When you are pregnant, your body goes through several changes, which may include increased acne, stretch marks, mood swings, and hair loss. Old myths related to pregnancy have associated these changes with many different signs, for example, hair loss is linked with the baby’s gender.
During early pregnancy, pregnant women spend most of their time browsing the Internet to get information about their baby. While doing so, they come across many old wives’ tales, which may lead them to wonder if there is any truth to such tales.
If you are also in search of the truth behind these myths, then do not worry, we are here to answer all of your questions and help you in separating the facts from myths. In this article, we will answer the age-old question: Is hair loss during pregnancy an indicator of the baby’s gender?
Hair loss during pregnancy is a very normal process. This hair thinning along with excessive shedding is caused by hormonal shifts or certain health issues like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, hyperemesis gravidarum, etc. Some women also lose hair during the first few months of pregnancy due to stress, this hair loss is called telogen effluvium.
During pregnancy, your body produces a high amount of a hormone known as estrogen, this hormone stimulates hair growth and causes your hair to grow thicker and longer. Post-pregnancy the amount of estrogen in your body decreases causing postpartum hair loss. Research shows that women carrying a female fetus experience hormone level 18.5 % higher than those carrying males.
Six Common Myths of Guessing the Sex of a Fetus
Old wives’ tales are not in any way scientific but are a fun way of guessing the baby’s sex. According to these, several noticeable changes help in determining the baby’s sex. The following are several myths regarding the sex of the fetus:
According to myths, mothers carrying female fetuses are bound to experience thinning hair and other symptoms like dry skin, while mothers carrying male fetuses may have no change in appearance.
In reality, many women experience thinning hair after pregnancy regardless of the gender of the baby, simply because of the decrease in the production of estrogen. The pregnant lady also experiences hair loss during the first months of pregnancy due to stress, this is a condition termed telogen effluvium. This is a very normal cycle and is nothing to be worried about. Hence hair loss can’t be used to determine if you are giving birth to a boy or girl.
50% of women experience morning sickness during the first trimester of their pregnancy. Another myth says that if the developing baby is a girl, the pregnant woman has an increased risk of severe morning sickness.
This myth is not completely false. Research shows that pregnant ladies experiencing severe morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum have a higher chance of giving birth to girls.
Sweet and Savory Cravings
Pregnant women experience food cravings; according to myths, these food cravings are an indicator of the baby’s gender. If you are craving sweet foods, you may have a girl and if you are craving sour or salty foods, then you may have a boy.
In reality, these cravings are a sign of what your body needs and has nothing to do with the baby’s sex. For example, wanting to chew on ice is a sign of iron deficiency.
Mood swings during pregnancy are very normal. Some myths say that females carrying a boy don’t experience mood swings while on the other hand females experiencing mood swings are carrying a girl. In reality, pregnant women experience mood swings during the first and third trimesters regardless of the baby’s sex.
Acne during pregnancy is also associated with a female fetus, as the baby girl’s hormones combined with your own can lead to acne. But pregnant women carrying a male fetus will also experience severe acne during the last few months of pregnancy.
During pregnancy, your hormone levels change rapidly. These hormonal changes can cause nosebleeds, In addition, pregnant women are at an increased risk of getting nosebleeds because they have high blood pressure, which causes their more fragile vessels to rupture. These nosebleeds are often linked to the baby’s sex. In reality, there is little to no truth to this myth.
According to myths, pregnant women who carry the weight of the fetus in front may have a baby boy while women whose weight is spaced more evenly around the middle may have a baby girl. Research shows that there is some truth to this myth, as scientists have found a link between fetal sex and gestational weight.
Fetal Heart Rate
One of the most common myths regarding fetal sex is that if your baby’s heart rate is less than 150 beats per minute, then your baby may be a boy, and if the fetal heart rate is more than 150 beats per minute, your baby may be a girl.
According to myths, the child’s gender will be the same as the parent who was less stressed during conception.
Dreams While Pregnant
According to old wives’ tales, if you dream about having a girl during pregnancy, you have a higher chance of having a boy.
The difference between your right and left breast can also help in determining the gender of your baby. If your left breast is smaller than the right one, then you may have a baby girl, and if your right breast is smaller than the left one, you may have a baby boy.
A puffy face during pregnancy is an indicator of a baby girl. But keep in mind that this puffiness can be a sign of other health issues. If you are experiencing sudden puffiness, you may need to contact the doctor.
This puffiness can be a symptom of preeclampsia. Other symptoms include vomiting, headache, pain below the ribs, etc.
Myths are nothing but made-up stories. To find out the gender of your baby, you can get an ultrasound or a blood test. In addition, mixing a pregnant woman’s urine with Drano will cause color changes, which indicate the gender of the baby.
