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How does breastfeeding affect migraines?

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Some medical data suggests that migraines may improve during breastfeeding. However, more than half of mothers experience recurrent migraines one month after giving birth.
Migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are common during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Although migraines improve during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, their attacks increase in the first days and weeks after delivery.

The American Headache Foundation reports that 1 in 4 women experience migraines during the first two weeks after childbirth. The percentage increases to 50 percent during the first month after birth.

Also, 5% of women who have never had a migraine may have their first postpartum migraine. The reason may be the fluctuation of hormones in the days after the baby is born.

There is no known medical link so far between breastfeeding and migraine attacks. However, there are factors that contribute to its exacerbation, such as: fatigue and exhaustion after childbirth, sleep interruption due to night nursing and dehydration.

What are safe medications?

You should consult your doctor about pain relievers, dosage and timing during pregnancy and lactation. Safe medications for migraines while breastfeeding include acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil), diclofenac, or naproxen.

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