Soon-to-be Nursing Mama’s Migraine Toolkit Wish List

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As I lay on my bed last night, suffering with a level eight migraine and wanting to throw my head against a wall, I realized something important: my migraine toolkit is going to need a serious upgrade to go with the new baby.

I plan to nurse, which means almost all of the medications that are off limits now will continue to be off limits for the near future. Additionally, however, my essential migraine prevention plan (which includes getting up and going to bed near the same time every day, eating on a regular schedule, and exercising daily) will be largely irrelevant. I will not be able to tell a new baby that he or she needs to stay in bed a little longer or learn to sleep through the night because otherwise Mama gets a migraine. Nor will I be able to curl up in a dark room when he or she needs to nurse or be changed, or even just wants to play. In short, the life I’ve set up to deal with my chronic migraines is going to be sacrificed for the sake of life with a new baby, which means I’m going to need a new set of tools to deal with the many, many migraines that I’m sure to experience over that first year.

While it may not be common (or accepted) to add a plethora of migraine-relief tools to a baby registry, I’ve decided I should go ahead and make up my “nursing mama’s migraine toolkit wish list.” So, here it is:

1) SootheAway Device, with Front & Side Head Pad, Occipital Relief Pad, and Eye Relief Pad;

2) A freezer full of nutritious frozen meals (for the days I just can’t get up to cook);

3) Bimonthly cleaning help;

4) Comfortable noise-reduction earphones.

That’s all I can think of for now. Does anyone else have any non-drug treatment ideas to share? I keep imagining trying to hold and soothe a crying baby while experiencing the kind of migraine pain I had last night, and I have to say it scares me. Any help would be appreciated.

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6 thoughts on “Soon-to-be Nursing Mama’s Migraine Toolkit Wish List

  1. Just Dakota

    My baby is now 3 months old and born 6 weeks premature. I’ve had severe migraines that last months on end since I was 16 years old. 4 migraines since the birth, pain 6 or more on 10 and lasting from 2 to 8 days. My neurologist gave me the go ahead to restart Relpax and naproxen, as they are minimally transmitted in breastmilk, and they permit me to be a parent. In terms of non-medicinal methods, I have found that submerging myself for a long time in a hot bath with my feet up the wall, followed by icing my head and neck helps, as do massages and acupuncture. I have a line-up of sitters in case mommy can’t be a mommy some days, and my hubby is the best guy in the world at stepping in to care for the baby when he’s screaming and my brain is leaking out my eye sockets. You might want to consider both breast and bottle feeding your baby, so that if you have to take meds you can pump and dump (though for my meds I’ve been assured it isn’t necessary) and your partner or sitter can do the middle of the night feeds so you can get that all important sleep. When that little baby smiles at you, it’s all worthwhile.

    • Thank you so much for the info! Relpax and naproxen didn’t work for me a few years ago, but I’m willing to try them again if they’re relatively safe to use while breastfeeding. I will check in with my doctors after delivery to see what my options are.

      Here’s wishing you many migraine-free days so that you may enjoy your little one!

      – Sarah

  2. Elle

    My neurologist has suggested I continue with botox injections throughout my pregnancy and breast feeding time because its safe. We’re still in the early family planning stages, but we’ve had lengthy talks about it. I’m also very anti-medication and I’m currently on a plant based diet (cutting back significantly on animal proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy) and I’ve noticed an increase in energy and a decrease in the severity of the migraines.

    • Danielle,

      I’m glad to hear you’re noticing some relief from controlling your diet. My previous neurologist proposed Botox injections at one point, but she said she wouldn’t do them if I was considering becoming pregnant b/c of the toxicity of the chemical. However, every doctor’s advice is a little different. Have you tried them yet? If so, did the injections help?

      – Sarah

      • Elle

        Botox puts chemicals in very specific spots in your head (My neurologist put them in my forehead and neck) and I haven’t noticed any side effects other than losing a fair amount of motion with my forehead, but I’ll have less frown lines later on, so I try to stick to the positive. My doctor and I are both very anti-medication and we brainstormed together for the most natural, least side effects treatment and we tried the botox. I’m on my second group of shots, and while most people won’t see this as anything amazing I’ve had a few days without a migraine. Considering I’ve had awful migraines daily for 7 months, and 3+ a week before that, a day without a migraine felt like heaven. I also use those rice heat packs on my neck and temples as a natural treatment when I already have a migraine, and the combination of the two have my migraines the most under control they’ve ever been. I’ve been taken off all other medications (didn’t notice a change at all with them) and I take Magnesium supplements daily as well. The botox has helped, but not cured, me and I wish I could promise it would do the same for you but I really don’t know. My insurance covered my botox injections as well, otherwise I don’t think I would’ve gotten them. They are VERY expensive, and I was really skeptical at first. The first round of shots didn’t do anything for me. The second round of shots left me with very sensitive injection sites for a couple weeks, but once that wore off, I had my first day without a migraine in as long as I can remember and I will say in all honesty it was worth it to have that one day.

  3. Melissa

    I am in my second trimester and this is such a great idea. Not being able to care for my infant mid migraine is one of my biggest fears.
    My neurologist would not allow me to continue botox once i concieved. Im really hoping I can get botox while breast feeding. I feel fortunate that ive only had 2 bad migraines and i am at 14 weeks which isnt horrible but they took 3 days to get over with no abortive meds and the pain felt worse than anything else I’ve experienced. I would add a heat pad and load up on gel ice packs. I also find the head on or a peppermint lotion i can rub on my temples distracts me a tiny bit from the pain.

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