does anyone know if breastfeeding is linked to hair loss?

Claire - posted on 04/15/2010 ( 154 moms have responded )

4

48

0

im 26 and im breastfeeding my 4month old son ive noticed my hair is falling out all over ive been to doctor and had blood tests which have come back clear the doctor reckons it could be my breast feeding causing the hair loss has anyone else heard of this please help xxxx

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jessie - posted on 04/15/2010

722

60

54

absolutely not! even my hair dresser warned me about hair falling out after women give birth. it isnt caused by breastfeeding. it happened to my bestfriend and to me. i breastfed, she did not. from about 3 months to 6 months I lost lots of hair. it's all to due with hormones in your body after having a baby. a lot of women get thicker hair during pregnancy right? so why wouldnt the opposite be true AFTER pregnancy. As horrible as it seems (it freaked me out) it will stop! I seriously started taking my lint roller to my floors before vaccumming (GROSS) because I was afraid all my hair would plug it up. I'm 24 but i doubt age matters

Jamie - posted on 04/15/2010

134

2

19

When you give birth your estrogen drops pretty dramatically and all the hair that hasn't fallen out when you were pregnant (because of the hormones) is now falling out... Many women also have skin break outs. This typically happens three or four months after you have your baby. It has nothing to do with breastfeeding unless you're not getting enough vitamins in your daily diet. You should continue your prenatals after you give birth to ensure you're getting the right vitamins.

Marie - posted on 04/16/2010

1

0

0

no its not breast feeding its just what happens sometimes not even sure it happens to every one... but it happened to me and my sis. i used to lose lots of hair in the shower before i was preg then it stopped when i was about 4 months preg and my hair got really thick, then started falling out again with a vengence when little one was about 4 months old! its calmed down now, and i can see where the new hair is growing back. so don't worry x

April - posted on 04/15/2010

29

5

1

When you are pregnant, your hormones work to slow down the 'refresh rate' of your body, meaning you hold onto your hair longer (which is why so many pregnant ladies look the picture of health-- full lovely hair, rosy complexion, long fingernails etc...) and then after the baby has departed the womb, there begins the hormone drop off. The first 'crash' is immediate, and often associated with post-natal depression. But then there is the second wave, where your body is attempting to reset to a non-pregnant you-- hormones rage and leave you sometimes spotty with acne (such as I was) and copious loss of hair! I did not have bald spots as such, but you would not believe the volume of hair I lost-- my hair felt thin and brittle. This was at its peek around 3-4 months, right about where you are now. By about 6 months, it seemed to me my hair was filling out again, but to date it has never been as thick as before pregnancy and it is now baby fine to boot. Oh and I did breastfeed on demand for the first year and as part of a mixed diet until 18 months. I saw no difference from the bf before or after so I ma inclined to say it is nothing to do with it. Best of luck to you and hang in there! ~April

Amanda - posted on 04/16/2010

53

22

0

I've never heard of losing hair having anything to do with BFing. Many women lose quite a lot of hair after their baby is born however. This is because many women's hair follicals skip their rest period durring pregnancy. people lose 100 hairs off their head per day on average but durring pregnancy some women hardly shed any hair at all so once the baby is born a whole bunch of the follicles have a rest period all at once so a lot of hair falls out then. HTH

This conversation has been closed to further comments

154 Comments

View replies by

Connie - posted on 04/19/2010

36

7

2

i don't have time to read all the posts, so i'm sure i may be repeating some things. i have experienced that too. in part it's from your hormones readjusting to not being pregnant anymore. the only way it could be related to bf (imo) is that your body is using your vits and minerals to produce milk and keeping up with and continuing your prenatal vitamins will keep your nutrients up.

Connie - posted on 04/19/2010

36

7

2

i don't have time to read all the posts, so i'm sure i may be repeating some things. i have experienced that too. in part it's from your hormones readjusting to not being pregnant anymore. the only way it could be related to bf (imo) is that your body is using your vits and minerals to produce milk and keeping up with and continuing your prenatal vitamins will keep your nutrients up.

[deleted account]

I am losing handfulls of hair! I did it with my first child as well. It's perfectly normal and will slack off then stop soon. I had almost bald patches all around my head last time, but my other hair covered it up. My doctor told me it had to do with my horomones balancing out

Dena - posted on 04/19/2010

56

43

1

My doctor said your hair grows so much while you're pregnant that you tend to lose it during and after pregnancy. Make sure you eat about 300 extra calories a day while breastfeeding and make those calories count (milk and other high protein items) & that should help. It's just changes in your body and hormones and it should go away in time. It's always a good idea to have it checked out just in case there is something else going on, but since you have had tests I am sure you're doing great! Oh, and keep taking those prenatal vitamins - that should help grow more to replace what you've lost. Hope this helps! :)

Anya - posted on 04/19/2010

1

3

0

Yes! I have three children and with each one I started losing my

hair with breastfeeding after they were about 2-3 mo. old. a Lot of hair. And after my third it lasted a lot longer too. It started to slow after he turned about 8 mo. old. It'll slow and grow back! :)

Edwina - posted on 04/19/2010

2

14

0

Breast feeding is in no way realted to hair loss! I breastfed all three of my kids for a lengthy period of time; 15 months, 17 months and 2 1/2 years. Your hair sheds because while you are pregnant, your hair stays in the growth phase because of your hormone levels. Once you have your baby and your hormone levels drop dramatically and return to normal, your hair will go back into its shedding phase and you will lose a lot of hair. Another reason I know that it is not related is because I had a miscarriage and I still went through the horrible shedding phase. It is all hormone related. Make sure you are taking care of yourself; eat healthy and keep taking your vitamins. Also, get plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Lisa - posted on 04/19/2010

225

13

13

NO! Having a baby is linked to hair loss. Here's why--during your pregnancy your body was producing growth hormones that stopped your hair from completing it's natural cycle of growing, pausing, dying, falling out, and growing again. Instead, your hair grew and grew. Normally, a person loses about 100 hairs a day. While you are pregnant you lose about 20. A few months after your baby is born those hormones stop being produced and your hair that should have died in the last 9 months all falls out. You will lose about 500 hairs a day. Don't worry it won't last. Your hair will start to grow in again and you will have tiny new hairs sprouting all over.

Anna - posted on 04/19/2010

3

9

0

YES IM 34 AND HAD 4 CHILDREN AND HAS HAPPEN TO ME . I WAS SCARED OUT OF MY MIND CAUSE MY HAIR IS THIN ALREADY BUT YOU WILL BE FINE MY 4TH CHILD IS 11 MONTHS AND MY HAIR DOESNT FALL OUT AS MUCH BUT YOU WILL ME BACK TO NORMAL SOON JUST DONT STOP TAKING YOUR PRENATALS.

Bianca - posted on 04/19/2010

3

4

0

mg1ye itought i was dying. But no it was the fact tht i stopped taking my prenatal vitamin s becausesh was taking all my nutrients it was causing my hair to fall out.They alsohad told me at th hospital that would happen if i stopped taking thepills. But ithink the fact that my hair got so thick wheni was pregnant despite the fact that i have hinhair t jjust wentback to being theway it used to be

Shelly - posted on 04/19/2010

4

3

0

Oh gosh no its not the breastfeeding!! When you are pregnant you do not lose your hair. An avarage person loses 100 hairs a day but that doesnt fall out during pregnancy, so once you have the baby all that extra hair kinds comes out. I had the same thing I though for sure I had some horrible disease. It should stop in a few weeks try to brush your hair more to speed up the process and make it be not so traumatic. Good luck. Your not alone I totally thought the same thing with my first baby, I have 4 kids and it happened with each one!!

Virginia - posted on 04/19/2010

85

18

12

My son is also 4 months old and my hair is also falling out. I think that breastfeeding just takes so much from you that your hair suffers. Are you still taking your prenatal vitamin?

Nazanin - posted on 04/19/2010

1

0

0

You stop losing hair when you are pregnant and usually by about 4 months your hair loss starts back again. It may seem like a lot of hair but because you didn't lose much hair for nine months and it's just going back to normal. I am surprised your doctor didn't mention that.

Jasmin - posted on 04/19/2010

1

3

0

This is totally common and normal. According to Babycenter.com, "after giving birth your estrogen levels take a tumble and a lot more hair follicles enter the resting stage. Soon you'll have hair coming out in the shower or in the brush. The unusual shedding will taper off and your hair will be back to its pre-pregnancy thickness about 6 - 12 months after you give birth." So, try not to stress over it... that will not make it any better. Just relax and enjoy your baby! :)

Laurel - posted on 04/19/2010

15

3

1

I think, but not sure, it has to do with the pregnancy?? I have lost hair with every pregnancy but one.... I have noticed that it happens again when they hit thier teens (LOL) don't worry it all comes back... just one more sacrifice for our babies :)

Oluwaseyi - posted on 04/19/2010

6

1

0

Well, I do not think its due to breast feeding, I believe its due to hormonal changes in the body due to childbirth and all. The contrast is the case for me as my hair got thicker during pregnancy...I breastfed my first, a girl who is 51/2 yrs now for 18months and did not experience hair loss, being breast feeding my 2nd now for the past 18months too, and I do not have that experience either!! I have thin hair naturally and may not be a good example hair but it would have being horrible if I had experinced hair loss considering the fact that I am not hairy in the first place! I strongly believe the loss is due to hormonal changes in your body and not neccessarily breat feeding!

Katie - posted on 04/19/2010

64

14

7

Your hair gets thicker when your pregnant. Then you have a fall out after. Don't worry it won't all fall out. I had huge clumps and I remember thinking I'll be bald soon, but it never happened. You also notice this more if you have longer hair vs shorter hair. Breast feeding is the best thing you can do for your baby. Hair loss has to do with pregnancy the same way it can fall out after a surgery. Did you use any meds during delivery? I hope this helps I am a cosmetologist so I have studied this!

[deleted account]

Definitelty. I have nursed 7 babies now & have lost hair with each one. It seems to be worse with each one & I still get a little worried, but eventually the hair loss stops & it grows back in. Just be patient & rest assured that most of us who have nursed for an extended period totally understand the little whispies that are poking out around the temples & your hairline. It's one of those little things that no one tells you about before you have your baby. IT WILL GROW BACK!!!!!

[deleted account]

every woman looses some hair after they have a baby and it can last of a month to a year. it dnt have ne thing to do with breast feeding its just hormones. i have a 14 month old son and i still breastfeed him and my hair dnt fall out. it did after i had him for like 3 months but it stopped.. good luck..

Giovanna - posted on 04/19/2010

2

0

0

Yes i am also exclusivelt breastfeeding my daughter, my hair falls out also. Of course you will not go bald, but breastfeeding does make your hair fallout because most of your nutrients are going to your son. When you decide to stop breastfeeding it will no longer fall out.

Laura - posted on 04/19/2010

6

37

0

I have lost an unbelievable amount of hair since having my daughter. I went to my hair dresser (who has 4 kids of her own) and she explained to me that the hormones from post pregnancy cause your hair to fall out. She said that Ill probably be losing my hair for about a year after having the baby. Its normal so don't worry. Now that Im weaning the baby off the boob, I did notice that every time I cut back on breastfeeding I lose more hair. Fortunately, It's all growing back though. My mom laughs when she sees how much hair i lost because she lost her hair the same way after having me and my siblings. When I asked, she told me it was all hormones too.

Megan - posted on 04/19/2010

17

44

0

For the 1st 6 months or so of my sons life my hair fell out big time too. I thought I was going to be bald. I was told its just the extra hormones you have, plus when your pregnant you dont really shed all that much so your just loosing the built up hair probably.

Cathy - posted on 04/19/2010

5

13

1

I have had 3 daughters and when each was between 12-16 weeks old my hair fell out in handfulls to the point that I had bald patches around my face. I'm sure it was hormone/no longer pregnant changes that caused it (yes-I was breastfeeding nut don't think that is why). While I can 't offer you an answer I can at least reassure you that it all grew back and once it did, it wasn't any thinner.

Emily - posted on 04/19/2010

28

12

1

It's because you aren't pregnant any more. It has nothing to do with breastfeeding. Your head just holds onto hair more while you are pregnant, so afterward, you lose all that extra hair. It will stop eventually. Now if you are going bald, it is a different story, and not related to either.

Julie - posted on 04/19/2010

3

57

0

It happened to me with all 3 of my kids. Like everyone else has been telling you, it's normal and happens if you're nursing or bottle feeding. Don't worry - it will stop and it will grow back again.

