It's pretty easy to spot a new mom (Zombieus Maternus) in the wild once you know how to identify one.
Often, she's sporting the official mom plumage: leggings, a baggy T-shirt speckled with fluids (both hers and her young's), and sunglasses (sunlight burns her sleep-deprived eyes). You're most likely to find her in her natural habitat — her nest — but she also often migrates to playgroups, school drop-off lines, and doctor's offices (hand, foot and mouth disease is a particular threat to this species).
But a new mom's most distinctive feature is often her hair: or seeming lack thereof.
Postpartum hair loss, which can affect about half of women who have given birth, leaves many new moms with thinning strands, patches where the scalp is slightly more visible than one might like, and — eventually — regrowth that can resemble at best a mullet and at worst a lion's mane.
The first episode of our new parenting series "Life After Birth," starring, um, me, tackles new mom hair loss with honesty and humour. I think it's time to celebrate our mom hair in all its patchy, jabby, unwashed glory. For many of us, it's a badge of motherhood and just as worthy of attention as stretch marks (nay, mom stripes) and bathing yourself exclusively with baby wipes (mom showers).
WATCH: HuffPost Canada Parents Editor Natalie Stechyson bares her bald spot in "Life After Birth." Story continues below video.
After the launch of "Life After Birth," I asked moms to share photos of their patches, spikes, and unwanted bangs with HuffPost Canada. And they came through like a mother.
Here are nine brave moms who bared it all:
Name: Erin Weatherall
Lives in: Almonte, Ont.
Describes her postpartum hair as: "Completely unnecessary wings."
Name: Colleen (requested her last name not be used)
Lives in: Ottawa
Photo taken at: Nine months postpartum
Name: Emily (requested her last name not be used)
Lives in: Chester, U.K.
Why we love this pic: Her curls are taking her six-month postpartum mom bangs to the next level.
Name: Ricki-Lee Bloom
Lives in: Ottawa
Describes her postpartum hair as: A "baby halo."
Name: HuffPost Canada Communities Editor Michelle Butterfield
Lives in: Calgary, Alta.
How she feels about her mom bangs: "I just love looking like a total asshole."
Name: Carol Johnston
Lives in: Markham, Ont.
Those postpartum wisps are: Impressive
Name: Kristyn (requested her last name not be used)
Lives in: Ottawa
Describes her hair as: "... the only thing I've cried over about my postpartum body."
Name: Sarah (requested her last name not be used)
Lives in: Burlington, Ont.
Why she's sharing a tale of woe instead of a photo: "It's still too close."
In her own words: "I can take the postpartum hair loss to a new level of disgusting ... I caught lice from my son who just started jk [junior kindergarten] ... I also have a four-month-old ... delousing involves using a metal nit comb to remove the lice. Every pass through of the comb pulls out wads of hair. I can't use toxic shampoo because I am breastfeeding. I can only be deloused with the comb. My husband uses the vacuum cleaner on the comb; I'm surprised he doesn't use it directly on my hair like a flowbee ("Wayne's World" reference to date myself). Yuck yuck yuck."
Name: Aloha (requested her last name not be used)
Lives in: Cochrane, Alta.
Mom 'do courtesy of: Dry shampoo and not showering for three days. "Basically, waking up, spray the magic and off doing mommy stuff."