Postpartum Hormone Headaches? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-08-2007, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure if this is the right place for this thread, please feel free to put it where it belongs.

I'm almost 3 months postpartum, and I've been getting headaches (which in my "normal life" I usually don't get). I remember getting them around the same time postpartum w/dd, too. Are these normal? Are they from hormones? Just a mix of being tired and mildly dehydrated? Any ideas what it is and what I can do? I'm not interested in ibuprophin or something like that.

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

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#2 of 4 Old 10-09-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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i started getting headaches ranging from manageable to full migraines around 3 months post-partum, too. the headaches peaked at around 6-7 months and occasionally, if i don't follow my own orders, i'll wake up with a migraine. trying to figure out what causes them and how to ease the pain has become a part time job for me and i'm happy to share what i have discovered.

the main thing i have realized is that the postpartum period, if you are breastfeeding, can go on for a long time. giving up calories and energy in the form of breastmilk can really take it out of a mama, so you need to work really hard to keep up your strength. i think lots of it has to do with hormones going nuts, too.

1. dehydration from breastfeeding definitely contributes to my headaches. i keep a water bottle and refill it at least 4 times a day (= over a gallon) to make sure i drink enough water.

2. i'm very sensitive to certain foods, especially restaurant food or other food that might contain msg. i've never really been bothered before, but i think my threshold for headaches is so low right now that i'm super sensitive.

3. keeping my body filled with the right food is essential. blood building foods (you can look these up online in traditional chinese medicine websites) really help me feel strong and headache free.

4. acupuncture, which i had never tried before, REALLY helps. going regularly keeps my body in balance and therefore, keeps headaches at bay.

5. some of the headaches i have gotten have actually been neck and shoulder pain, from bad posture due to breastfeeding or holding my big boy. deep tissue massages have helped these headaches. tiger balm also helps.

6. on occasion, tylenol is necessary and does help ease the pain enough that i can function without the pain!

7. for a long while after my baby was born, my blood pressure was slightly elevated. after i lost all the baby weight and began exercising (brisk morning walks with baby in a jog stroller) my bp normalized. in retrospect, i wonder if the slight elevation was a major factor in the worst of the worst headaches.

8. taking cal-mag sup., along with fish oil and a good multivitamin at night has helped.


i hope some of that helps you. start logging what you eat and how much water you drink and noting other details and maybe you'll find a pattern. i also HIGHLY recommend finding a great acupuncturist who will understand that your problems are related to being in an extended post-partum period. one who gives good, healthy food recommendations is also key.

GOOD LUCK. i hope you can zap your headaches soon!!
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#3 of 4 Old 10-09-2007, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much. I've been suspecting that it could be dehydration to some extent because it's been hot and I'm tandom nursing. I need to do what you're doing and get myself a water bottle for constant water.

The MSG thing is interesting. I don't remember it being linked to food I'd eaten, but yesterday's headache was not long after I ate some salami, which has who knows what in it. I wonder if that's part of it.

I definitely think that my nursing/babyholding position could be part of it... I find myself slouching a lot... especially since I have no abs to speak of anymore. It's a great point, you made... I hadn't thought of that. My headache definitely felt better after I rubbed my neck/shoulders a bit, though, so maybe that actually has a LOT to do with it.

Thanks so much for your response!

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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#4 of 4 Old 10-09-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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funny you mention the salami. the MSG thing dawned on me after i had some prosciutto at a restaurant and had a horrible migraine within a few hours. i realized that most of my headaches had occured after eating at restaurants. at home, i eat very few prepared foods, so i avoid many headache triggers like msg when i cook.

from what i have read about migraines, sometimes triggers like msg will cause a headache and sometimes they won't, depending on your threshold. what i believe about my headaches is that my threshold is very low due to hormones and breastfeeding, so things that wouldn't bother me on a "normal" basis will trigger a headache now. i think the acupuncture, good foods, lost of baby-weight and lowering of blood pressure have all helped raise that threshold, so i don't get the headaches as easily when i'm on top of all those things. i'm still staying FAR, FAR away from msg (and most restaurant food!)
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