My First Postpartum Migraine
I’ve heard mixed experiences of women getting migraines during pregnancy and postpartum. Some migraineurs finally get the relief they’ve been craving for years, and others experience an increase in the frequency and intensity, finding them inescapable.
Welcome to the world of migraines, right? No two experiences are the same.
Minimal attacks during pregnancy
At 42 years old and pregnant with my first child, I was incredibly grateful to have only had two debilitating migraines throughout my 41 weeks of pregnancy. But I was still holding my breath. How was my fourth trimester – postpartum – going to unfold? Could I be so lucky to avoid migraines as my hormones went on a rollercoaster from not being pregnant?
My first and second months postpartum
The first month was just that – call it luck, call it good health, you can call it what you want, but I didn’t have a single migraine the first month of motherhood. However, when month two hit, so did the migraines.
I, of course, began running through the list of possible triggers. Was it…
- Muscular tension from holding my growing baby 24/7?
- Sleep deprivation?
- Hormonal shifts?
As always, there are so many possible triggers and virtually no way of getting a clear answer. Yet, there I was with intense migraine pain and still having to care for my newborn baby – the feedings, changings, etc.
Migraine postpartum was a humbling experience
My heart broke. I wanted nothing more than to just curl up in my bed with an ice pack, essential oils, and medication and sleep it off so I could get back to loving on my baby girl.
I was humbled by the experience. How have moms with migraines been doing it? I know there are moms with several kids and even moms of multiple babies.
Finding my way
Like any other problem, I just had to do my best and figure it out. I gave myself permission to let my normal routine with my baby go for the day. It’s okay if we don’t have story time or music time. I simply needed to get through the day the best I could.
We did a lot of tummy time, so I could lay next to her while she played on the mat. I rested when she napped. I had an ice pack on my head when I was nursing her. And most importantly, I communicated with my husband that I had a migraine and needed his help when he was done with work. I always find it helpful to give him a heads up so he can plan accordingly.
Last but not least, I scheduled an acupuncture appointment. I find bodywork – massage, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, etc. to be so helpful in getting through a migraine. Just having it on the calendar gives me a sense of comfort.
Management is different for every attack
I don’t believe that there’s any one magic way to eliminate migraines. In fact, based on my experience, each migraine can respond differently, but it’s important that we keep supporting our body with the tools to experience relief… and that we stick together as a community.
I know I’m not alone in having to navigate migraines during motherhood. I’m just the new kid on the block! So, please share below what have you found helpful to manage migraines during motherhood?
Which are you most sensitive to?