A few months after giving birth, all your pregnancy glow is gone. You start shedding hair, your skin appears dull, and you have brittle nails. While shedding hair, dull skin, and brittle nails are common issues during the postpartum period, they are not desirable. And many moms do what they can to go back o how things were. Which brings us to the question: can you take hair, skin, and nail vitamins while breastfeeding? Stay tuned.
Can You Take Hair, Skin, And Nail Vitamins While Breastfeeding?
Most hair, skin, and vitamins contain high amounts of vitamins E, A, and Biotin and other ingredients like flaxseed oil, selenium, fish oil, and manganese in relatively smaller quantities. These nutrients help promote healthy hair, skin, and nails, and their deficiencies can lead to hair loss, brittle nails, and dull skin. So, if your hair loss, brittle nails, and dull skin result from these nutrients deficiency, taking the supplements may lead to positive changes in those troubled areas.
However, if you are not deficient in the said nutrients, taking such vitamins would not affect your hair, skin, or nails.
Biotin and vitamins A and E are often considered the best cure for postpartum hair loss. And although taking these vitamins is safe, exceeding the recommended daily allowance is not. The recommended dietary allowance of Biotin and Vitamins A and E are 35 micrograms, 1300 micrograms, and 19 milligrams. So, does your vitamins intake exceed the recommended daily allowance? Does your blood work show you are deficient in the said nutrients? Note that the foods you eat already contain the nutrients. Supplementing can make you take more than needed, leading to toxicity.
Hair, nail, and skin vitamins contain high levels of vitamin A, E, and Biotin, with some having up to 5000 – 8000 micrograms of Biotin. Note that the daily Biotin intake of a nursing mom should not surpass 2500 micrograms. Excessive intake of vitamins, especially fat-soluble vitamins like A and E, can lead to severe consequences. And although there’s little data on the effects on the child, the mother can be adversely affected. Too much Biotin can change your breast milk’s taste, making your child reject it. High doses of vitamins A and Biotin can make you feel sick and experience cramps, headaches, diarrhea, and nausea. And you wouldn’t want to undergo such symptoms while taking care of your child.
In many cases, hair loss during postpartum is caused by hormonal changes rather than vitamin deficiencies. The hormone that helped you maintain pregnancy, progesterone, is no longer produced. Other hormones helpful in breast milk production, oxytocin and prolactin, are now produced in high amounts.
This shift of hormones from progesterone to prolactin and oxytocin is what makes you lose hair, have dull skin, and have brittle nails. And there’s nothing much you can do about it. But take solace that it’s a passing wind, and within a few months, they’ll be improvements. You just have to give your body time to adjust to the hormonal changes, and everything will be fine.
That being said, you can take hair, nail, and skin vitamins while breastfeeding only when it’s proven you’re deficient in those nutrients and not any other time. But you can continue with your prenatal vitamins and ensure you eat healthily.
How To Naturally Keep Your Hair, Skin, And Nail Healthy While Breastfeeding
Preventing postpartum hair is not possible. However, there are safe and natural ways of ensuring your hair, nails, and skin remain healthy while breastfeeding.
A well-balanced diet is crucial in meeting your baby’s nutrient needs (through breast milk) and your body’s nutrition demands. Poor diet, stress, and toxic elements can cause dry hair and brittle nails. The following foods play a significant role in providing you with essential nutrients for lustrous hair, strong nails, and beautiful skin.
- Almonds – almonds contain high amounts of proteins, and vitamin E. vitamin E enhances collagen production and helps fight inflammation in your body. Almonds are also rich in calcium which supports strong bones and nails. Raw almonds are Biotin-rich, making them an excellent food for strong nails and hair.
- Pumpkin seeds are among the best food for hair, skin, and nails. They are rich in Biotin, protein, potassium, magnesium, and omega 3, which contribute to healthy hair, skin, and nails. Eating a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds can quickly improve your nail, skin, and hair.
- Green Leafy Vegetables – spinach, watercress, broccoli, kale, and spirulina are superfoods that should not miss in your diet. These foods contain Biotin, iron, and vitamins A, E, K, and C, all great for your skin, nail, and hair health.
- Root vegetables – root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin are rich in vitamin A which supports healthy hair, nails, and skin.
- Oats – oats are high in protein and Biotin, promoting healthy hair, nails, and skin. They also boost milk production.
Although you should aim to meet your nutrient needs from food, that may not always be possible. Postnatal vitamins are designed specifically for your body’s postpartum nutritional needs and newborn development and contain ingredients that support milk production and healthy hair.
Hydration is not only great for breastfeeding but for your overall health. Being hydrated is excellent for your skin and helps remove toxins from your body, promoting hair and skin health.
Use Vitamin Enriched Shampoo And Conditioner
Wash your hair with toxin-free vitamin-enriched shampoo and use a conditioner that deeply conditions the hair. Avoid daily hair washing as that strips the hair’s natural oil, making it dry. You can also mask your hair using vitamin-rich hair masks once a week.
Breastfeeding is a demanding task that can change your body in many ways, and the most notable ones are hair loss, brittle nails, and lifeless skin. If you plan to take vitamins to revert the changes, hold on for a while and focus on living a healthy lifestyle. Everything will be fine after a couple of months. But if you feel you must take hair, nail, and skin vitamins, consult your doctor, but just know there would be no difference unless you’re deficient in the nutrients.