the references for more details.
Rather than pull a question from the bank, I thought I would do some research on a topic that I’ve been thinking about A LOT recently, because I’m freaking out about it a bit. What am I going to do about my first period after the baby comes?
Let me explain why this has become such a big deal in my head: I have exclusively used a Diva Cup for over 8 years now. I don’t remember what it was like to use a pad, other than “ick, uncomfortable!” and I really don’t want to revert back to disposable methods.
What is a Diva Cup?
My dad asked me this the other day, and I didn’t have time to answer because my sister came down the stairs, and then I forgot about it. Pregnancy brain. A Diva Cup is a reusable cup that is inserted into the vagina to collect discarded menstrual fluid. There are many types of menstrual cups (Moon Cup, Luna Cup, etc) available for purchase, if you know where to look, but the Diva Cup is probably the most easily accessible at the time of this post in Ottawa, Canada. They have it in Shoppers now! I get incredibly excited when I see them on the shelves, even though I don’t need a replacement (or anything at all at the moment), because it means that they can be accessed by everyone.
Why can’t you use a Diva Cup after giving birth?
For the same reason that tampons can’t be used after giving birth – and this goes for any type of delivery. The uterus (and vagina) need time to heal. Using an internal menstrual product can cause infections. (And you probably don’t want to put something inside the vagina after pushing out a watermelon-sized baby, if you chose to deliver vaginally, but that’s apparently besides the point.)
This first “period” is not actually a period, it is postpartum bleeding, and is a combination of blood, tissue from the uterine lining, and bacteria. It lasts for up to 6 weeks, and starts out as bright red, but transitions to pale pink or dark red, and finally to a yellowish or light colour.
So what is your solution?
In my case, because I don’t want to go back to disposable pads (for good reason, imho), although the natural pads don’t seem too bad, I bought some reusable pads from Crafty What-Knots. They arrived on Monday, and I’m rather excited about them. I wish I had thought of the fact that I would need to wear pads BEFORE we got pregnant, so that I could try these out (and get used to the idea of wearing a pad again) on my last period, without the added complication of delivery, but I didn’t. Look at the picture! Didn’t she choose great patterns for me?? I will write a review on them once I use them in September (or maybe August – one never knows with babies, right?) I requested two different sizes – right after delivery, so they are extra long; and regular. I will be getting reusable liners from Terra 20 this summer.
Have a question about reusable menstrual cups? Have any experience with postpartum bleeding you wish you share? Drop me a email, or post a comment here or on the Facebook post!