Causes of Hair Loss
If you are shedding more than 125 hairs per day, you are probably experiencing hair loss. To deal with hair loss, you can contact a dermatologist. The following are 3 types of hair loss in women:
- Anagen effluvium: Hair thinning caused due to medications that poison your growing hair follicle. Like medications used in chemotherapy and low-level laser.
- Telogen effluvium: A large number of hair follicles reach the telogen phase where hair starts to fall out.
- Female pattern alopecia areata: The most common type in which hair thinning starts at the top of the head and continues along the sides. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition in which there are cyclical or unpredictable patterns of hair loss.
Several reasons can cause hair loss, the following is a list of potential causes of hair loss:
Hormonal imbalances are the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. In females, hormones called androgens can weaken your hair follicles. While in men, an increase in androgen termed dihydrotestosterone can lead to hair loss, as it binds to hair follicles to stop growth. In addition, it also decreases the overall life span of the hair.
Hormones secreted from the thyroid gland are called thyroid hormones. There are two types of thyroid issues, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism. When these thyroid problems occur, there is either an over-secretion or under-secretion of thyroid hormone. These hormonal imbalances can lead to hair loss.
In addition, postpartum thyroiditis can lead to hair loss in mothers after labor. Proper treatment of the thyroid gland can help in overcoming this problem. Treatment options include surgery and oral medications.
Hormonal imbalances are a normal part of pregnancy, which clearly indicates why pregnancy affects your hair. During pregnancy, your estrogen levels increase exponentially, which is why you experience less hair loss than usual. After pregnancy, the estrogen levels come back to normal, and as a result, you will notice bald patches along with excessive hair shedding.
Postpartum hair loss may happen between one to six months after childbirth and may last up to 18 months. This hair loss is not permanent; your hair will grow back eventually. You can speed up this process with the help of certain hair treatments, especially postpartum chemical treatments. But be sure to consult a doctor before getting a hair treatment.
Some medications have side effects that include hair loss. For example, medications like blood thinners, Accutane, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, etc. Medications can also have an effect on your hormones, which may result in hair loss.
If you have a feeling that the medications you are taking might be the cause of your hair loss, you should consult a doctor. The doctor may reduce the dosage or recommend an alternative.
Diets containing lower amounts of protein and vitamins can cause excessive hair loss. For example, iron deficiency is a leading cause of hair loss. To prevent this you should maintain a balanced diet.
In addition to all of the causes mentioned above, genetics play a large role in determining the amount of hair you will lose and at what age you will experience hair loss. Genetic testing is a great way of determining if hair loss is related to your genes or not.
When Do You Stop Losing Hair During Pregnancy?
Hair loss is a common part of pregnancy. Hair loss peaks at around four months after labor and can last up to 6 to 8 months. Postpartum hair loss is not permanent, and after a few months, your hair will start to grow back. If that’s not the case, you should contact a doctor who will help you in taking the necessary steps to deal with hair loss.
How to Stop Hair Loss?
Hair loss can be a lot to deal with and can negatively affect the confidence of an individual. To overcome it, you can try following the tips:
Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy in an FDA-approved method helps with hair growth. You can use this treatment to not only stimulate hair growth but also decrease inflammation.
Take Care of Your Scalp
Before getting any harsh treatments, you should try to solve this problem at home. You can take care of your hair and scalp by washing your hair regularly and by avoiding hot oils, hot curling irons, hot rollers, etc. You should also prevent hair loss by not wearing tight hairstyles.
You can get special treatments for your hair like keratin treatments to overcome hair loss and make your hair smooth, strong, and shiny again.
Use a Wide-Toothed Comb
A wide-toothed comb helps in preventing excessive hair loss due to the pulling of hair when stuck in the comb. In addition, using hair bands that have a slink covering can also help in avoid hair breakage.
Smoking leads to inflammation around your body, which in turn causes excessive hair loss.
Giving your hair proper attention is enough to deal with hair loss. And you can always consult a dermatologist who can help you make the best decisions for your hair.
Many women experience hair loss during the first trimester of pregnancy. This can be a result of stress or hormonal imbalances. Hair loss peaks around 4 to 5 months after pregnancy due to low levels of estrogen.
Hair loss during pregnancy is not permanent, but can’t be prevented. Keep in mind that this hair loss may be a symptom of another medical condition, so if your hair does not grow back a few months after labor, you should consult a doctor. Myths regarding pregnancy symptoms and the gender of the baby are made-up stories and not true. You can find out the gender of the baby through an ultrasound, a blood test, the mother’s urine test, etc.