Nausea Breastfeeding

Nausea breastfeeding “lactation headache”

There are quite a few moms that say they experience nausea while breastfeeding. They say they feel the same type of nausea felt when hungry and have described it as coming in waves like normal morning sickness.

Some moms experience some itching with the nausea, usually under their arms and breasts.

What causes the nausea when breastfeeding?

- The release of the hormone Oxytocin during milk let-down is what causes the nausea. It is the same hormone that is associated with digestion and other gut hormones. Most times this nausea caused through the release of Oxytocin disappears after about eight weeks from birth. If mom is feeling nauseous after this eight week period, she should consider doing a pregnancy test.

- Your body needs an extra 250 calories daily to keep your body functions at optimal levels while breastfeeding ~ Remember your body’s first responsibility will be to produce excellent (calorie loaded) milk for baby whether you are eating more or not, this means that any deficiency in diet will be apparent in mom, not in mom’s breast milk.

- Dehydration can cause nausea during breastfeeding. Some moms find that drinking about three glasses of water just before breastfeeding helps.

- Your body is still recovering from being pregnant. During pregnancy there are so many changes that happen to your body, especially hormone related changes. After birth, all these things need to go back to normal.

- Nausea can also occur when baby goes through a growth spurt , during these times baby will usually drink more, which will cause hormone levels to spike…resulting in nausea.

- Anti depressants taken during breastfeeding can also cause nausea breastfeeding

- Low blood pressure in a breastfeeding mom can cause nausea

- Urinary tract infection can also cause nausea in moms that breastfeed

- Iron deficiency causes nausea breastfeeding. Moms that have lost a lot of blood with delivery will usually have an iron deficiency. Make sure you are taking your vitamins, get to the doc if you think you might have an iron deficiency.

Other associated breastfeeding effects with the nausea

- Feeling emotional during breastfeeding ( anger, breastfeeding anxiety )

- Headaches ( lactation headaches )

- Itchiness

- Heartburn

- Diarrhea

- Thirst

- Sweating

Tips on how to stop the nausea during breastfeeding

- Remember that it will most probably not last past eight weeks, so just wait it out

- Try eating/drinking products with ginger or peppermint in it.

- Eat a combination of protein and carbs before breastfeeding, and make sure you snack in-between meals. 6 small meals during the day will keep your blood sugar levels constant. Example of a good snack while breastfeeding is a slice of toast with peanut butter.

- Increase the amount of liquid (especially water) intake that you consume daily.

- Drink a glass of milk while you are breastfeeding.

- Keep something like a dry cracker near while breastfeeding just to keep the nausea at bay.

- Make sure you are getting in enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can also be causing the nursing nausea.

- Sea bands used for motion sickness has also been found to help

- Some moms say they feel less nauseous breastfeeding when lying down


Interesting fact

~ Nausea breastfeeding ~

Moms should make sure their diets are not the cause of the dizziness during breastfeeding. Make sure your calorie intake is at least 2500 daily

Headaches during breastfeeding

- Some moms experience the headache when they start a breastfeeding session, and this is also caused through the release of oxytocin with milk let down.

- Other mothers find that engorgement causes their headaches and that as soon as they start a breastfeeding session the headache starts to subside. These moms should be careful that they are not starting to form a breast infection… mastitis.

Stopping headaches during breastfeeding

- Relax while breastfeeding (your headache could be a stress headache)

- Breast massage can help drain full breasts that cause breastfeeding headaches

- Getting enough rest will help prevent a headache

- Drink plenty water ~ Your body will usually warn you with a headache that you are dehydrated.

- A breastfeeding mom can take ibuprofen, paracetamol and panadeine. Do not use aspirin if breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding dizziness

During pregnancy relaxin hormones are released to cause your pelvis to expand and veins to relax. These levels of relaxin are higher than normal for the first few months after delivery.

In some moms these relaxin hormones can cause low blood pressure…which in turn causes the dizziness. If the dizziness is really bad you might want to talk to your doctor about it.


Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with nausea and breastfeeding

First time breastfeeding moms

Breastfeeding while sick

Breastfeeding while pregnant

Breastfeeding diet guidelines


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What Other Moms Have Said

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thirsty(Dry mouth) 
Hi I am a breastfeeding mom for 6mons now. I feel so thirsty every time to the point that my mouth is so dry. I want to know if this is normal. …

Very Helpful - Nausea While Breastfeeding Not rated yet
very helpful! Good to know its all sounding normal. Will keep up the water intake;-)

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