Shedding of hair, brittle nails, and dull skin few months after giving birth to a baby are common issues. If you are wondering about taking hair, skin, and nails vitamins while breastfeeding, we have an answer for you.
The body goes through a lot during pregnancy and giving birth to a baby. And if you choose to breastfeed, that’s an additional strain (worthy strain) on your body. While the body is starting to go back to a pre-pregnancy state after giving birth to a baby, you can certainly see drastic changes in your skin, nail, and hair.
Worst of all changes that your postpartum body goes through is dramatically losing a lot of hair, change in the texture of your hair and stretch marks (ugh!). While changes in skin (other than stretch marks) and nails are still manageable, dealing with thinning hair is a little difficult considering the relationship we have with our hair.
At some point in our postpartum journey, we have all thought about taking hair, skin, and nails vitamins to stop the postpartum hair loss. If you are wondering, can you take hair, skin, and nails vitamins while breastfeeding, then read on.
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What is Hair, Skin, and Nails Vitamins?
Hair, skin, and nail vitamins commonly contain Vitamins A, C, and E and most importantly biotin, a B-complex vitamin. You may find selenium, manganese, fish oil, and flaxseed oil as other ingredients to support healthy hair.
There are many brands of hair, skin, and nail vitamins are available in the market that claims to thicken hair, improve skin tone, and fix a brittle nail. The common ingredient in all of them is -biotin or Vitamin H. Biotin is particularly responsible for healthy hair, nails, and skin and often touted as a miracle cure for hair loss.
Does Breastfeeding cause Hair loss?
Breastfeeding does not cause hair loss. Postpartum hair loss occurs due to the body’s hormonal shift from pregnant to not pregnant state around three months after giving birth to a baby.
Normally, hair goes through a cycle of growth for a couple of years and then goes into a resting phase for two to three months, and eventually, it falls out. During pregnancy, your hairs are in the resting phase, and you don’t see much falling out. However, during the postpartum period, hairs that didn’t fall out during pregnancy starts to fall out all at once. This dramatic loss of hair, on top of the strain of breastfeeding, can be nerve-wracking for new moms.
But take solace in knowing that, you are not alone! According to AAP, about 40 to 50 percent of new moms experience postpartum hair loss. You will be happy to know that hair loss caused by hormonal changes are temporary and your hair will go back to the growth cycle within one year of giving birth to a baby.
Even though this change is temporary, hair thinning caused by sudden hair loss can tempt you to look for a miracle cure to prevent the hair loss. But the main question is – is it safe to take hair, skin, and nail vitamins while breastfeeding?
Can I take Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamins while Breastfeeding?
The main ingredients in the hair, skin, and nail vitamins are vitamins A, E, and biotin. Deficiencies of these nutrients (particularly biotin), which is rare, may cause a change in hair, skin, and nail. But if you are not deficient in these nutrients then taking hair, skin, and nail vitamins may not make a huge difference in stopping hair fall or improve your skin and nails condition.
Biotin is often touted as a miracle cure for postpartum hair loss. Although biotin is typically safe to take while breastfeeding, there is no guarantee that it will work for your postpartum hair loss. Hair loss that you are experiencing is due to hormonal changes and not because of nutritional deficiency of biotin so taking a biotin supplement may not be the answer.
According to Kellymom, breastfeeding women’s daily dietary allowance of
Biotin – 35 micrograms
Vitamin A- 1300 micrograms
Vitamin E- 19 milligrams
The hair, skin, and nail vitamins contain a high level of vitamin A, E, and biotin and anything in excess can be harmful to your breastfed baby. Any fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A and E) and water-soluble biotin can transfer via breastmilk and there isn’t sufficient data to rule out the risk to the baby. Also, taking a biotin supplement may change the taste of breast milk and there is a chance that your baby may reject it.
Also, too much biotin and vitamin A can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches and make you feel not good, that is the last thing you want when you are taking care of your little one.
Thinning of hair is natural during the postpartum period and taking additional supplements isn’t going to change a natural process.
That being said, you still need to continue taking your prenatal vitamins while you are breastfeeding along with eating a healthy, well-balanced diet to meet your daily nutritional requirements.
It is important to be mindful about adding supplements to your diet in addition to prenatal vitamins you are taking while breastfeeding. You always need to check with your doctor for the right dosage to suit your need.
However, if you still want to add biotin to your diet, you can replace your prenatal vitamin with postnatal vitamins containing biotin. Postnatal vitamins are specifically designed to meet the needs of breastfeeding mothers. Not only they provide your daily nutritional requirement but also includes herbs to boost your milk supply and other essential vitamins to take care of your hair, nail, and skin.
How can I keep my Hair, Skin, and Nails healthy while Breastfeeding?
While preventing postpartum hair loss is sadly not possible, but there is a natural and safe way to keep your hair, skin, and nailshealthywhile breastfeeding.
A Well-balanced Diet
You may already know how important it is to have a well-balanced diet to maximize the health benefits of breastfeeding. Remember, poor diet, toxic overloads, and stress all contribute to dry, lifeless hair and skin, brittle nails. Specifically, when you are breastfeeding you need to take care of the nutritional requirements of your baby and your body.
Add the following 5 foods to your diet that provides overall nutritional components to provides amazing hair, nail, and skin quickly.
- Raw organic almond or organic almond butter – Almonds are rich in plant-based protein, Vitamin E to support collagen production and provide anti-inflammatory benefits to your body. It is also a great source of calcium, which supports strong nails, bones. Lastly, raw almonds are rich in biotin, which strengthens hair and nails.
- Organic Pumpkin Seed – You can call it a superfood for your hair, nail, and skin. Pumpkin seeds are rich in protein, magnesium, potassium, biotin, and omega 3 fatty acid. You can eat ¼ cup of it every day to improve your hair, nail, and skin condition in no time!
- Leafy green vegetables – Add lots of spinach, broccoli, spirulina, watercress, kale to your diet. It contains Vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, minerals, and even biotin, which are all good for the health of our hair, nail, and skin.
- Root veggies – Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes contain a high amount of vitamin A to support hair, nail, and skin.
- Oats – Not only oats are great to boost your milk production, it is also rich in protein, biotin, and other nutrients to support healthy hair, nail, and skin.
Other food that is good for your hair includes quinoa, wild rice, chia seeds, avocadoes, walnuts, lentils, berries.
While it is recommended to get your nutritional needs from a well-balanced diet, but it is always not possible to eat a balanced diet when you are taking care of your baby. To meet the specific nutritional needs when you are breastfeeding, you need to add postnatal vitamins to your diet.
Unlike prenatal vitamins, postnatal vitamins are geared towards the postpartum body’s nutritional requirements, newborn development, and have ingredients to boost milk supply in addition to B-vitamins complex to support the growth of your hair.
Hands down the best postnatal vitamins to support your overall nutritional requirements while breastfeeding is Actif Organic Postnatal Vitamin. It contains 35 micrograms of biotin, which meets your daily dietary allowance of biotin without going overboard. Click HERE to find out more about benefits of postnatal vitamins for breastfeeding mothers.
Keeping your body hydrated is not only essential for breastfeeding but it is also important for your overall health. On average, breastfeeding mothers need an 8-ounce glass of water each time while breastfeeding and with meals.
Staying hydrated is great for your skin and it also helps get rid of toxins from your body which in turn helps healthier skin and hair.
Drinking too much plain water may get boring when you are breastfeeding. There are beverages that not only quench your thirst but also help boost your milk supply.
Use Vitamin Enriched Gentle Shampoo and Conditioner
Washing your hair with chemical loaded shampoo will further damage your hair. You need toxin-free vitamin-enriched, plant-based shampoo like THIS one that contains Vitamin E, shea butter, aloe vera to protect your hair from breaking from roots to end and stimulating hair growth.
Also, avoid washing your hair daily as it strips hair of the natural oils it produces to keep the scalp and hair follicle lubricated.
You also need to use conditioner primarily on the ends of your hair shaft to keep it hydrated. Also, once a week use of deep conditioning, vitamin-rich hair mask can keep hair soft and smooth.
Use organic Face Mask
The postpartum hormonal shift may take away your pregnancy glow and leave you with dry, lifeless, and loose skin. Consider applying a hydrating face mask once a week. The face mask will leave your skin soft, glowy, and refreshed in just 20 min.
Some women experience weak, thin, and brittle nails postpartum as their body changes from pregnant to not pregnant state. For your brittle nail, a regular manicure will help. You may not have a moment to spare for yourself, but with this nail buffer and nail strengthener, that you can apply to your nails between feeding sessions and during nap times.
Having a baby can drastically change your body and the most apparent changes that you notice are dramatic postpartum hair loss, dry skin, and brittle nails. I don’t blame you if you are thinking of adding hair, skin, and nail vitamins to your diet.
But if you are planning to take the supplements while breastfeeding consult with your doctor. Taking hair, skin, and nail vitamins isn’t going to magically stop postpartum hair loss and there is a chance that taking this supplement may alter the taste of your breastmilk. So, make a wise decision, mama! Breastfeeding is more important than temporary postpartum hair loss. You can hold off taking this supplements until you wean your little one from breastfeeding.
Did you take hair, skin and nail vitamins while breastfeeding? Leave your comment below.
Before you go, check out this article on Beverages other than water to keep yourself hydrated while breastfeeding.
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