House of Harper Family Pictures by Lindsey Belle Photography_162

photographed by Lindsey Belle

Most of us are so busy worrying about every breath our little ones take that we rarely stop for a second to take care of ourselves after having a baby.  Yes our unmanicured hands are usually a reminder that our ‘me’ time is taking a back seat to nurturing and caring for another human life, but recently I have noticed other things, that have caused me to pause for a minute to think about my health and wellbeing.

The first thing that comes to mind (because every time I look in the mirror I notice the 2 inch hairs sticking up all over my head) is the postpartum hair loss.  I believe I heard about this phenomenon before having a baby, but I guess I didn’t give it too much thought until it happened to me. When Knox was about 4 months old, I noticed all my thick beautiful pregnancy hair falling out in clumps.  I would literally get out of the shower and be in disbelief at the sight on the shower floor. So (obviously), I would leave the evidence there for FMK to witness, as well.  (He wasn’t too appreciative of this gesture, but I just had to show someone!)  Now, 10 months postpartum, I am getting my hair back, but I am in the lovely grow out phase.  Basically, this means lots of styling moose to try to tame the 2 inch fly aways sprouting up all over my head.

Another sad realization is that the beautiful, pore-less skin from pregnancy was just temporary.  I am not sure how much of this is from lack of sleep or passing all your nutrients to your baby via nursing, but my skin suddenly looked pretty dull and lifeless a few short months after having Knox.  It also couldn’t have helped that I had Knox in October so we were pretty much stuck indoors once I was ready to get out with him come January.  This had me lacking in vitamin D and looking pretty pale (breast feed babies take Vitamin D supplements to help with this).

Most recently, when I was home for a visit with my parents, I was commenting on all the random bruises on my legs.  I seriously have no idea where they come from, but I probably have at least 3 on each leg.  This worried my mom so I am getting a professional opinion at my upcoming doctor’s visit, but a little googling (I know, I know!) told me this could be a side effect from nursing and not getting enough vitamin C and iron.  So for now, I am trying to be better about taking my vitamins and eating extra healthy.

Lastly, I was reading this article on A Cup of Jo and her experience sounded very similar to what a friend of mine recently felt after weaning her son just before his first birthday.  After hearing of two separate instances of the correlation between weaning and depression (or just baby blues), I made a mental note to really be aware of my own emotions during this time.  I started weaning Knox a few weeks after we arrived in Texas (at almost 10 months).  He was down to 3 nursing sessions a day and I decided to cut out the afternoon feeding and replace it with formula.  Long story short, (due to a biting phase and low supply) I am now only nursing once a day and giving him two formula bottles a day.  And sure enough, just like clock work, I had a pretty roller coaster week last week.  I was so glad to have these conversations in the back of my mind to know it was likely just my hormones.  I want to pass this knowledge on to other moms out there incase you experience something similar.  The good news is mine was very short-lived (so far) and after a few days of heightened emotions (sorry FMK!), I am feeling back to myself.

Have you been surprised by anything you wish you were more prepared for post baby?  Of course, all this (and more) is worth that one little smile or kiss (I mean just look at that sweet picture!) from our sweet babies, but I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below…

A few beauty tricks to help you get through some of the post baby challenges: