restore the core

6 tips to restore the core of your hair post pregnancy

Find out how to put the ‘va va voom’ back into your post pregnancy hair.

Your baby is now three or four months old, you’re finally getting into a bit of a routine and you’re feeling more like your old self. Until one day you start to notice clumps of hair coming out in the shower. What happened to your lovely, thick mane? Do not panic – it’s totally normal, and it’s temporary.

What is the reason behind the hair loss? During pregnancy, most women will shed less hair than normal, due to increased levels of hormones in your body. These hormones tend to freeze your hair in the growing or resting phase of growth, meaning that hair that would normally fall out simply doesn’t.

However, in the postnatal period, when hormone levels begin to fall again, this in turn causes the build up of resting hair to begin to fall out. This can make you feel like you’re losing an awful amount of hair all at once. It’s important to know, that breastfeeding can cause hair loss to increase, or last longer, as these hormone levels are low for longer.

As previously stated, don’t worry as your hair will eventually grow back on its own. In the meantime, there are a few tips and tricks you can try out to combat this hair loss, and restore strength and volume back to your hair.

1 Feed your hair. Firstly, you should continue to take your prenatal supplements or multivitamins, a healthy diet promotes healthy hair. Folic acid is great for adding strength to your hair and nails, so eating fortified cereals or taking it in supplements can also promote healthy hair growth. According to dietitian Aveen Bannon, the best thing you can do for your hair is to eat a balanced diet, ensure protein at each meal and include plenty of fruit and vegetables.

2 Be kind to your hair. After washing your hair you should avoid wrapping it in a towel as this can cause further breakage. Instead use a cotton t-shirt or a microfibre cloth to semi-dry your hair before allowing it to dry naturally. Also avoid using heated styling products whenever possible, as this can also cause further damage to your hair.

3 Hair TLC. Treat yourself a few times a month, or even once a week if you can, to a leave in deep conditioning hair treatment.

4 Don’t stress those tresses. As your hair starts to re-grow, it may appear thinner and more wispy or wirey than before, when it starts to get longer. However, it should blend in better to the rest of your hair. In the meantime, you should avoid pulling your hair back into tight hairstyles, as this will minimise any breakage. Wear it in a loose chignon bun, or get creative with headscarves and hairbands to keep it at bay if it’s getting in the way.

5 A new do. Treat yourself to a new hair-do to help camouflage the hair loss. Go for a fringe to hide those pesky wispy ‘baby’ hairs that now frame your face, or go for the chop and try out a long bob. Getting a new hairstyle that’s long enough to tie up, but shorter than you usually have, can help trick you into feeling as though your hair is shedding less, as the hairs you are now losing will be shorter. It’ll also allow the new growth to blend in easier.

6 Fake it ‘til you make it. Try out a volumising shampoo and conditioner to bring some life back to your locks. Volumising products tend to stimulate the hair follicles and can help make your hair feel thicker and more voluminous after use. You could also try volumising treatments like mousses and hairsprays or gel lotions to add some life to dull looking hair.



Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….


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Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.