There are many changes mothers go through after giving birth. For every woman the changes are different. Some can be pleasant, like glowing skin, and for some others not so much. In my experience, the one change I found most daunting was the hair loss. In my panic, I did quite a bit of research and I was pleasantly reassured.
About three months after childbirth many mothers notice that a lot of their hair is falling out. During pregnancy less hair falls out and the hair is often thicker than usual. After childbirth, hormone levels change; many hairs stop growing and fall out about three months later. This hair loss is not caused by breastfeeding. This is a myth and weaning your baby will not help. Hair lost because of pregnancy will grow back to normal.
After-baby weight worries
Most women put on weight during pregnancy (more than just the baby and placenta), as this is nature’s way of making sure there is a good store of energy for making milk. Some do lose the extra weight over the months of breastfeeding. However, many women find it hard to get back to their previous weight. The best way is to avoid fatty, fried and sugary foods, have low-fat dairy products, lean meat, plenty of fruit and vegetables, bread and cereals. Cakes, biscuits, pastries and chocolate are high in fat, so go easy on the treats if you really want to lose weight.
It is possible to deliberately lose weight while breastfeeding without affecting the milk supply, but it needs to be gradual. Aim for about a half kilogramme a week. Avoid very restrictive or crash diets, which may affect your milk and will certainly lower your energy levels. You still need a healthy diet.
While other women are trying to lose the extra weight, some women have a different problem; they tend to lose weight while breastfeeding and can get very thin, although the baby usually grows well. These women need to make sure they have three good meals and snacks each day. Foods like cheese, nuts and full-cream yoghurt can help.
Be careful to build up exercise gradually, and avoid vigorous exercise. Have a balance of exercise and rest, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially if you’ve been sweating. Walking the baby is an ideal way to start being active after giving birth and usually puts the baby to sleep so you can get some rest too. As well as general exercise, you need to do some specific exercises to help your tummy muscles and pelvic floor get back their shape and strength.
Exercise, I have found, is a great way to get back into shape after your baby is born and also helps you feel good!