Sunday, July 26, 2020

dealing with postpartum hairloss

When I was about 3-4 months postpartum, someone asked me on instagram how I was dealing with postpartum hair loss. I wasn't having any yet, and was like "hmmm, maybe this is one of those things I just got lucky and avoided!"

Jokes on me because two months later, my hair was falling out in handfulls. It was honestly disturbing how much hair I was losing every time I washed my hair. Every time I showered, I had huge clumps of hair left over. I seriously dreaded washing my hair. Everyone was commenting on the beautiful head of hair my baby had, while I was losing all of mine!

And then about two months later, I all of a sudden felt my hair looked crazy, because I had all these tiny short hairs along my hair line. Initially I thought it was just the new shampoo I was using, and then I finally realized it was my hair growing back. So not only did I lose a bunch of hair thickness, but then I had all these wirey new hairs growing in along my hairline.

Telogen effluvium is the medical term for diffuse hairloss (and definitely sounds like a Harry Potter spell). It happens after a big triggering event, like delivering a baby, and makes the hair follicles go from the growth phase they are in during pregnancy (which is why many women get thicker hair when they are pregnant) to the resting phase, where hair eventually falls out. It typically happens 3-4 months after that triggering event, which is what happened to me.

There isn't a "cure" for postpartum hair loss unfortunately, and not a ton you can do to prevent it. But there are a few things I found in this process that has helped deal with the hair loss and helping my hair in this journey!

every day // I continued taking a prenatal vitamin after penny's delivery. Not only is that helpful for lactating mothers, but I really believe it makes a difference for hair and nail growth! I don't have any medical knowledge to back that up with, but just something I've noticed personally. I also eat lots of healthy fats in avocados and olive oil, which I think helps.

in the shower // I only wash my hair every 5-6 days (thank you, world's best dry shampoo!). In the shower, I use Amika's purple shampoo for my highlighted hair with this shampoo brush - it helps get a great lather and supposedly stimulates blood flow to the scalp (again, who knows if this truly makes a difference as I don't have any studies to back that up with, but it sure feels good on the scalp!). Then I follow with the It's a 10 deep conditioner. I use a comb to detangle my hair while that is on - this is the traumatic part when you're going to lose a bunch of hair on the brush, but I think it's better to brush in the shower with the conditioner on as it's less tearing at wet hair outside of the shower.

after the shower // After I step out of the shower, I use this microfiber towel that I use by draping across my forehead and then spinning into a bun at the nape of my neck - I feel this pulls less at the hairline than when you drape it on top of your head because it's not pulling at the hairs when you spin it to be on top of your head. I think use several products specifically to help with regrowth, to protect the hairs I do have, and help smooth out the new hairs. First I apply Kerastase's strengthening serum mostly to be hairline and at the top of my head (I use two pipette's worth of product). This stuff is seriously worth it, and I will continue to buy it. It helps strengthen the hairs you have, preventing hairs from breaking off. Since I was already losing whole strands of hair, I didn't want to lose even more due to breakage. Then I apply Living Proof's no-frizz cream - this stuff is great for the frizz that comes with the new hair growth, and a little bit goes a long way. I focus this first on my ends and then at my hairline. After drying my hair, I use this hair oil,  again first on my ends and then on my part. My hair is almost frizz free using these two products, and don't even straighten my hair anymore (which is an extra win since I'm not applying any heat!).

styling // I tried several different products and tricks to try to get the new hairs to lay flat - I even got one of those hair mascara products in hopes it would keep my new hairs down, but it really only worked for like 5 minutes and then they popped back up. I snuck a little bit of my husband's pomade to make the hairs at my hairline lay flat. Several people also had luck spraying some hairspray on an old toothbrush and using that to brush the hairs down! What I really had the most luck with though was just using headbands to get through this regrowth phase! Amazon is a goldmine for headbands. My favorite for work are these yoga headbands and these floral ones - I get compliments every time I wear them! I love the look of the Lele Sadoughi headbands but $150 for a headband is not something I can afford, so this pack of headbands in a similar style is a great alternative - I've worn these to several weddings and events and love the look of them! I just found this pack of 12 headbands that are now in my Amazon husband probably won't be too happy about even more headbands but when you wear them so often, you can't help but want a few more!

In the end, it's "just hair" and motherhood is hard enough without beating yourself up about your hair, so we all need to give ourselves some grace when it comes to how we think we look in the postpartum (or any time) period. The several times I brought up my crazy hair regrowth in real life or on instagram, every one said they didn't even notice! So it's like all things, we are always our worst critics! But I hope these little tips help you get through the months of losing and regrowing your hair. Would love to hear any other tips from all you experienced ladies!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

clothing review: falling for instagram ads

Hello and welcome to my post about how I fell for internet ads. It only took me about four weeks to write this post, so we can thank motherhood and residency for that ;)

Okay so many of us have seen the Marine Layer ads on instagram for their tulip shaped Allison pants. I just loved the casual but pulled together look of the pants so after about the 20th ad, I finally ordered a pair. They come in sizes XS-XL, is made of a polyester/elastane combo, and retail for $98 (you can sign up for their emails and get 10% off your first order)

I find taking pictures of pants so difficult because it's hard to show how they really fit versus just how they feel, especially with black pants because pictures can forgive so much. Like in these pictures, I think they look cute and comfy!

