Pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the biggest blessings that could happen to a woman. Just the ability of bringing another life into the world is one that is awe inspiring.
Also, the experience itself of carrying a baby to full term is one that is unique for each woman. For some it is smooth sailing and for some not so much.
A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during this time – most to accommodate the baby in your belly. In fact, pregnancy affects your entire body from your head down to your toenails. And for some women this includes a bout of eyelash loss during pregnancy.
Why does eyelash loss during pregnancy happen?
Seriously, why do such crappy things happen to good people? Well, one of the possible reasons you may be experiencing eyelash loss during pregnancy is because of your thyroid function. Having underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid glands is a common cause of eyelash loss.
According to The American Thyroid Association, your thyroid changes during pregnancy because of the hormones estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which sometimes leads to hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism causes hair to become thin, dry, and brittle which in turn makes your eyelashes start falling out.
Another possible reason for eyelash loss during pregnancy is nutrient or mineral deficiency. This can include iron, B12, zinc, vitamin D, biotin, essential fatty acids, and protein deficiency, among many others. During pregnancy, you may need double of some of these nutrients to accommodate both yourself and the baby in your belly. Not getting enough of said nutrients can lead to a number of side effects and this includes eyelash loss.
As with any other pregnancy related concerns it is always best to consult with your OB-GYN so that you can get professional assessment regarding any other possible causes for your eyelash loss.
So how do you go about getting your lashes back in bloom? Here’s 5 ways to go about it that are safe for you and your baby!
Eat lash-friendly foods
As always having a well balanced diet can do your body wonders and this includes remedying any eyelash woes you may have during pregnancy. Foods rich in nutrients such as iron, B12, biotin, protein, essential fatty acids, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, among others will help keep you, your baby, and your hair follicles (priorities) healthy.
These include foods such as:
Salmon. Salmon is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids. We already know of its benefits to the heart, the brain, and all that. But moreover, it actually also helps build the brain and eyes of the fetus. Omega 3 fatty acids also promote hair growth and this includes your eyelashes.
It is otherwise important to note that pregnant women should limit their seafood intake to at least twice a week because of its high content of contaminants such as mercury. Nonetheless, twice a week is more than enough to reap its benefits.
Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene which the body turns into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy fetal development. And it also promotes healthy hair growth. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain fiber which reduces blood sugar spikes and improves digestive health and mobility.
Eggs. Eggs are considered to be one of the ultimate health foods because they contain a handful of the most essential nutrients the body needs. Eggs are a great source of choline. Low choline intake during pregnancy can actually increase the risk of neural tube defects and can also lead to decreased brain function. Eggs are also loaded with the B vitamin biotin which promotes hair growth and a healthy scalp.
Dark leafy greens. Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain many of the nutrients that pregnant women need. This includes fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, iron, calcium, potassium, and folate. Fiber also helps ease constipation which is a problem for a lot of pregnant women.
Antioxidants found in most dark leafy greens also help the immune and digestive system. Additionally most of the nutrients mentioned also help in achieving healthy hair follicles thus also giving you longer and healthier eyelashes.
Lean meats. Beef, chicken, and pork are rich in high quality protein which your body, including your hair, needs. Beef and pork are rich in iron, choline, and B vitamins; all of which are needed in higher amounts during pregnancy and also promotes healthy hair growth.
Other food items that can stop eyelash loss during pregnancy are avocados, legumes, bananas, milk, and whole grains, among others. Basically, whole foods will do you lashes – and your overall body – a whole lot of good!
Biotin is an essential nutrient for your baby’s development. Plus, it also keeps hair healthy including your eyelashes. Pregnant women sometimes have low levels of biotin which can lead to hair loss. Biotin can be found in a number of dietary sources but there’s always the option to go for biotin supplements as a convenient way to meet your needs.
Although biotin is essentially safe and can be bought without prescription, it is advised to consult your OB-GYN before taking it as a supplement as your prenatal vitamins may already contain levels of it.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the recommended daily intake of biotin is 30 micrograms and 35 micrograms.
Mother Nature gifted us with a whole array for wonderfully nourishing natural oils that we can use on our lashes and brows to nurture them back to health. The best ones for lashes?
Castor oil. People have been using castor oil for eyelashes and hair since way back (by ‘way back,’ we mean it can be traced back to ancient Egypt!). And rightfully so. Castor oil is rich in omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and proteins – all of which promote healthy hair growth.
Try regularly applying castor oil on your eyelashes before going to bed and let it work its magic overnight before rinsing it off to see results.
Emu oil. Some people have turned to emu oil to condition their eyelashes and stimulate longer and thicker growth. Although those who’ve tried it swear by it, it may not be for everyone as it is not plant based. It is instead from the rendered and refined fat of the emu bird. If you’re not vegan and if you can get past that fact, you may want to try applying this omega 3 fatty acids rich oil on your eyelashes.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil is widely used as a natural remedy for parts of the body including the hair. When applied to your eyelashes, it acts as a natural moisturizer as it contains compounds such as fatty acids, lauric, myristic, caprylic, and capric acid.
You can use them at any time of the day since they do not have an off putting smell like other oils, but it is still best to put them on your eyelashes at night before rinsing them off in the morning.
And of course, you don’t have to just pick one all-natural lash growth serum natural oil – you can combine a few of your favorites to make your own !
Wisely choose an eyelash growth serum
Before anything, take note that you have to be careful when choosing eyelash growth serums during pregnancy.
This means staying away from serums containing prostaglandins like Latisse or any of the Latisse alternatives. The FDA has assigned it a category C rating which is a risk rating. It hasn’t been tested on humans but has shown adverse effects in animal studies. Doctors definitely do not recommend this when pregnant and breastfeeding.
On the other hand, eyelash conditioners that fortify with peptides, proteins and botanical extracts are considered safe!
Be mindful of your makeup choices
Always remember that it is never okay to use makeup products that are beyond their expiration dates; especially products that go near your eyes such as mascaras. If you see that the mascara you’ve been using is already expired, do yourself a favor and throw it out as it could be one of the reasons that your eyelashes are falling out.
Also, we know how tired being pregnant can make you feel. But you still shouldn’t sleep without first taking off your makeup. You may also want to cut back on using false eyelashes and eyelash extensions. These are all pretty basic makeup reminds that you should know by now.
Eyelash loss – albeit uncommon – is just one of the many bodily changes you might experience during pregnancy. And although thinning or bald eyelashes are definitely not a pretty sight, it sure is just a minor bump (pun intended!) – one that you will for sure think is worth it once you finally get to see and hold the baby you’ve been carrying for months, in your arms.
Plus, it can be uncomfortable to experience but the situation tends to naturally correct itself after awhile. So don’t worry too much about it, try some of the safe remedies above and enjoy your pregnancy!