Postnatal Hair Loss, how to look after those locks.

One of the lovely side effects I had during pregnancy was to have thicker, faster growing hair. My hairdresser was always amazed when she saw me yet again for a trim.

This extra hair growth that some ladies see is due to the hormone levels, specifically the oestrogen. Hair has a cycle of growth and loss. Usually we lose about 100 hairs a day, however in pregnancy this hair loss can be reduced giving you those extra lush locks. All good things must come to an end however and as the oestrogen levels drop so must the extra hair. It is not uncommon for clumps or handfuls of hair to come out when you are brushing or washing it. So do not panic! Your hair will go back to how it was pre-pregnancy, you will not be bald (phew).

For some mums this will happen from birth and for others it will be when breastfeeding stops.

Pilates with Priya: postnatal hair loss

Top Tips:
1. Be kind to your hair, don’t was it excessively (as if you have time to with a baby!) and be gentle when styling it.
2. Try to stay away from hair dryers and straighteners, chemicals and treatments for a while.
3. Take a postnatal vitamins and eat a healthy balanced diet. Essential fatty acids are needed for hair to grow strong and healthy so no low fat diets.
4. Talk to your health visitor or GP is you feel the hair loss is excessive as it could be a sign something else is not quite right.

Top 3 Pilates Errors and how to correct them.

Losing the Baby Weight Week 6: my first training session.

So I’ve reached the 6 week post baby place. This is usually when you get an appointment with your GP and hopefully are given the green light to exercise. In my GP surgery the 6 week check is carried out at 8 weeks. Fortunately as a specialist in the antenatal and postnatal fitness arena I know what exercise is safe to do at this stage, so this weekend I made a start. I’d love to go for a run and do some high impact work, but I’m very aware that my core is not as strong as I’d like it to be yet and my pelvic floor is still regaining strength. Also Relaxin is still in my system making my joints prone to overstretching. So I’m being patient and holding back. Doing high impact activites such as running, jumping, aerobics can put extra strain on your pelvic floor and joints. So my thoughts and advice are to take it easy and go for low impact options after birth until you have regained some core strength first, this is like your foundation for all other exercise.  My Exercise this week: I’m doing some Pilates pretty much everyday. Just 15 minutes is really making a difference and I am now so much stronger than I was. I’m loving 1/2 roll ups, swimming in hands and knees and shoulder bridges with knee folds. I’ve even done a bit of Pilates with baby asleep in the sling 😉 Hard work indeed!

Pilates with Priya: Pilates with a Sling

At the weekend I did my first weights session. I focused on squats, lunges, chest presses, shoulder rows and modified press ups. My toddler joined me with her imaginery weights and baby kicked along to the music on his playmat. Exercising with children can be done! It was nice to feel my muscles the next day! Walking is key for me too, I’m making sure I get a walk in 3 time a week, usually this is with baby in the sling or pushing the baby and toddler in the buggy – both make for a good workout 🙂

3 Band Exercises to Tone and Tighten

Pelvic Girdle Pain and Pilates.

Working with pregnant ladies I often end up advising and chatting about pelvic pain. I also have a few other non-pregnant ladies with this type of pain, who had this type of pain in pregnancy and it’s continued after birth.

Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) has been renamed Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. Big terms for pain in the joint that make up the pelvis, the syphysis pubis joint and the front and the sacroiliac joint at the back. Pain can be felt in the lower back, groin, thighs, hips and pelvic floor. This can lead to pain walking, climbing the stairs, getting in/out of the car and bath, straddling, turning in bed and standing on one leg.

Pilates with Priya: The Pelvis

There are many reasons suggested as to why this pain can occur, in some cases the pelvic joints can be damaged or weak, there could be a biomechanical problem or it could be due to hormones. Between 14-22% of pregnant ladies get PGP and in many it is a random thing that cannot be predicted!

Pilates can really help prevent and minimise PGP. In my ante-natal classes we focus on strengthening the muscles above and below the pelvis, so helping the pelvis remain strong. We strengthen the core muscles and also muscles in the thighs, legs and bottom. For example a pelvic tilt or small roll up can strengthen the core and modified squats and oysters can strengthen the gluts and thighs muscles.

If you get pelvic pain then here are my top tips:
See a physiotherapist. In Southampton you can self-refer to the obstetric physio, which is an amazing thing. the midwifes will pass on the number to you. A physio will assess your pain, range of function and possibly realign your pelvis.
Once you have seen the physio, then Pilates exercises can help strengthen you to minimise any further pain. Try a one to one session for some specially tailored exercises to do at home or attend a class.
Remain active within the limits of your pain, keeping active is important and will help, but obviously you don’t want to be in constant pain, so you will need to judge how much you can do.
Avoid activities that make it worse, standing on one leg often does this or having the legs too wide apart. Try keeping some activites seated.
Using a pillow between your legs when sleeping can provide relief for some ladies.
Ask for help when you need it!

Priya will be releasing her own worksheets to help with this area and her own Pilates in Pregnancy DVD very soon, contact us to pre-order.

To book a one to one session click here.