But as much as I wanted to LOVE these pants, they just didn't fit me well. You can see it better in the picture below:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

day in the life: labor & delivery

This post is sponsored by HelloFresh. Thank you for supporting the companies who support and feed my own family!

This is a "typical" day in the life of a third year ObGyn resident. As always, details have been changed or omitted. 

5:07 // My alarm isn't supposed to go off for another 23 minutes, but Penny doesn't really care about alarms and wants to nurse and cuddle now. I scoop her out of her pack n plan, and nurse and hold her for the next 25 minutes before putting her back down to sleep. Chris will get up in about an hour and get himself and the baby ready, and will take her to daycare.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

penny favorites: 6-9 months

Penny turns 9 months old today! That is wild. She has just grown so much in the last few months - she now has opinions and makes them known! She's really starting to enjoy eating real foods, is working on crawling, can almost pull herself up on things, and can actually spend a little bit of time entertaining herself. This is such a fun age! Compared to previous months, some of our favorite items revolved more around toys than practical items - but that's what makes it so fun!

Teething Tubes // I kept seeing ads for these teething tubes and once Penny's first teeth started popping through, I figured why not. Turns out she loves her little teething tube! She is constantly chewing on it and playing with it and slobbering all over it. They are made out of silicone, are easily cleaned in soapy water, and overall a hit! Penny is working on some of her back teeth now and is obsessed more than ever before. 

Board Books // Instead of cards for our baby shower, we received books, so we have an awesome little library for Penny...but six months in, I realized that both Penny and I really enjoyed the board books with stories, rather than just pictures. She likes turning the pages, and I like having something to actually read! A few of our favorites are the Pout Pout Fish (the original is the best but some of the other ones are cute too), Giraffes Can't Dance, Love from Me to You, and Courageous People Who Changed the World. Currently in our Amazon basket we have Llama Llama Red Pajama, If Animals Kissed Goodnight, and The Little Blue Truck. Any other favorites we should add? 

Bapron // The last three months have been a whole new world of eating for Penny. We are doing half and half purees and baby led weaning - she gets purees at daycare and a bit at home, and then we generally give her adult food that's appropriate for her to try as well. That can get messy quick. I love our little baby apron! It's great for messier foods as it covers a bit more of her clothes, it's easily washed in the sink, and dries quickly. Plus the patterns they have are so cute! 

Magnetic Stacking Bear // This was a random instagram buy from Manhatten Toys that Penny LOVES. It's her favorite toy. She likes banging the pieces together, biting the parts, knocking stacks we make over, and talking to the little bear head. I like that it's a wood toy with non-toxic finishes that is easily cleaned off with soap and water. This would be a cute Easter present!

Sensory Teether // Teething is obviously a big theme for this age - I found this toy at Target and Penny held on to it the whole rest of the shopping trip. The soft tubes must feel good on her little gums and the different colors and parts keep her entertained. Plus again, it's easily washable! 

Stokke Highchair // I spent a lot of timing research high chairs - different styles, sizes, colors, everything! Everything kept pointing towards the Stokke high chair. I loved the minimalistic design, the fact that it grows with the baby from infant to childhood, that it's fairly easily cleaned, and that it has a foot rest for the baby so it sits in a more natural position for eating. I saved a Visa giftcard we received after Penny was born and used a 20% off coupon to make the price tolerable for us. We are very happy with this purchase!

Leather Moccasins // This is kind of a random item in the list since I haven't included other baby clothing, but we just love these little moccasins. They are very similar to the Freshly Picked mocs but for like half the price. Our first sets were a little gold set and a blush set and she wears them every day. Penny loves to pull her socks off her feet, so having soft shoes on makes it harder for her to bare her little feet! Plus I think they are just adorable - they even have ones with red bottom soles! 

Building Blocks // I've been a huge Bannor Toys fan since Penny was born - I got her a teether soon after she was born she plays with every day! For Christmas, I got both her and her cousin a set of their wood and silicone blocks. We play with these every single day! They are fun for us since we can build her little buildings or stacks and she gets to knock them over, she can chew on the blocks, and bang them together. I know this is something that she will grow with over the next few years, and it's probably my biggest recommendation on this list!

