Headaches and Breastfeeding
A breastfeeding headache is actually more common than you would think. There are ways to rectify, prevent and/or at least make it a bit more bearable.
If you suffer from constant migraine headaches, you should see your
doctor. Let your doc know that you are breastfeeding.
What can Cause a Breastfeeding Headache?
- Stress and noise.
- Discontinued use of medications.
- Weaning too rapidly.
- PPD (depression) can cause a nursing headache.
- Thyroid problems.
- Blood pressure problems.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Hormonal changes (discussed below).
When Hormones Cause Breastfeeding Headaches
* Estrogen and headaches: Estrogen is the hormone that can affect Mom more when:
~ She has her monthly period.
~ She is taking an oral contraceptive pill.
~ She has a lower level of estrogen after childbirth.
~ She is on hormone replacement therapy.
* Oxytocin headache: The release of the hormone Oxytocin, can also trigger a headache. This hormone is released during the let down of milk and can also cause nausea during breastfeeding.
This type of lactation headache will usually subside after a few minutes of breastfeeding.
* Plasma vasopressin is a hormone that is released during breastfeeding, which narrows the blood vessels, therefore, causing a headache.
Treatment for Breastfeeding Headaches
- Relaxation: Make sure you are relaxed while breastfeeding.
- Hydrate: Drink at least 2L of water daily.
- Avoid drinking coffee, as this will dehydrate you.
- Eat well: Breastfeeding diet guidelines.
- Massage therapy has been proven to help for headaches.
- What can I take for a headache while breastfeeding? If the above natural methods don’t work, you can take Paracetamol as a painkiller, which is safe to take, if breastfeeding.
You are doing what is best for
you and Baby, by continuing to breastfeed.
Read more about the
benefits of breastfeeding.
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