I stared as I pulled out another clump of hair in the shower. Nearby, my 8-week-old baby fussed in her bouncer seat on the floor of the bathroom. As an OB, I knew postpartum hair thinning was normal, but despite taking care of over a thousand pregnancies, I was shocked to see how dramatic it was. I wondered if there was anything I could do to stop the shedding, and help my body recover after the birth of my daughter.
This personal experience led me to do a deep dive into ingredients that could help me (and my hair!) recover better. As a physician and integrative health expert, I knew how important it was to ensure that all ingredients were carefully evaluated for safety and efficacy. I wanted to make sure that anything that I put into my body was healthy and supportive for my recovery and safe for my baby.
Through my research I learned that many micronutrients, botanicals, and fatty acids could support my health and my recovery after birth. I was particularly drawn to Shatavari, or wild asparagus root, as an Ayurvedic botanical with a long history of use in postpartum care, since it is supportive of the body as a whole. Another botanical with a long history of use is Nettle, high in iron and micronutrients necessary for hair health. My body was putting a lot of energy into recovering—and rightfully so, as childbirth puts added physical stress on the body—so support from Omega-3 fatty acids and Tocotrienols was key, along with L-theanine for stress relief. It’s important to remember that many of the important nutrients you take in to nourish yourself will also pass on to your baby through breast milk, so I was careful to select ingredients that were traditionally used during lactation and the postpartum transition.
I personally took many different supplements to help boost my hair growth recovery, and for years advised my patients to do the same. When working with Nutrafol to develop their postpartum formula, it was important that we find a way to incorporate these types of natural, breastfeeding-friendly, whole-food sources into one innovative and convenient formula. New mothers have enough to deal with without having to worry about taking multiple daily supplements, and wondering whether they are friendly during breastfeeding!
With this in mind, some of the key, clinically effective ingredients in Nutrafol Postpartum include:
DHA Omega-3s to support the body’s stress and immune responses. This also helps promote a balanced mood and cognitive health, with additional benefits for your baby’s brain and eye development. Additionally, it is sourced from algae as an alternative to more commonly consumed fish oils (that means no fishy burps, and good for vegetarian mamas)!
Collagen-OSA for additional protein and mineral support to promote stronger-growing hair (and gut health).
Shatavari, which is an Ayurvedic adaptogen that has been shown to counter stress and support female reproductive health, and has a longstanding history of being traditionally used after birth.
Theanine, a calming amino acid that helps combat emotional stress and promotes relaxation, which may help with restorative sleep and improved energy. Gotta make those zzz’s count with a new baby!
Apple, an antioxidant high in polyphenols to support the body and hair growth.
Nettle, a nourishing botanical rich in iron, which is necessary for healthy hair growth and traditionally used during pregnancy and postpartum.
Tocotrienol Complex, a potent antioxidant that combats oxidative stress to support hair density.
Remember, this does not replace your postnatal multivitamin, and it’s best to consult with your physician before adding a supplement to your regimen. These natural ingredients helped my body and hair recover postpartum, and I’m hopeful that this new blend of clinically effective botanicals will provide you with the support you need as well.