Breastfeeding Headache

Headaches and Breastfeeding

A breastfeeding headache is 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?

breastfed baby, beautiful breastfeeding
  • Stress and noise.
  • Discontinued use of medications.
  • Weaning too rapidly.
  • PPD (depression) can cause a nursing headache.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Blood pressure problems.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Dehydration.
  • Allergies.
  • Hormonal changes (discussed below).

When Hormones Cause Breastfeeding Headaches

Estrogen and headaches: Estrogen is the hormone that can affect a mother 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.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Other pages on “breastfeeding problems" in connection with a breastfeeding headache

- Frustration and depression

- Breastfeeding pictures

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