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FEATURES May 27 2012 3:53AM

Breastfeeding and Hair Loss—It’s Not Forever!

by Angela Watford
Ok, ladies! Just so you know, I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding. Especially being a Black woman, because, once again—even when it comes to breastfeeding—we’re the minority group.
Studies show that Black women are the least likely to breastfeed, and only 54 percent even attempt to. The benefits of breastfeeding are phenomenal. It protects against all types of illnesses and allergies, boosts intelligence, protects against obesity and the risk of SIDS—and guess what, it even reduces your risk of certain cancers and stress. We do know this, right? Then why are the majority of Black women not breastfeeding? 
The truth behind us not giving our children the gold standard of infant nutrition is probably that we’re focusing too much on our appearance: the sagging breasts, the not-so-cute easy accessible shirts, and yes, there’s the hair-loss issue. Now, honestly, I did lose a lot of hair with my first son while breastfeeding. I actually went bald around my temples: think of a receding hairline—on the corners of you head…Disaster! But breast-feeding, transitioning and constantly wearing my hair in a tight ponytail took a toll on my dry, brittle strands; I was not the hot Brooklyn mom carrying my new baby around in the trendy Ergo carrier that I wanted to be. Yet and still, giving my baby THE BEST of everything—that first thing being nutrition—was a must for me.
The reason women lose their hair while breastfeeding is because it depletes the body of vitamins and minerals. Plus your estrogen levels take a tumble and your hair follicles enter the resting, then shedding period—post-natal stages that new mothers go through anyway. But don’t worry, you won’t go bald, and your hair should be back to normal before your baby even says, “mama.”
Plus, there are lots more breastfeeding benefits just FOR YOU! The best one is how fast you tend to drop weight. In fact, you’ll probably be back to your pre-baby weight before your baby says, “mama” as well. Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day—no matter what—seriously, you can be sitting around eating bonbons and breast-feeding while burning as many calories as you would if you were taking an hour-long jog or swim! Also, you’ll never have to get out of bed and warm up bottles in the middle of the night, just whip um out, and both you and baby can fall right back to sleep.
And don’t forget that free breast implant you’ll be receiving! MILK really does do a body good! Pass it on…


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