“Married at First Sight” star Jamie Otis is opening up about her postpartum loss.
“Here I am completely raw & bare — & balding,” Otis, 35, began an Instagram post on Monday. “I have no makeup, no filter & you can totally see my BALD spots.”
In the video, Otis, who gave birth to a baby boy in May, rakes a hand through her hair to show thinning areas.
Losing hair after giving birth is normal, and, thank goodness, ususally temporary. Dr. Adam Friedman, professor and interim chair of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences,, says that Otis is most likely experiencing telogen effluvium, or TE, a stress-induced shedding caused by an event such as childbirth.
“Delivery is day zero, and then three months later, you start shedding like crazy,” Friedman told TODAY Parents. “The good news is that this is a temporary thing. You’ll plateau and then the hair will start to grow back. But it does take roughly a year to run through the entire process.”
If Otis had spots of completely bald scalp, that could possibly indicate a condition called alopecia areata, an autoimmune form of hair loss.
“You get these perfect circles of complete hair loss because the immune system will attack hairs in that location,” Friedman said. “Delivery can trigger alopecia areata.”
Though Otis is smiling in Monday's Instagram clip, the mom of 5-month-old Hendrix and 3-year-old Henley said that she’s been struggling.
“Postpartum has rocked me to my core, affecting me physically, mentally, & emotionally,” Otis wrote. “I feel like I’m a different person than I was before I had my son. I’ve had days where I’ve been bed-ridden, too depressed to get up. My daughter says, ‘mommy woke up!’ when I crawl out of bed in the afternoon.”
Otis added that she hasn’t “talked too much about it” because she fears people will accuse her of looking for pity or not being grateful.
“But that’s the thing about depression — you can’t talk yourself out of it,” she explained.
Otis was inundated with words of encouragement and support.
“I do appreciate you being so real. It helps me to be easier on myself,” one person wrote in the comments.
Added another, “You are beautiful inside and out! You are so strong!!”