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Medicine Mondays: Children and Twitching; Pregnant and Breastfeeding; Hair Loss after Pregnancy

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:39pm

Hi welcome back to Medicine Mondays-

As suggested by the title, each Monday I'll post the answers to questions that I have collected over the week. If you have a question please feel free to send me an email or leave me a comment. I welcome every comment and hope to help answer some questions. Just remember that my advice is not a substitute for a physical exam and medical advice that your family doctor can provide.

The following comes from a reader on my personal blog- DrCason.org

Children and Twitching

Question:

My baby does this thing a couple times a day where her left foot twitches, and when I say twitches I mean TWITCHES, it usually only happens if there is a little bit of pressure on it, like if she is pushing on my hands with her feet. What’s that all about?

Answer:

What you are describing is called clonus. Clonus is a series of involuntary repetitive movements that occur when the muscle is stretched. It is usually found at the ankle. This is a normal finding in newborns. If it is present when you are older it can be a sign of neurological injury. It is best to go to your pediatrician so they can exam your baby and determine whether this is still within a normal range for your child.


Anemia and Getting Pregnant

Question:

When having my baby I lost a lot of blood and ended up have 2 blood transfusions. MY hemoglobin are back to normal now(I’m an iron champion!) but she still told me that I should wait until my baby is at least 6 months before we start trying to baby number two. THAT SUCKS! I do NOT want to be like 7, 8, or 9 months pregnant in my middle of summer. Do I really have to wait?

Answer:

I can't answer this as an OB so it's best to go to your doctor to find out her reasons. But as a pediatrician I can say that the baby's iron level is heavily dependent on the mother's iron stores. So the health of your baby is really dependent on you! Just because your levels have now come up to normal does not mean that your stores are at a normal level. Go back and talk with your OB. It may be that she will be flexible with her recommendations and you can work together to create a plan for your next pregnancy!

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Question:

If I increase my food intake by a gazillion times is it safe to breast feed while being pregnant?

Answer:

I have heard of a lot of women doing this. Most people are concerned with 1. The possibility that the growing fetus will be deprived of essential nutrients and 2. That the hormone- oxytocin- that is released during breastfeeding could induce labor. Only your OB can tell you what they are comfortable with and what precautions you need to take.

Hair loss after Pregnancy

Question:

When will my hair stop falling out by the handfuls? My hair is everywhere I’m like a big shaggy dog!!

Answer:

Oh my goodness this happened a lot to me as well! In pregnancy one of the reason that your hair gets so thick is that it goes into a resting phase. That is you actually cont to grow hair but the shedding stops. The American Pregnancy Association says this about hair loss and pregnancy:

The most common period of hair loss occurs approximately three months after delivery. The rise in hormones during pregnancy keeps you from losing your hair. After delivery, the hormones return to normal levels, which allows the hair to fall out and return to the normal cycle. The normal hair loss that was delayed during pregnancy may fall out all at once.

Up to 60% of your hair that is in the growth state may enter into the telogen resting state. The hair loss usually peaks 3-4 months after delivery as your hair follicles rejuvenate themselves. As noted before, this hair loss is temporary and hair loss returns to normal within six to twelve months.

There you go everyone. More Medicine Mondays next week. Drop me a comment or an email if you have a question for me!

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