How is hair loss and reduced milk supply after childbirth related?

These two symptoms seem like two completely separate problems, however in Chinese medicine they can be easily explained by the loss of blood from childbirth.

Blood nourishes the head to give you glossy, shiny, thick hair. Notice how during pregnancy, your hair seems like that of goddesses? This is because of the increased blood supply your body has to support your new ‘growth’. It fills all the vessels in your body including your head, giving you amazing hair. However, once you give birth, you lose a large component of this blood and it can take 6-24 months to regenerate depending on your diet and lifestyle.

But how is hair on your head related to your milk supply? Well in Chinese medicine, your milk supply is actually a special component of Blood. So if you’ve lost a lot of blood (and worse still, haemorrhaged during birth) and your body can’t keep up with demands, you will not have as much supply. This is mainly noticed when you get your period too, because you are then losing even more blood.

So what’s the answer? Very soon after childbirth, you need to start nourishing yourself with delicious, warm, hearty food which specifically build blood. In China, grandmothers often make a special soup, however these days you can start taking some Chinese herbs which do something very similar.

Acupuncture can also get your organs working the best they can energetically so your body can turn the food and herbs into good quality blood and energy for your body and your baby.

Self Prescribed Herbs for Menstrual Regulation

I’ve been asked a few times in the last week about Chaste tree or Vitex (vitex agnus-castus) used in regulating menstrual cycles and assisting with fertility. The thing about any herbs, is that they work by a specific biological action. If the reason your cycle needs regulating is not due to a problem with that specific biological action, they will be a waste of time and money. Vitex has been shown to reduce prolactin secretion, normalise a shortened luteal phase (second phase) as well as increase mid-luteal progesterone and oestradiol levels. Which is fantastic if those are the reasons you specifically are not falling pregnant or suffering from irregular or painful menstrual cycles. However, if none of these are a problem for you, Chaste tree supplements will not help.

The fantastic thing about Chinese medicine, is we take your individual case to treat you uniquely with acupuncture, moxibustion and herbs. Try not to get too caught up in hype surrounding the ‘latest’ herbs or supplements for fertility. They’ve been around for centuries, it’s just the marketing that changes.

Talk to a health professional before self prescribing. It might be more expensive, but the individual results will be worth it.