Wellness

3 Surprising Ways To Help Your Hair Loss After Birth

You start noticing the hair loss a few weeks after giving birth. At first, it starts coming out in small amounts and then in large clumps! You start to wonder if this is normal or healthy or if you will start to have big bald spots on your head.

Rest assured, all this hair loss after birth is normal and common. All women experience hair loss after birth. Why? Because during pregnancy the amount of hair you lost decreases which is why so many women feel like their hair is thick and shiny during pregnancy. After delivery normal hair loss will start back up again PLUS the extra hair from pregnancy will also be lost.

Even though all women go through hair loss after giving birth, there are a few things you can do to make the hair loss less extreme and help your hair grow back effectively.


Without further ado, 3 Surprising Ways to Help Your Hair Loss After Birth


  1. Drink nettle infusions daily


    First, what is a nettle infusion? Basically it’s a very strong tea of nettle leaves, steeped for up to 8 hours. Nettle leaf is incredibly dense in vitamins and minerals which are pivotal to healthy hair growth. It may be surprising, but the beginning of healthy hair starts from the inside out which is why nettle is an important treatment. Some people also find using nettle infusion topically to help with hair re-growth as well.


  2. Get thyroid hormones checked


    It’s true that all women experience hair loss after birth, but if you are experiencing way more hair loss than expected and for a longer period of time, you will want to get your thyroid hormones checked. Make sure to get a full thyroid panel of TSH, free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibodies to get the best look at how your thyroid is operating.


  3. Eat protein


    Hair is made up of proteins so you need to be eating a lot of good quality protein to help hair grow! Good protein options for moms include animal proteins like beef and chicken, nuts, and full-fat dairy products.


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Hi, I’m Dr. Potter and I help women feel vibrant and healthy during their motherhood journey.

Are you wanting to become pregnant? Head over HERE.

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Did you already have your baby? Head over HERE.



Why Preparing For Postpartum Is Just As Important As Prenatal Appointments

You’re pregnant and you go to each prenatal appointment diligently. You are so excited to meet your new sweet baby. What will they look like? What will their personality be like? And more importantly for the moment, how is birth going to be? You go to a birth class that helps you feel prepared and confident as you go in to labor. And then, there is your baby, in your arms just like you’ve been waiting for.

Now you’re home with your partner and your baby. The first night home you barely get any sleep. It’s been a few days and you still haven’t been sleeping and your body feels sore (an understatement for sure!). You are terrified to have a bowel movement, you’re constipated and have hemorrhoids. You’re anxious about how to care for your baby and it all feels overwhelming. How are you supposed to be caring for this baby, being up all hours of the night feeding and changing diapers while also healing your own, tender postpartum body?

This story is not to scare mothers. This is a reality that far too many women experience. Right now during pregnancy moms concentrate about how to prepare for the birth. Reasonably so, birth is one of the most intense physical events you will ever go through. But ultimately birth lasts anywhere from a few hours up to a few days. Postpartum is the rest of your life.

In order to avoid common stories like the one I outlined above, we need to shift how we prepare for postpartum. Postpartum planning should be a part of every pregnant woman’s planning. I just mentioned that birth is one of the most intense physical events you will ever go through. A marathon may be something that you can easily imagine that is also physically intense. Would you run a marathon without a plan of how to heal your muscles and nourish your body afterwards? I’m guessing you wouldn’t.

It’s similar, and even more important to plan for what’s to come after your birth. Your body needs more nourishment and care than any other time in your life.

Postpartum mothers deserve proactive medicine. It’s common knowledge that postpartum mamas are susceptible to depression, anxiety and physical ailments like hemorrhoids, incontinence, pain with intercourse, and digestive problems after giving birth. All of these things are preventable if the mother is given the right care and support.

I can tell you the importance of postpartum planning from my two very different postpartum experiences. When I had my first baby, my body felt terrible and after having my second baby, I felt really good. What was the difference? I spent my second pregnancy planning for postpartum. I put together a whole postpartum rejuvenation plan that I diligently put into practice once my baby was born. It was incredible how nurtured and supported I felt during that second postpartum time and I wish that for you too.


Are you pregnant?

Do you want to set up a postpartum plan that helps you feel grounded, empowered and replenished after giving birth? Do you want to avoid common health problems like incontinence and depression after birth? You can. I have a postpartum planning session that’s just for you!

3 Universal Postpartum Traditions

As I researched postpartum care practices I read about what many other cultures currently do to support postpartum mamas. As I read about these other traditions, I started noticing patterns. A beautiful picture began unfolding before me. These cultures were thousands of miles away from one another, and yet there were overlapping core tenets describing how to care for the new mother.

These cultures around the world have developed traditions over thousands of years. These traditions focus on surrounding the new mother with a holistic healing plan that helps her body, mind and spirit gracefully move through the transition of being pregnant, to being a mother.

Here is a glimpse in to 3 universal postpartum traditions.

Warmth

Mothers are kept warm in a variety of ways. Warm teas and broths are brought to her just after birth and kept going for the first month to three months postpartum. She is always kept warm with heaters, blankets, and warm socks on her feet. Herbal baths or steams are made for her. It’s of top importance that she not be near a draft and is bundled when she needs to go outside.

Nourishment

When a woman gives birth she loses a lot of blood and fluids and she is in a fairly depleted state. Many cultures have very specific foods that are given to the mother immediately after birth to help replenish her. Special broths and spiced ghee (clarified butter) are two examples.

For the next few weeks to few months foods that are easily digestible, warm and nutrient-dense are given to the new mother. Healthy fats, proteins and whole grains are priorities. Herbs and spices are also added to the new mothers diet to help with her digestion.

The immediate postpartum time (the first one to three months after birth) are not meant for the mother to go on any diets such as low-calorie or low-carb. This is a very special time to focus on loading the mother with nutrient-dense calories.

Medicinal herbs

Lastly, it’s universal to use medicinal herbs to help the mother heal and repair after birth. Sometimes the herbs are given in the form of medicinal teas, sometimes as spices in food, and other times used in baths and steams. Medicinal herbs are wonderful for the new mother because they have direct actions to help balance hormones, improve digestion, aide the uterus in going back to it’s original shape and help the mother regain energy and peace of mind.

Do you come from a family that has special postpartum healing traditions? Please share in the comments below!


Do you have a young baby?

Do you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and unsure how to help your body heal after birth? That’s exactly where I come in. Head on over HERE and we will develop a plan that will help you feel nurtured, cared for and most of all, healed.

Are you pregnant?

Do you want to make sure your postpartum time makes you feel grounded and empowered? Do you want to avoid common health problems like incontinence and depression after birth? Head over HERE and sign up for one of my vibrant postpartum prep sessions.

A Note About Metabolism

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

I find it hard to talk about weight loss and postpartum because I don't want to come across as someone who is perpetuating the idea that every woman needs to get back to their pre-baby weight right away (or at all!).  Birth changes us in so many ways and we come out on the other side women who are changed, and who are stronger because of it.

 

That being said, I understand how hard it can be to watch your body change drastically in just a matter of months.  

 

With my patients, I help them make gentle changes to help their bodies naturally lose the weight without going through a lot of drastic diet changes.

 

One big way to do that is work on boosting the metabolism.

 

Boosting metabolism helps your body use the food that you eat more efficiently (aka burns calories better!).  It also helps your body use your food for it's intended purpose which means you're getting use out of all the vitamins and minerals you eat. 

 

When your metabolism is sluggish, that can lead to stomach cramping, bloating, an inability to lose weight, or even weight gain.  

 

Boosting metabolism can support weight loss in a healthy way that involves making some really small changes to your regular diet.  Stay tuned on the blog for more information about how exactly to do that!

 

 

A Surprising Way To Detox For New Mothers

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

 

Giving birth is an incredibly special time.  You have just been the portal for a soul to enter in to the world.  That is no small feat and your own recuperation after birth needs to be well-tended to.  There is one act of self-care in those early days of motherhood that often goes overlooked.

 

That act of self-care is to do a digital detox. 

 

Consider signing off of your phone and computer for as long as feels comfortable to you.  Maybe it's a few days, maybe a week, or perhaps a full month.  

 

If doing a full digital detox is not an option for you, consider these two areas:

 

1.  Social media

 

Many social media accounts focus on portraying only the perfect moments.  You are bound to see photos of mothers and families who look like they have it all together.  When you're in that sweet newborn stage with your baby it is also full of a lot of sleepless nights, tears and emotions.  The last thing you need is to compare yourself with other families.

 

2.  The news

 

Your number one focus once you've given birth is to care for your newborn and for yourself.  The transition of welcoming a new person in to your family can often be overwhelming.  While staying up to date on current events is important, it may be an added source of stress for you.  Consider asking your partner or a friend to share news with you that is of upmost importance, but to update you on other events once you're ready.

Breastfeeding As Contraception: Fact Or Fiction?

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

Fact!  Breastfeeding your baby can be an effective form of birth control.  Breastfeeding as contraception is helpful in the early postpartum months but must be used wisely and within some guidelines.

 

Here are the guidelines to use breastfeeding as contraception:

 

1.  Your baby is exclusively breastfed, no solid foods or formula.

 

2. Your baby is 6 months or younger

 

3. You are breastfeeding your baby every 4 hours a day and 6 hours at night.

 

If your period starts even while you are following these guidelines, you will need to switch to a different form of birth control.

 

I also like to remind people that all forms of birth control come with a small chance of pregnancy.  The only way to truly avoid pregnancy is surgical removal of reproductive organs or abstinence.  

How Soon To Start Pelvic Floor Therapy

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

Want to learn a bit more about pelvic floor therapy?  Check out the posts here and here!

 

Now that you know more about the importance of pelvic floor therapy and why you want to set up a few appointments after birth, lets talk about when to start those appointments.

 

What's the best time to start getting pelvic floor therapy after giving birth?

 

The earliest time to start pelvic floor therapy is 6 weeks postpartum.  At this time you will know if your urinary incontinence is continuing a bit longer than you thought or if your pelvis is feeling painful or not.

 

Even if you aren't experiencing any of those pesky symptoms, you still want to book a pelvic floor therapy session.  It's an important part of your postpartum recuperation and will benefit you for years to come.

 

Ask your doctor at one of your postpartum visits to get the clear go-ahead.  Your vaginal discharge and bleeding should also be mostly cleared before you start pelvic floor therapy.

 

10 Fun Self-Care Ideas For Mamas

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

When you become a mother, you have to shift your perspective around self care.  Traditional ways of doing self care don't fit into your schedule very easily, especially when you have a newborn.

 

Here are 10 fun self care ideas for mamas.  Remember, the small things count!

 

1. Make yourself a warm cup of tea

 

2. Pick a different neighborhood everyday to go walk around while your baby sleeps in the stroller

 

3. Paint your fingernails

 

4. Light a candle in the evening

 

5. Have (at least!) one outfit that makes you feel wonderful

 

6. Take a shower everyday 

 

7. Keep fresh flowers on your windowsill

 

8. Hide some really good dark chocolate so only you know where it is.  And indulge once in awhile!

 

9. Buy a comfy pair of fuzzy, warm socks to wear at home

 

10. Get fresh air at least once a day

 

3 Simple Changes To Reduce Postpartum Back Pain

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

Tending to a newborn is a lot of work.  You have enough to be thinking about than worrying about back pain.  Back pain is often caused from doing a movement over and over again that causes strain on the muscles.

 

Here are 3 simple changes to make in your day-to-day activities to help reduce back pain.

 

1. Position your changing table at a comfortable height

 

For many people that means about the same height as a countertop.  You want the changing table to be at a height where you don't have to bend over.

 

It's easy to want to change the baby on a bed or the couch but bending over like this multiple times puts a lot of strain on your back muscles which contributes to back pain.

 

2. Use a breastfeeding pillow

 

When breastfeeding, you want to bring the baby up to the breast.  Because of their thickness, breastfeeding pillows help much more than a pillow from your bed.  Find out more about choosing the right breastfeeding pillow here!

 

3. Hold your baby in the middle of your chest

 

Avoid holding your baby exclusively on one hip.  Holding your baby in the middle of your chest will keep the baby's weight distributed so all your muscles do an equal amount of work holding the baby up.

 

Choosing A Breastfeeding Pillow

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

If you choose to breastfeed, having a proper breastfeeding pillow will be a great tool for you.  In the early newborn days, you will be breastfeeding for hours!  A breastfeeding pillow will help support your back and greatly reduce back pain.

 

Here are 3 things to look for when choosing a breastfeeding pillow

 

1. Choose a pillow that allows you to be upright

 

It's important to bring the baby to the breast, rather than the breast to the baby.  

 

2.  Choose a pillow that feels comfortable around your abdomen

 

Some pillows have a strap to go around your back and others just sit on your lap.  Try out a few of the pillows to see which feels most comfortable to you.

 

3.  Consider the size and age of your baby before purchasing a pillow

 

Are you using it as your baby is a newborn, or is your baby a few months old? If you have a newborn, choose a pillow that has a flat, harder surface which makes it easier for the newborn to lay comfortably.

 

If your baby is a few months old, you probably don't need the pillow with the hard surface.  Some pillows have two sides, one side for the newborns and a softer side for older babies.

 

10 Benefits Of Pelvic Floor Therapy

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

Pelvic floor therapy is a physical therapy technique specific to the pelvis.  This physical therapy is important for any woman who has given birth, regardless of if they had a vaginal birth or c-section birth. 

In other countries, pelvic floor therapy is a normal part of postpartum care that most all women take advantage of!

 

Here are 10 benefits of pelvic floor therapy

 

1. Reduction in pelvic pain

 

2. Resolved urinary incontinence

 

3. Reduced pain during sex

 

4. Healing emotional birth trauma 

 

5. Hormone balance

 

6. Healing pain from scar tissue

 

7. Improving prolapse from the uterus or bladder

 

8. Reduction pain from interstitial cystitis

 

9. Overall improved healing of the pelvic muscles

 

10. If you plan to have more baby's, doing pelvic floor therapy after the first birth will help with healing for the next birth.

 


Hi!  I'm Dr. Potter!

Are you trying to get pregnant, currently pregnant, or healing from childbirth?  Wonderful, I'm so happy you are here.  It's my passion to help mothers feel honored and cared for during this tender time.

Love this content and want to share on your site?  Great!  Just be sure to include the post URL to re-direct back here.

Nausea and Prenatal Vitamins

By Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

The other day I wrote about the importance of taking a prenatal, and not just while you're pregnant.  Want to know more?  Check it out here! 

Now that you know the importance of taking a prenatal, you may be frustrated because you take it and yet you get really nauseous afterwards.  

 

This is really common!

 

Why do people get nauseas when taking a prenatal?

 

It's the B vitamins.  Often that can cause an upset stomach for women.

 

What to do about it?

 

Take the vitamins with food, preferably just after a meal.   Make sure the meal has a nice amount of protein and healthy fats.

 

Give it a try and let me know in the comments below how it changes how you feel!

 

3 Tips For Curing Hemorrhoids

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

 

When you have a new baby the last thing you want to think about is uncomfortable bowel movements!  Am I right, mamas?!

Hemorrhoids are really common during the postpartum time, especially if you had a vaginal birth.  Why?  Because as you're pushing your baby out, all that pressure on your nether region also pushes other things out, like hemorrhoids!  

 

Here are 3 simple things to help you have simple and straight forward bathroom trips

 

1. Take magnesium

Magnesium acts as a gentle laxative to help keep you regular and your bowel movements soft.  Making sure to avoid constipation is key in reducing pain and keeping those hemorrhoids away.  

 

2. Use a mama bottom balm

Look for balms that have herbs like calendula, witch hazel, horse chestnut, and aloe vera in them.  Apply about a teaspoon-size amount after your showers.  These herbs are very soothing to the tissue, helping reduce irritation and inflammation.

 

3. Eat vibrant-colored fruits

Did you know that hemorrhoids are actually swollen veins?  So anything that helps the integrity of your blood vessels will help improve the hemorrhoids. 

Bioflavonoids are compounds found in fruits which do just that!  Choose fruits that are dark and vibrantly colored like blueberries, blackberries and cherries. 

 

Prenatal Vitamins: Not Just For Pregnancy?

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

 

Prenatal vitamins are important for women who are pregnant.  But I believe calling them prenatal vitamins is a misnomer.  Often, prenatal vitamins aren't suggested to women until they get pregnant which can lead to problems.

 

Why is this a problem?

 

Because one of the most important nutrients found in the prenatal vitamin, folate, is necessary for the first developments of the baby.  And these important developments (the neural tube for you science-buffs), needs folate within the first few weeks of conception which is usually before the mama knows she's pregnant!

 

What's the ideal amount of time to take a prenatal vitamin?

 

About 6 months before trying to conceive all the way up to when you stop breastfeeding your baby. 

 

Do you want multiple children? 

 

Keep taking that prenatal through all your pregnancies until your youngest baby is done breastfeeding.

 

Prenatal vitamins aren't only important for those first few weeks of development, they also give the mama vital nutrients for recuperation after birth which will benefit her for the rest of her life.

 

3 Tips For Sleeping Soundly With A Young Baby

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

 

Waking up multiple times a night is something all parents with newborns go through for at least a little while (or a long while!).  How do you make sure you're getting sound sleep when you do get your zzz's?  

 

Try these simple 3 tips and see how it improves your sleep.

 

 1. Make sure the room you sleep in is completely dark

If you don't have dark enough curtains or there is a nightlight on, use an eye mask!  

Sleeping with a light on may seem like something trivial, but light actually affects our hormone levels in a powerful way.  A dark room increases melatonin, our sleep hormone.  

 

2. Keep your bedroom clean and uncluttered

The bedroom should be reserved only for sleep!  I know you are tired, but this simple thing makes a big difference.  Make sure clothes are picked up, books and baby toys are put away.

 

3.  Lavender is your best friend

Lavender is a nice relaxing herb that helps people relax and fall asleep.  Put a sprig of lavender under your pillow or on your bedside to get the relaxing benefits.  It's as easy as that!

 

To Kegel or Not To Kegel

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

 

Kegels are a form of exercise to tone the pelvic floor muscles.  They are frequently talked about as the best exercise to do both while pregnant and during the postpartum time to help tone the pelvic muscles.  Unfortunately, this is not true!  Often, kegels can cause more problems for women.

 

What is the benefit of doing kegels?

Kegels help tone the pelvic floor muscles.  Just like someone would lift weights to build arm muscles, kegels build muscle tone for the pelvic floor.  Some women benefit from kegels when they are experiencing leaky bladder or organ prolapse.

 

Why are kegels NOT beneficial?

Many women already have pelvic muscles that are too tight and doing more kegels only exacerbates the problem!  Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight can contribute to urinary incontinence and organ prolapse.  

 

What to do instead?

Visit a pelvic floor therapist to get an evaluation of your pelvic floor muscles.  If your pelvic floor muscles are already too tight, they will be able to offer exercises to help reduce the pelvic floor tone.  

 

3 Nourishing and Uplifting Teas For New Moms

By Dr. Angela Potter
www.drangelapotter.com

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You’re a new mom, congratulations! You have this sweet bundle of joy with you. But often it’s not all snuggles, smiles and happiness. The fatigue, mood swings and hormone shifts are very real. In the midst of all the changes going on in your life, try adding in one of these three teas to help do a little something special for yourself.

 

Low on time and motivation? Make a quart of tea at a time and keep it in the fridge for quick access. Warm up small cups at a time.

 

Tonifying Tea

Nettle
Raspberry
Oat Straw

 

Relaxing Tea

Chamomile
Lemon balm
Lavender flowers

 

Uplifting Tea

Hibiscus
Peppermint
Rose hips

 

Directions

Use approximately 2 tablespoons of herbal mixture to one cup of water. Place herbal mixture in to a cup or container, pour slightly boiling water over and cover. Let steep ten minutes. The tonifying tea can be steeped for a few hours if you’d like!