Headaches after childbirth have become a big problem in the postpartum period. The constant lack of sleep, a new rhythm of life, and chronic fatigue cause health problems. All these processes negatively affect the state of psyche and the mood of the young mother. So, young mothers should know how to treat a postpartum headache to give more time to a newborn.
Headaches after childbirth: the causes
According to recent statistics, about 50% of women have postpartum headaches. The causes lie in various natural or pathological factors.
The natural causes of postpartum headaches:
Headaches usually begin in about a few weeks after the delivery. Doctors are often able to trace a postpartum headache from the first days. Specialists identify 6 main reasons for the headaches:
1. Unhealthy diet. It is very rare but it happens that mothers choose a wrong diet. This probability is small since the eating habits of the mother directly affect her breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers pay a lot of attention to lactation, therefore they rarely have a postpartum headache due to an unhealthy diet. But sometimes there is a replacement of natural products with preservatives. Such products contain a sufficient amount of tyramine. It thickens the blood. That’s why women have high blood pressure, migraines, and dizziness. To protect your health, you should constantly monitor your diet. After giving birth, you shouldn’t eat smoked fish, nuts, hard cheese, dried fruit, chips, offal, and even chocolate.
2. The body stress during childbirth. A postpartum headache can happen because childbirth is a strain of the female body. At the end of the delivery, your body finally relaxes which leads to the pain. When the brain vessels return to normal the migraine will stop bothering you pretty quickly. In this case, medication is not required.
3. Excessive fatigue. The pain in the frontal part of the head and the occiput is not acute. It usually occurs immediately after childbirth. Such a postpartum headache happens because of the lack of time to do the housework and of rest at night. Experts recommend that you rest a little during the day. You should also spend more time doing gymnastics. Get more fresh air, go for a walk, reduce stress and anxiety to a minimum.
4. Hormonal changes.
A postpartum headache can arise because of the incorrect production of hormones. Such a process can last up to 4 months. Experts claim that the reason for migraines may be a refusal to breastfeed.
5. Anesthesia. During childbirth, it is common to take anesthesia. Its amount depends on the age of the woman and her condition. Approximately 70% of young mothers have migraines after taking anesthesia during childbirth.
6. Muscle tension. After the baby is born, the young mother has constant overstrain. It negatively affects the condition of the cervical spine. The greater the tension is the more often the woman suffers from a postpartum headache. It’s often accompanied by cramps in the limbs.
The pathological causes of a postpartum headache:
In this case, childbirth is not the reason for your headaches. You’re most likely to have a new disease. There are a number of health problems leading to frequent migraines:
1. A migraine itself. This disease is inherited. It often reveals itself after childbirth. This disease implies the presence of strong pain in one part of the head. Each person has their own period of time between migraines. If pain occurs often it can interfere with the daily activities of a person.
2. Vegetative dysfunction. In some cases, excessive tension causes a number of inconveniences to internal organs. Sometimes it looks like a neurosis. It is recommended to seek help from a neurologist, get more fresh air, and constantly ventilate the living quarters.
3. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. This disease is usually diagnosed before childbirth. After the birth of a child, it only aggravates and entails a number of unpleasant sensations. Most often, even after the slightest movement, there is an increase in painful spasms. Sometimes they are transmitted to the limbs.
4. Encephalopathy of veins. This is a specific condition which is, in fact, a variety of diseases of vascular insufficiency. The only method of treatment is to reduce abnormally high blood pressure.
5. The violation of hormonal background. This is a peculiar pathology which rarely reaches a critical level. On the other hand, it causes a lot of trouble. To balance the amount of hormones released, it is necessary to pass a series of tests. So, you should immediately seek help from a specialist.
The treatment of postpartum headaches:
Young mothers are encouraged to use several means of traditional medicine. These methods are the most effective. After all, not every breastfeeding mother will agree to take medicines which can harm her baby’s health. Each of the ways is fairly effective:
1. Ice. It is often used to get rid of the pain. You can use it not only on the head but also on other parts of the body. Often it is customary to add a few herbs to ice (for example, sage). Boil the plant in water, and then pour into ice molds. Place them in a freezer and wait. Ice cubes are applied to the temples and forehead.
2. Herbal teas. Even the ancient medical science had often mentioned the healing properties of tea. Herbal infusions have a lot of the components beneficial for the female body. Herbal teas are often mixed with the leaves of various berries or mint. Your tea will taste great and the postpartum headache will reduce.
3. Warm water baths. A warm soothing water bath can calm the nervous system, normalize the pressure in the blood vessels. To obtain maximum effect, it is recommended to use chamomile or hypericum. They’ll help you to relax. But don’t take a bath during the early days after childbirth. Doctors recommend showers at the time in order to avoid unforeseen situations. You can experiment with cold water at the end of your evening shower. Cold water can help to relieve headaches.
4. Massage. A great remedy for postpartum headaches is massage. This technique has absolutely no contraindications. Your blood pressure returns to normal and the blood vessels gain elasticity. The blood brings more oxygen to the brain, thereby reducing headaches to a minimum.
It’s difficult to determine the cause and treat a postpartum headache immediately after childbirth. Breastfeeding mothers can’t take most drugs. Therefore, women are encouraged to spend more time in the open air, ventilate their living quarters more often, monitor their diet, and follow a daily routine. Don’t pay attention to your failures. The more stressed you get the more likely your migraine is to return. Try to be in a good mood even when the situation is difficult.