All of us have experienced headaches at some point in our life, but have you ever experienced prolonged headaches along with other disabling symptoms? Well, migraine is one such condition. Now, you wonder what a migraine is? It is a condition of recurring headaches, along with signs of nausea. Mostly, it affects one side of the brain, but the symptoms highly vary from person to person. The pain caused can last for several hours, or even days, depending on the severity.
If you are a lactating mother, you’re likely to experience headaches now and then. The hormonal imbalance and factors like dehydration, breast engorgement, etc. can be the significant reasons for a lactation migraine.
What Is A Migraine?
A migraine is a type of headache that causes an increased level of discomfort in the patient. The pain of a migraine can be more intense, more pounding, and pulsating than a normal headache. Migraine can continue for two to three days. Many factors can trigger migraines in lactating mothers.
Symptoms Of Migraine In Lactating Mothers
Migraine symptoms for all are more or less the same. Here’re ten prime signs to identify if you’re suffering from a lactation migraine:
- Constipation: If you’re experiencing constipation, which might not be regular or likely for you, maybe you should read the signs.
- Nausea: This is a prevalent symptom. It occurs even with general headaches, but if it is prolonged, decode the sign.
- Vision: Blurry vision, sensitivity to light, seeing flashes of light, or seeing shapes.
- Sound: Hearing sounds, or sensitivity to sounds
- Sensations: Feeling pins and needles in the arms, legs, face, or head.
- Severe pain: The severity of the pain is so high that it feels more like pounding or throbbing.
- Numbness: Numbness of face, hands, or legs.
- Eye pain: Severe pain in the eyes. Itchy eyes, or redness of the eyes.
- Mood swings: Mood swings post-pregnancy are something which is expected, but if you sense something unusual in it, read the sign.
- Weakness: If you experience unusual weakness or tiredness, you should maybe consider this is a sign too.
Causes Of Migraine In Lactating Mothers
Causes of migraine in lactating mother are different. Even though migraine is usually diagnosed at an early age, it can still happen to anyone, due to several reasons. For a lactating mother, these can be the possible causes:
- Stress: A lactating mother can undergo stress due to various reasons. The dos and don’ts of motherhood, the family pressure, lifestyle, separation from the baby, and breast-milk production, etc. can lead to a huge amount of stress. This stress directly affects the health of the mother, as well as the baby. One of the possible outcomes of this stress can be a migraine.
- Hormonal changes: Soon after delivering a baby, your progesterone and estrogen levels are likely to drop radically! Once you start breastfeeding your baby, your body releases oxytocin to help with the lactation process. All of this results in even more hormonal changes that result in vaginal dryness, irregular periods, fatigue, mood swings, or even depression. All of this can very possibly lead to a migraine.
- Sleep Deprivation: There’s no proper sleep for new moms! With childbirth follows sleep deprivation, especially for mothers. As a lactating mother, you are likely to experience long sleepless nights, which will result in mood swings, poor concentration, dizziness, etc. This, in all possibility, can lead to a migraine.
- Phonophobia: Getting exposed to loud sounds can trigger a migraine. It’s not good for your baby as well. Therefore avoid loud sounds if you are prone to migraines.
Now that we have a clear idea about the symptoms and causes of migraines in lactating mothers let us have a look at how to prevent migraines in lactating mothers.
Home Remedies For Migraine During Breastfeeding
What better than natural, home remedies to prevent a migraine, or even headaches while lactating:
- Stay hydrated
- Do not skip meals
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Ensure you get enough sleep
- Keep a check on your caffeine intake
- Take proper rest
- Get yourself gentle massages, to de-stress muscles, etc.
- Keep a check on your screen time.
- Keep a check on your allergies, if you have any.
- Avoid contact with loud noises or sounds.
Exercise Regularly: Light exercises, yoga, or even meditation can help a lot in curing or preventing migraines in lactating mothers. Consult your doctor before taking up any exercise. S/he will be able to guide you better according to your condition. One of the best and safe option is to meditate. It’ll not only calm your mind but the body as well. It’ll help you cope up with all the hormonal changes you must be experienced during this phase.
Avoid Triggers: Not avoiding triggers can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Decode the signs and symptoms. If you feel the symptoms getting usual, there’s no harm in getting a check-up done. Avoid skipping meals, salty/heavy food, avoid skipping sleep or not resting, do not consume alcohol, or any other drug. Avoid caffeine. Create an easy to follow a schedule for yourself, and this helps in avoiding trigger big time!
5 Effective Medications To Cure Migraine In Lactating Mothers:
During breastfeeding, the choice of medication for any suffered condition, including headaches and migraine, will be less. Not all the painkillers or other migraine medications are safe to use while breastfeeding your baby. To some extent, the majority of drugs transfer into breast milk. Even though the situation seems tougher, with proper medical guidance, you can find a list of migraine medications, which are safe to consume during breastfeeding.
Medications can be categorized into 5
- L 1 is the category which contains the safest drugs
- L 2 is the category which contains the safer drugs
- L3 is a category that contains moderately safe drugs. These drugs should only be given if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the infant
- L 4 is categorized as possibly hazardous and should be avoided
- L5 is proved to harm the breastfeeding baby
Here are five effective medications belong to L1 and l 2 categories to cure migraine during breastfeeding:
- Acetaminophen ( L1)
- Ibuprofen (L1)
- Diclofenac (L2)
- Amitriptyline (L2)
- Ketorolac (L2)
P.S. We strongly advise you to consult your doctor before taking any medicine.
Medications To Avoid During Migraine In Lactating Mothers:
All the medicines that fall under L 4 and L 5 should be avoided during breastfeeding. Here are commonly used migraine medicines that should be avoided during breastfeeding:
- Painkillers like aspirin
Do let us know if you find this blog useful. Please share your information regarding migraine in lactating mothers, with us.