Carlyn - posted on 04/19/2010

1

10

0

i haven't heard of that but i do know that you lose alot of hair after childbirth. something about the pregnancy makes you hold onto your hairs when you would be losing several every day and then after baby is born the stuff that would've come out starts too. i just finished weaning my 14 month old. i never had or heard of breastfeeding causing hair loss. you may try contacting Le Leche League in your area. if you google them you can find a contact. they will know for sure. good luck!

Christine - posted on 04/19/2010

2

33

0

When I got pregnant with my second child (i was 27) my hair got alot fuller, so afterwards for a couple of months my hair started to thin out again.

[deleted account]

And also, when you are pregnant, you don't lose as much hair as usual, but after giving birth, you also lose what you didn't when pregnant. That is why it seems a lot.So don't worry!

[deleted account]

I have 2 kids, but only breastfed the second one, but my hair fell for both of them. Apparently it is due to the change of hormones in your body. Just give it time to settle down and take extra care of your hair in the meantime.

[deleted account]

i was worried that i was going bald!!! i had so much hair fall out i was very concerned! i was told this is normal after childbirth because of the changing hormones. during pregnancy i hardly lost any hair but as soon as i gave birth out came the hair--i found it everywhere!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/19/2010

6

19

1

I asked my OB and my LC, they both told me, that just in general, mom's tend to lose hair after they've given birth. Most lose hair during their pregnancy too... fortunately, mine got thicker and longer during mine, but I lost a bunch right after I had my lil guy :)

Veronica - posted on 04/19/2010

4

38

0

It's normal. I had the same hair falling with my 2 daughters. It'll stop from itself

Linda - posted on 04/19/2010

3

12

0

GOsh, I am so glad I'm not the only one. I'm glad that there are many great theories frm REAL MOMS. I can't believe your doctor actually told u that Claire! He is not so well-read after all despite all the years of training he had... sigh.... err by the way is your doctor male/ female coz if she is a female, she is a real disgrace...

FOr someone without internet & can't be in good conversations like ours, might have stopped breatfeeding if she chose her looks over her baby & tat would be so detrimental to the poor bubs...that piece of info is do misleading...

Lerina - posted on 04/19/2010

3

20

0

Me too, but I read somewhere that the hair loss is caused by the shock your body goes through after birth. But it will get better after time.

[deleted account]

If its not leaving big bald spots, then no,my guess is that its not from breastfeeding. My son is 3 1/2 mos, and I am breastfeeding, and my hair has started to fall out...but its the normal after pregnancy hair loss.

Charlotte - posted on 04/19/2010

9

28

0

Hi,

It is natural to loose hair after pregnancy, and because everyone is different, some people loose more than others.



Basically what happens, is that during pregnancy, your normal hair growth/loss cycle is interrupted and you don't loose any hair, then after the baby is born, your hair cycle slowly returns to normal and the hair that should have/would have fallen out during the time you were pregnant falls out.



Also, it is important to know that you need to drink plenty of water and be particularly good with making sure you eat plenty of fresh fruit and vege whilst your breastfeeding, this will not only help to maintain your milk supply, but also, help to make sure you stay healthy and full of energy.



It takes a lot out of your body making milk so if you're not getting enough nutrients through food, then go to the health food shop and get a really good multi vitamin. You could also talk to the health food shop about supplements that would minimise hair loss after pregnancy.



Hope this has helped.



Charlotte.

Cynthia - posted on 04/19/2010

8

20

1

It'a natural!! Regardless if your breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, you are going to experience some hair loss... you're losing all the extra growth you had from being pregnant with all the hormones and prenatals. It's completely normal, AND, I'm totally shocked that your doctor didn't tell you that! (I'd switch doctors, lol)

Lisa - posted on 04/19/2010

14

18

0

Sounds like your doctor needs to read up a little!!!! It is part of things going back to normal, you don't loose hair while your are pregnant so the hair loss seems drastic when it re occurs, also breastfeeding does cause slightly more loss, Ive been feeding my lil boy for 7 months, I was recently ill & run down and my hair loss was startling but i'm re assured it's normal...hope this helps, it will stop.

Jeanette - posted on 04/19/2010

2

0

0

I had the same problem from about 4months to 6 months, fell out soooo much, lost at least half of my hair. Happened with my 1st and 2nd daughter. Like others have said, it's nothing to do with breastfeeding but a hormonal issue. My daughter is 18 months now and it has grown back now, I just got it cut short so I wasn't so noticable.

