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Headaches, Hormones & Breastfeeding: Purely Anecdotal But Interesting

I saw a new OB/GYN last week (and loved her). Not surprisingly, we talked about headaches and hormones. Turns out she has frequent headaches too, which she thinks are hormonal.

When I asked how they were when she was pregnant, she said that they were better during her pregnancy and while she was breastfeeding. When her milk production slowed down and she began to wean her son, she had a two-week long headache. During this time, of course, her hormone levels were changing. She also said that her friend had the same experience. This is anecdotal of course, but it’s food for thought.

I don’t have any firsthand knowledge of what hormonal headaches are about (I flirted with the idea that mine are menstrual, but am sure they aren’t), but some resources include American Council for Headache Education, the National Headache Foundation and the National Women’s Health Information Center. I found this last resource to be most helpful.

8 thoughts on “Headaches, Hormones & Breastfeeding: Purely Anecdotal But Interesting”

  1. With my first pregnancy my headaches got way better, just some Tylenol,Zofran, and relaxation made them better. During breastfeeding they were gone completely. As soon as I stopped they returned to daily. With my second pregnancy I had horrible migraines that got a lot better with breastfeeding. I am weaning and having horrible headaches again. It is too much trouble to pump at work, so I hope this is temporary. I am taking Zoloft, and increasing my coq 10 and riboflavin. I guess each pregnancy is unique.

  2. I am weaning my 12 month daughter and am also having headaches. They aren’t terrible but they just keep lasting on and on. And nothing seems to help. I think it’s going to motivate me to wrap up the weaning quicker than I was intending to get my hormones back to normal ASAP.

    Best wishes, Amy!


  3. It’s so nice to hear I’m not the only one! I’m weaning my 12 month old son and for the past 2 weeks, since I’ve changed/decreased my pumping/feeding schedule, I’ve had terrible headaches. Not even motrin helps, and it always works for me otherwise. I figured the headaches were most likely due to the weaning, but it’s so nice to see I’m not alone!!

  4. I,too, am suffering from some long headaches, and I am weaning my 17 month old. I guess there is a correlation there.

  5. I am weaning my 12 month old son and have had headaches almost every day for the past week or more. Even though it is difficult to endure, it was reassuring to read that others had the same experience. I do believe that my migraines are triggered by fluxuations in hormone levels and I definitely experienced hardly any during 2nd and 3rd trimesters while pregnant for each of my three children. I don’t remember such bad headaches with weaning my two other kids, but I think perhaps it occurred more gradually and I was younger (I’m 41 now). Anyway, thank you for posting your experience — I’ve been struggling to understand this sudden cluster of migraines and now it seems to make sense.

  6. I never had a migraine in my life until I had my third child, I have one a month and I am breastfeeding? Any advice?

  7. I didn’t develop CDH until after I weaned my son (long long after) but WOW the mood swings LOL. I don’t notice that my headaches are connected at all with my cycle (and I’ve been keeping track).

    I hate to say this, but…..Any doc that assures a patient that pregnancy will fix anything (let alone CDH/migraines) or that pregnancy will be pain free is a nut. I honestly could not imagine being pregnant with this (which is a moot point since we are done).

  8. My doctor told me that for a Chronic Daily Headache / migraine sufferer, being pregnant is the best time of your life! lol,

    She said that the first three months would be hell, but then the last two trimestors, and when breast feeding, you would be headache free!

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’s right!!

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