Real Reason Why Some Newborns Are Very Hairy

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Every newborn is different. Some of them have glorious locks of hair on their heads that make them look absolutely adorable. Scientific studies have proven that expectant mothers who suffered from chronic heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to have newborns with hairy heads. In many cases, this is due to the hormonal influence of estrogen on the growing fetus.

From counting the teeny tiny toes and fingers to just gazing into those innocent eyes, any new parent will be left awestruck at the sight of the newborn. Every part of your little wonder’s body seems like a sweet discovery and that includes those fine strands of silky hair on his head.

Newborns with hairy heads or thick body hair can evoke a lot of attention from near and dear ones from the time they are born. Before you get busy with uploading adorable photos of your hairy newborn online, you might want to know how come he got so hairy in the first place and why you shouldn’t worry about it.

Pattern Of Hair Growth On Newborns

baby covered with body hair or lanugo

Lanugo is the thin and soft hair found all over the face, shoulder, and back of a newborn. This hair usually develops while the fetus grows within the womb and it disappears by 36 to 40 weeks of gestation. If your baby is born with a considerable amount of fuzz all over his body, it will fall off by the time he’s about 4 months old.

Lanugo develops with the primary purpose of keeping your baby protected during his time in the amniotic cavity. Your little one’s skin will have a cheese-like substance called vernix to prevent it from getting chaffed in the womb. Lanugo serves as an adhesive surface for the vernix to stay on the baby’s skin without getting washed off by the amniotic fluid.1

Heartburn In Pregnancy And Hairy Newborns

heartburn in pregnancy

Pregnancy is not a joyride and persistent heartburn could be the reason why it isn’t one. According to an old wives’ tale, having intense discomfort with heartburn due to acid reflux is a sign that your growing baby has a head full of thick hair.

Before you thwart it as some silly folklore it’s important to know that scientific researchers actually found this tale to be a fact indeed. Long-term studies conducted on pregnant women with mild to severe cases of heartburn revealed that babies born to women who suffered from frequent bouts of acid reflux had plenty of hair on their heads. Sometimes, the hair could also be detected on an ultrasound.2

Pregnant women experience heartburn due to the excessive relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter to pump acid up the food pipe, which creates symptoms of bloating and chest pain in them. However, estrogen is considered to be the contributing factor that stimulates the growth of luscious locks on your infant’s head.

Home Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy

home remedies for heartburn in pregnancy

Even if you seem to have no control over how much hair your newborn will have on his head, you can still follow some tips to relieve the heartburn for your sake.3

  • Eat small meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid bending over, lying down or doing sudden movements right after a meal.
  • Limit the intake of spicy, bitter, sour and salty foods.
  • Have alkalizing foods like almonds, avocados, leafy greens, herbal teas, garlic, curd, and smoothies.

Although, there’s evidence-backed research to support the link between heartburn and hair growth, it’s not a foolproof claim. Many expectant women with no complaints of heartburn have given birth to babies with glorious manes. While women who had chronic acid reflux throughout pregnancy have delivered bald newborns.

Anything can happen during a pregnancy, most of them are directly influenced by the environment, genetics, hormones and many other factors. All you’ve got to do is be optimistic, take care of yourself and be ready to accept your little munchkin in all his loveliness whether he is hairy or not!

References   [ + ]

1.Fetal Development: Second Trimester. American Pregnancy Association
2.Costigan, Kathleen A., Heather L. Sipsma, and Janet A. DiPietro. “Pregnancy folklore revisited: the case of heartburn and hair.” Birth 33, no. 4 (2006): 311-314.
3.Law, Ruth, Caroline Maltepe, Pina Bozzo, and Adrienne Einarson. “Treatment of heartburn and acid reflux associated with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.” Canadian Family Physician 56, no. 2 (2010): 143-144.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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