Vicki - posted on 04/19/2010

1

17

0

I lost a lot of hair after I delievered my baby, who is not 6.5 months old. My hair really thickened up with pregnancy and thinned out again after pregnancy. I am still breast feeding. My best friend, who is a hairdresser, told me I would lose hair after pregnancy. I think it is a change in hormones. I still lose hair. I think when I stop breast feeding, my hormones will change again and the hair loss I have been experiencing will level off. These are my thoughts and experience, not medical. Good luck.

Kim - posted on 04/19/2010

2

16

0

Hi there, im suprosed your doctor couldnt asnwer this one for you! Im sure that its common with most mums and ot related to breastfeeding. During pregnancy most women retain their hair, you may have noticed the hair on your head becoming thicker? Once the pregnancy hormones leave the excess hair starts falling out. Hope this helps.

Anél - posted on 04/19/2010

1

11

0

I was told by my GP that it is quite normal around 4months after the birth. It's enough to freak you out however!

Peggy - posted on 04/19/2010

3

2

0

I had tons of hair loss for many months after having my baby and many of my friends have had the same thing. I believe it is due to the fact that your hair loss rate slows significantly during pregnancy so your not really losing extra hair your just getting ride of the stuff that should have already fallen out during the time you were pregnant. Another joy of hormones!

Pamela - posted on 04/19/2010

6

1

0

It's got nothing to do with breastfeeding - I can't believe your doctor's suggested that. It's a normal thing to happen after 4-6 months of giving birth as your body goes through hormonal changes etc. You need to make sure you keep up with vitamins and continue to eat healthily so that you are giving your bodya chance to recover from the childbirth and the exhaustion of breastfeeding.



My hair did fall out too - and it was about 1.5 years before the hair looked the same as it did pre-pregnancy (not that it looked bad at all!!!)...

Lara - posted on 04/19/2010

1

9

0

When you are pregnant your rate of hair loss slows i.e. the resting stage of each hair lengthens. This is due to hormones. Once you are no longer pregnant and your hormones return to their normal levels the hair that has been in its resting stage fall out as it normally would. Because you have had more hair than normal in its resting stage you'll have more of it fall out. As you have been breast feeding it has taken a bit longer for the hormone levels to change back. With all 5 of my babies it has been at about 4 months that my hair has started to drop. Don't worry you won't go bald and you will find that new hair will start growing more quickly than it would normally too.



Hope this gives you some reassurance!

Jasmine - posted on 04/19/2010

2

3

0

as i know hair loss is a very comon problem coz i m losing hair also at this period. People said that is due to hormon and it will goes back to normal after your baby reach 1 year old.

Fallon - posted on 04/19/2010

19

25

3

i lost lots of hair during ad after both my pregnancies and while breast feeding. i am not breast feeding so much now more just for comfort before sleeps and now my hair is starting to grow back thick and full like before ;).. dont stress about it unless you see signs of fatigue and dark rings round the eyes then you should see a specialist as it could be much deeper problem =)

Rae - posted on 04/19/2010

29

0

5

Not even remotely causally linked to breastfeeding - don't let it put you off giving your baby the absolute best food source in existance!

Laura - posted on 04/18/2010

50

10

0

it's actually totally normal...has nothing to do with breastfeeding, it's all about the hormone changing after having the baby. It usually starts bout 2 to 5 months after giving birth, tho mine didn't start until about 8 months afterwards, and, while scarry and bothersome, is not actually a big deal.

Karen - posted on 04/18/2010

8

51

1

it's normal to have falling hair a few months after giving birth :) my baby is 10 mos now and i just recently started experiencing falling hair, and there are lots falling! im not going bald or anything... still have lots of hair hehehe... i think it's because of the decrease of vitamins since i dont take prenatal vitamins anymore :)

Lana - posted on 04/18/2010

2

2

0

Yes Yes Yes... Pregnancy and then breastfeeding can cause hair loss! I'm in my 30's and still feeding my 16 month old son and I have had patches of hair loss, not all over but patches where it counts! I am taking silica capsules which are available at your local health food shop, these are suppose to assist in strengthening hair, I have only been taking this for about month and I think I am winning!! Good luck!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms