5 WAYS I AM COMBATING POSTPARTUM HAIR LOSS

It was inevitable, I know this to be true. I knew I wasn’t going to be one of those very lucky women who just magically bypasses all the horrible pregnancy after effects. Now granted I had a pretty by the book pregnancy and pretty much no complications, with the exception of having to have a c-section, I would consider myself a winner, but like many women post pregnancy can be a drag; all the ups and downs, the emotions, the hair loss, the apron belly that just won’t go away, sleep deprivation, leaky tits, stretch marks and so on and so on. The list can seem endless and it sometimes feels like you’ll never bounce back. It’s been a tough 5 months postpartum, but I have taken time each weekend to participate in self care. I owe it to myself to do this for my own well being and for my family. For me self care means exercise, and sticking to a very strict hair routine to combat postpartum hair shed and thinning.

Postpartum hair shed has been one of the more undesirable things about postpartum, so part of my self care has been switching up my hair care routine to accommodate my hair shed and thinning edges. I think you can definitely use this routine as a way to nurse your hair back to health from most damage as well and tbh, I probably should’ve been doing this before pregnancy, but whateves, we here now, LOL. So here are 5 things I’m doing to combat postpartum hair shed and thinning edges.

HOT OIL TREATMENTS/OIL RINSING

Applying hot oil and coating the hair in a rich emollient oil on dry or damp hair does wonders or at least it did for me. Most of the time you can slow down thinning edges by keeping them moisturized and sealing in the moisture with a good hot oil treatment or oil rinsing. Oil seals in moisture and if your hair is anything like mine, dryness is the number one issue. Keeping a good eye on the moisture/protein balance always works for my hair. Check out this quick tutorial from one of my favorite Natural Hair YouTubers on oil rinsing. I have very dry, kinky, coily, curly hair, so I need a lot of moisture. Thick oils work best for my hair. I use avocado oil regularly in my hair routine and it doubles as a great skincare product as well.

DEEP CONDITIONING TREATMENT

I’ve went back to deep conditioning my hair weekly. Pre pregnancy I just use to do it every other week but since the hair shed was so extreme at 3 months postpartum I took desperate measures to slow things down an really double down on the care of my hair. I think skipping this step would have really shocked my hair and I think the hair loss would have been more extreme than it actually was. FYI, when I say deep conditioning, I mean sitting under a hooded dryer with the conditioner on my hair and a plastic cap for a minimum of 30 minutes. I think anything less won’t really be that effective if you ask me.

Pro Tip: I add a bit of avocado oil to my deep conditioner for a big moisture boost.

PROTEIN

As discussed above, a good moisture/protein balance is key with dry natural hair. When your hair is dry its weak and breaks off, this includes edges. Hair also gets weak and breaks off if it lacks protein as well. I don’t need a lot of protein because of my hair type, but protein is a very important ingredient in my hair routine and is included in the deep conditioner and co-wash conditioner I use regularly. It’s a little bit in both and gives me just enough protein to keep a good protein balance in my hair. With the right amount protein you can reduce the amount of breakage at the nape of your hair.

LOW MANIPULATION STYLES

Thinning edges means I’ve resorted to styles that require less pulling and tugging at the hair. My edges have certainly thinned out since having baby girl, but I’m managing pretty well with just rocking some chunky twists or a big fro. You don’t see me laying the edges down with gel these days or rocking a wash n go (which for a while was my go-to style) now I just do a few chunky twist, let them loose when they’ve dried and wear a semi curly/semi frizzy fro. It’s less work, it saves time and it saves my edges, or what’s left of them at least, LOL.

PRENATAL VITAMINS

After having Charlee, I started a postnatal vitamin, they worked pretty well for me. It was a 90 day supply that I feel provided everything I needed to get me through the first 3 months of postpartum, restoring nutrients etc etc… I actually think it really prepared and fortified my hair for the shed that came at 3 1/2 months postpartum, so it wasn’t so bad. Once my supply ran out, I immediately started a prenatal vitamin and have been taking those ever since. I’m 5 1/2 months postpartum now and I’m back to a normal shedding rate. At the time the shedding was really bad, I would say I was being a bit dramatic, but looking back at it, I’ve seen some women go through worse, I mean bald spots etc… and I don’t think my shedding was as extreme. I’m not saying pre or postnatal vitamins are a cure all, but I do feel they helped me prepare my hair for the transition and have been a great preventative effort towards strengthening my hair and sustaining the hair I do have. I’m no expert and I believe everyone should do what’s best for them, but for me, the pre and postnatal vitamins worked well. For those wondering, I was on a regular one a day women’s multivitamin prior to pregnancy, so that may or may not have something to do with how my hair has reacted to postpartum as well.

All that being said, I feel I’ve maintained fullness and volume in my hair. In fact, I will go as so far as to say that my hair seems fuller and more voluminous postpartum than it ever did and while my edges have thinned out, it’s not as bad as I think it would have been had I not taken and continue to take the measures above. Again, I’m no expert, these are just the things that I have done and continue to do that are working for my hair and my lifestyle. I think everyone should do what’s best for their hair, but I’m sure a few of the above tips won’t hurt in your postpartum hair journey.

I hope these tips have been helpful.

Till next time.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie


CHARLEE’S JOURNEY TO SOLIDS

We’ve reached that critical age in a infants life where they begin to show signs that they may be ready for solids. Like I suspected, as early as 3 1/2 months, Charlee was showing clear signs that she was ready to start eating solids. She was sitting upright with minimal assistance, showed a lot of curiosity in what her father and I were eating at the dinner table and she started grabbing at my fork and spoon during meal time. My husband and I couldn’t wait for this journey to begin simply because we thought starting her on solids would improve her sleep and help her sleep for longer stretches. Sadly, at her 4-month wellness appointment, her pediatrician informed us that starting her on solids wouldn’t change her sleeping patterns and that at her age, infants sleep schedules are pretty much established. This was the saddest news for us because Charlee loves waking up at 3am for a meal and as new parents who work full-time, we value our sleep and 3am wake up calls aren’t our jam. The pediatrician also recommended we wait until 6 months to begin her on solids, but she provided a plan to follow in the event we decided to transition Charlee to solids earlier than the recommended 6 months.

So far the journey to solids has had it’s challenges, but we’ve had some successes as well and for that, we feel like we’re finally winning in the parenting department. Charlee is currently 4 months and 3 weeks old. We started her on the Gerber Organic cereal at 4 months and 1 week old and have slowly started introducing baby puree and here’s what we have learned thus far:

  1. It’s best to start feeding baby from the spoon with baby cereal when they aren’t hungry. We fed Charlee an hour or so before her regular feeding time that way she wasn’t very hungry and wasn’t focused on her hunger and could put her attentions to the new experience of eating from a spoon.
  2. Be patient. I have to keep reminding myself that she’s getting use to the swallow reflex and still trying to learn how to use her tongue. With all these new experiences, it is taking time for her to get this eating from the spoon business down, so patience is key.

3. Babies won’t like everything you feed them and that’s okay. Charlee is very vocal about the foods she doesn’t like. I have to remember that she has likes and dislikes too and just because I’m feeding it to her doesn’t mean she’ll eat it. This was hard at first because I had conditioned myself into thinking that anything I gave her she wouldn’t reject only because when she had breast milk she didn’t reject that. When I started supplementing with formula she didn’t reject that either, so naturally I’ve been spoiled and had this idea that she just likes to eat, no matter what it is. ALL LIES. I gave her some butternut squash puree and it wasn’t her fave. However, I’ll revisit the butternut squash at a later date to see if her mind has changed. It was the very first puree she tried, so I think it deserves a second chance.

4. When they turn away that doesn’t always mean they are rejecting the food. I remember Charlee’s pediatrician specifically stating that when baby turns their head away from the food it sometimes just means they are trying to get the tongue and swallow reflex down. They are experiencing so many new things when transitioning to solids and giving them time to decide and figure out how their tongue works and how to swallow is key. With this info in mind, I’ll be revisiting the butternut squash puree.

5. We are going to try out a transition/weaning spoon. We’ve been using a regular baby spoon up until now, but after talking to a few seasoned parents, they recommend a transition or weaning spoon. Charles and I will be ordering one off Amazon just to see how Charlee takes to it.

6. Feeding is still bonding time. I have to keep reminding myself that feeding time is still bonding time for Charlee and I. Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in the mechanics and logistics of transitioning her to solids and spoon feeding that I forget that this is our special mommy-daughter time together. The journey of breastfeeding to solely pumping to supplementing and now solids has always been about our time together, its the one part of my day where I relax and nourish this beautiful human I created and the one thing I don’t want to do is poison it by getting too bogged down with the challenges of transitioning her to solid foods .

I hope this info has been helpful. I’ll keep you updated on her solids journey as we go along.

P.S. all food featured in these pics as well as on my IG page are from Yumi, an amazing baby food delivery service. You should check them out.

Sincerely,

Deidra Marie


MY RAZZ & FRESAS SMOOTHIE BOWL RECIPE + SOME SMOOTHIE BOWL TIPS

I’ve been on a smoothie bowl kick for a minute now. Mostly because I love fruit and love my food to be colorful and smoothie bowls are a perfect combination of the two. Also, they are super quick and easy to make. I finally got an upgrade to my blender too. The hubby gifted me a Vitamix for Christmas, so I’ve been making smoothie bowls like basically every day since I opened the darn thing, LOL. 😂. A good blender makes a huge difference.

So, for those who’ve been following along on my IG account, you know I’ve started a new creative project where I highlight one color each week on my IG feed. This is my attempt at pushing my creative limits for 2021 and finally executing some of the amazing ideas that I’ve had bottled up for so long with no place to expel them. I know rainbow feed challenges are all the rage on IG right now, but I dance to the beat of my own drum and have decided to do absolutely no content planning for this project and just let it flow freely. In other words, whatever color I feel inspired to highlight for the week is what I’ll cover. Rainbow feeds are awesome, but for me it seems a bit limiting to rainbow colors and you all know some of the colors I like to sport have no place in a rainbow, so I’ll highlight whatever colors I want and hopefully create something visually pleasing for you all to enjoy. This week on the gram, I’ve been featuring the color red. Today’s post features a red food fave of mine. Keep scrolling for the full recipe and a few tips for making the perfect smoothie bowl.

Razz and Fresas Smoothie Bowl

1 cup Strawberries

1/2 cup Bananas

1/4 cup Cashew Milk, Almond Milk or Oat Milk (Or any milk of choice)

1 Dollop Almond Butter or Cashew Butter or Peanut Butter

Vegan Protein Powder (Optional)

Toppings: Raspberries, Strawberries

Optional Toppings: Granola, Chia Seeds, Blueberries

Keep scrolling for a few smoothie bowl tips and random pics of me in my backyard this morning chowing down. 😂

A Few Smoothie Bowl Tips

  1. Less milk is best. I always start off with 1/4 cup milk or less and add as I go. Smoothie bowls are meant to be thick and creamy. If you add too much milk it gets soupy and then it is considered a smoothie.

2. A good blender means everything. I can’t stress this enough. When you have a good blender, everything is blended evenly. If you don’t have a good blender, add ingredients one at a time so it doesn’t put too much on your blender and mash down ingredients with a spoon os it reaches the blades as you go. I know this from experience because I had a pretty crappy blender for years.

3. Add some protein. Smoothie bowls alone aren’t really that filling and will leave you hungry in an hour, so I always recommend adding some protein if you can. I do this with almond butter, chia seeds and a little bit of vegan protein powder. Without the protein added, this is merely a snack.

4. Get creative with your toppings. I eat smoothie bowls basically everyday, so I’ve learned to switch up my toppings and fruits so that it doesn’t get boring. Lately, I’m digging vanilla granola and chia seeds. I’m allergic to whole peanuts, so I have to be careful with my granola selections, but everything else is fair game.

5. Keep it Colorful. I love colorful food, so I’m very intentional about what I blend for the day and make sure whatever I’m blending is colorful and visually pleasing to look at. If I’m feeling green, I’ll add spinach leaves and green spirulina to my smoothie for a bright green look to my smoothie. Food doesn’t have to be boring, so experiment with different ingredients and enjoy a colorful meal.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Talking more food except for baby on the blog soon. #staytuned.

Sincerely,


Deidra Marie