Friday, January 31, 2020

top three: january 2020

celebrating my sister's birthday

medicine //
  • During pregnancy, the kidneys grows 1.5 cm, and will return to normal size within 6 months postpartum
  • Waardeburg Syndrome is a group of syndromes that can cause hearing loss, and changes in pigmentation of the hair, skin, and eyes
  • As Penny has started eating real foods, food allergens has been something that's been on our mind. It was interesting to read about the LEAP study and how they figured out that early exposure to allergens is actually protective.

on the internet //

spotted for me //

spotted for penny //
  • H&M is my favorite place for baby clothes...we are ready for spring over here with this adorable set!
  • Not a lot of things I love more than baby overalls
  • Okay, maybe baby chambray is right up there with baby overalls. Little chambray shirts go with everything!

ask me anything //
  • I’m considering a career change into medicine after 11 years out of college. I have two young kids (3yr and 3mo old) - any tips for the transition? Thoughts on med school v. PA or nursing? Am I completely crazy to think about doing this with a young family and at age 33?!?
    • I do not think you are crazy at all! I think first things you have to think about is how you see yourself working in health care. While doctors and nurses both work in the same environment, their roles (and education) are very very different. Becoming a full fledged doctor comes with another few years of getting the pre-reqs, 4 years of medical school, and at least another 3 years of training - along with that comes $150-$300k in debt, as well as very little flexible time during most of the 5+ years of clinical work. Maybe PA school would be a great in between - it's 2 years of school and no required training after, you'll make great money, and very likely have more flexibility in balancing your home life and work life than you would as a resident/young attending. I see many women on instagram about my age who have children about Penny's age who now are working part time, a luxury I can't have. There are SO many more things that go into this, as I don't know you, but those are just some of my rambling thoughts!
  • After my third vaginal child birth, I discovered I have a prolapse and after seeing my obgyn was referred to a pelvic floor physical therapist. I've since been discovering a lot on my own too about pelvic floor health and I'm a little annoyed that I knew nothing about it before/during pregnancy. There seems to be a disconnect between obgyns and pelvic floor health. I feel like I'm backtracking when more could've been done preventatively if I'd been made aware by my doctor. Any comments on this being an obgyn? Appreciate it! :)
    • There is definitely a disconnect and it's really a shame we don't get more training or have more understanding of pelvic floor therapy in residency. We had one lecture last year, and I have myself referred a few people to pelvic floor therapy, but couldn't really tell you much about what goes in there. Would love to hear more about what you learned by going to pelvic PT!
  • Can we see pictures of your closet? Do you have a wardrobe inventory? I have a small reach in closet and it’s a mess and I’m struggling with what to wear and the “I have nothing to wear” Syndrome with a stuffed closet and don’t know how to start. Advice?
    • I also have a small reach in closet! Here's a picture from a few years ago, not much has changed in the general lay out. Since I've basically moved every 2 years for the last 10+ years (this is the longest I've ever been in one house!), I was constantly going through my closet and editing it down. I still feel at times like I too have nothing to wear, but I know that's not true, and just go for my tried and true favorites. I wrote a whole series a while back about building a cohesive wardrobe, which included a post about cleaning out your closet so you can start fresh. I hope that helps!

on franish //

at home //
  • Well January came and went! This month was a busy one, I was back on L&D, which always makes for long days. We also took our inservice exam, and I interviewed for my first attending job! This month I'm on GYN, which involves lots of surgeries, and ED/hospital consults. 
  • I'm going to Scottsdale at the end of February with my class for a conference, and need all the suggestions! We have been there once, so I can't wait to be back, but it's been a few years, so any food/drink/experience recommendations you have, I'd love to hear them!
  • Penny said her first word last month. It was "dada". Of course :(

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Aerie Cloud Sherpa Oversized Pullover review

 Aerie Cloud Sherpa Oversized Pullover

Man you guys, this month has been something. I'm back on L&D for the month, which is always busy. We also had our annual inservice exam last week, I've worked 2 of the 4 weekends, and I have my first interview for my first attending job (how are we here already?!..didn't I just write this post?). Needless to say, all of that combined with the baby, I've hardly been on my computer. 

But I did want to pop in quick today to share my favorite clothing item I've purchased recently. I happened upon this amazing sherpa pullover when I accidentally opened a marketing email (I almost always just delete all of them) and 5 minutes later, was entering my credit card to order it for myself. 

I own several sherpa sweaters and pullovers and you guys, this is the best one yet. The problem I've had with almost all sherpa sweaters is that they are amazingly soft and fluffy on the outside...but then are scratchy and uncomfortable on the inside. Not this one though, it's "cloud" name really lives up to how it feels. It's soooo soft on both the inside and outside, and is therefore just so nice to wear. I've been wearing it every chance I get! 

 Aerie Cloud Sherpa Oversized Pullover
Couple of things on sizing. I ordered my normal size large. Reviews say it runs a little large and I agree with that, so if you are between sizes, maybe size down. It is also a bit boxier than like a Patagonia or LLBean sweater, so something to also be mindful of. As you can see above it has dolman style sleeves. It is a bit longer in the back, which is great if you, like me, like your butt covered when wearing leggings. As far as colors go, I have it in natural...but now I'm also considering ordering the basketweave color. I just think it would look so cute with some distressed jeans. 

This Aerie sherpa is on sale today for $30, which is the cheapest I've seen it (it was $40 when I ordered it). I think I'm going to get that basketweave color and these distressed jeggings!

Aerie Cloud Sherpa Oversized Pullover