Before my bundle of joy arrived in my life, I took great care of how I look. I’ve always been the one who religiously wears makeup, have regular salon and derma appointments, and a gym membership at one or two fitness centers.
Once I became pregnant, I continued to take care of my appearance more than ever. I was determined to look as decent as possible before going out. Fortunately, my skin was cooperating. For 9 months, I basked in the glow that pregnancy has caused to my skin. My skin was clear and I felt more beautiful than ever. But just as I was enjoying every bit of it, that wonderful feeling left post-pregnancy.
Feeling Unattractive After Childbirth
After I gave birth, I felt saggy, tired, and ugly. I was no longer the fit girl in those gym selfies or the smart gal at work who could spew trivial facts or rile up someone with my critical observations.
I simply lost what I thought was making me amazing.
Sleep deprivation, less sexual intimacy, and the lack of ‘me time’ led to the negative self-image. There’s that physical and mental impact that childbirth has on a woman. Grabbing only four to five hours of sleep every night meant heavier under-eye bags, dry hair and skin, and becoming forgetful.
Moreover, the drop of the hormone estrogen in the body led to significant hair loss during the first few months after I gave birth. This prompted me to sport a ponytail even in my sleep.
The Wakeup Call
I wasn’t completely aware of my self-neglect until a gay acquaintance who worked at a shopping mall spotted me shopping for baby diapers.
Our chance meeting happened after my 10-hour day shift job and on the exact day, I chose not to wear any makeup!
He was shocked beyond belief to see me, almost not recognizing his so-called “idol” at first.
I saw the disappointment on his face as he tried to remember how I fared in his memory back in our hometown.
“You’re my idol back in the day. You’re so smart and beautiful. What just happened? You look like a typhoon just hit you!”
His blunt remark was a slap in the face! I thought maybe he’s not aware of the fact that I just gave birth and that’s the reason why I was shopping for nappies at the baby’s section. But that didn’t matter anymore. It was my wakeup call.
I decided I don’t have to wallow in my post-partum body and start to resurrect my amazing old self. After all, I didn’t have the time in the world to let other people I meet know that I just gave birth and feeling apologetic for being such an eyesore with my miserable appearance.
Treating my Crowning Glory
For me, the hair plays a huge role in our self-esteem. I associate confidence with feeling in control and in a way we can have a lot of control when it comes to our hair. When styled and well-kept, hair gives us the appearance of being well-managed that can eventually boost our self-esteem.
With that in mind, I decided to undergo a series of hair treatments to get rid of my dull, wavy hair. I opted to have my hair rebonded and dyed on the same day.
I sat for almost eight hours just to get my long locks rebonded and colored thereafter at a local salon. I opted for the Original Brazilian Rebond + Hair Coloring + Hair Treatment package that the said salon offers.
Now, a lot of people are skeptical of this because they deem hair treatments dangerous to the baby when a mom is still breastfeeding.
When you breastfeed, a lot of what you put into your body will reach the baby through the milk. That’s why alcohol consumption, smoking, and taking drugs are a huge no-no because they will reach the baby through breast milk.
So how about hair treatments like hair coloring, bleaching, perming, or rebonding while breastfeeding? Chemicals from such treatments are feared that they would be absorbed by the skin, through the mother’s bloodstream, and be passed on to the baby through her breast milk.
You might want to prosecute me right now and send me to the guillotine for committing such selfish behavior, but listen up!
Well, it turns out that, in general, it’s OK to rebond and color your hair while breastfeeding!
Hair treatments should be safe for breastfeeding mothers and breastfed babies. The chemicals from hair dye and perm solutions do not soak into your skin and get into your blood or milk as explained by Jennifer Peddlesen, a lactation consultant in Calgary, in Today’s Parent magazine.
Although there hasn’t been much research into the effects of these chemicals during pregnancy or breastfeeding, there are no known reports of negative effects on the baby. While small amounts may indeed be absorbed, it’s unlikely that it can harm the baby. These days, the chemicals used in hair dyes and rebond solutions are not highly toxic.
The only problem you may be facing is when baby won’t like the smell of the chemicals on your hair post-treatment. You may also want to avoid brushing your newly straightened hair on your baby’s skin if he or she has a sensitive one.
So what really happened after I had my hair rebonded and dyed while still breastfeeding at home?
When I came back home after the treatment, I scooped up my little one only to be met with a fuss. She arched her back and pushed me away, crying. I understood what was happening. The strong smell of the treatment proved to be unpleasant for my little monster. The baby was just not having any of it at the moment. However, I quickly resolved the issue by changing into fresh clothes and placing my hair in a shower cap.
The next day, everything went back to normal with the baby enjoying and not having any negative reaction to the breast milk!
The big win though? I look and feel FABULOUS! My self-esteem shot up and I could feel the strength that I lost slowly coming back.
Sure, being a new mom can be very exhausting and emotionally challenging, but we all deserve to look and feel beautiful. Therefore, it’s completely fine to treat yourself to a touch-up. That too tired and too busy to shower or brush her teeth new mom is a trite phrase; however, it’s a bad habit to get into.
Be kind to yourself mommies. Always remember that a happy mom makes for a happy baby! Not only that, but you’d amaze the hell out of your husband by managing to still look attractive despite showering in baby spit up.