Q&A: My Hair Is Falling Out!by Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.
Q I have a 7 month old baby boy. I read that I would lose some of my hair in the months following childbirth, but I seem to lose about a handful every day. Is this normal and if so, how long will it continue to fall out?
A I know that this can be an alarming occurrence, but you may actually be going through a normal process.
The hormonal changes in pregnancy create numerous changes in a woman's body. There will be weight gain, swelling, skin pigmentation changes, and changes in hair growth.
Human hair goes through natural cycles. There is the "anagen" or growth phase, and there is the "telogen" or resting phase. The increased amount of estrogen in pregnancy stimulates an increase in the amount of hairs in the growth phase. After the delivery, there are more hairs in the resting phase and less in the growth phase, which can lead to hair loss.
This loss usually begins about 1 to 4 months after the delivery, and it can be quite dramatic for some women. Most women will resume their normal hair growth cycle between 6 to 12 months postpartum, at which time their hair loss should resolve.
If your hair loss has not improved by the time your baby is one year old, or if you feel that your hair loss is excessive, you should probably see your physician. Sometimes there may be an underlying hormonal abnormality, such as thyroid problems, or pituitary gland problems. However, these are rare conditions and most women with pregnancy related hair loss will improve on their own.
Bradley G. Goldberg, M.D.
Coffee Women's Center, P.C.
Click here to Ask Dr. Goldberg your pregnancy questions.
Dr. Bradley G Goldberg is a specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Goldberg is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Goldberg is Chief of Staff of Coffee Regional Medical Center. Currently, he is serving as Director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and he is the Chairman of the Perinatal Committee. Dr. Goldberg graduated from the University of Florida in 1989 as a member of The Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He received his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta.
Dr. Goldberg is a contributing author to OBGYN.net, the largest women's health site on the Internet. In addition, Dr. Goldberg is the author of an article on "Urethral Carcinoma," which is in press with the Journal of Urology, and he co-produced an instructional video on Norplant removal that he presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Dr. Goldberg is a member of the American Medical Association, The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, The Medical Association of Georgia, and The Atlanta Medical Association. Dr. Goldberg's wife Kimberly is a pediatric nurse. Together, they enjoy traveling and spending time with their family.
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