Migraine Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Medication

migraine pregnancy, breastfeeding medication

Migraine pregnancy, breastfeeding, and medication are very complicated! Migraine medication and breastfeeding is even more personal.

I have been pregnant and nursing for the last 2 years. I was off meds while trying to conceive and was both unable and unwilling to take anything while my body provided for my baby. It was actually a relief to not have to focus on myself. Did I get migraine attacks during this time? Of course!!!!! A LOT!!!

Migraine Medication and Breastfeeding

I was given permission by both my pediatrician and neurologist to take Percocet, Imitrex injections (with a pump and dump to follow), and sinus medication to help with my pain. I did these VERY sparingly even with permission while nursing and basically just suffered while I was pregnant. It prolonged my pain but to know that I was putting my baby above myself gave me confidence in my decision. I would have greatly benefited from abortive drugs, I just didn’t. No judgment for anyone that did. It was just my personal choice to suffer a lot during this time. I wish I had more information like this at the time.

Migraine while Breastfeeding

Once I was done breastfeeding, I was overwhelmed with the thoughts of drugging my body again and to what extent. I have always been on preventatives, rescue meds, and everything in between. Over the course of my “medication vacation,” I started to journal my migraine life and joined support groups. I learned a lot during this time. It really made me look at the number of drugs I was taking, the side effects that I didn’t realize I was having, and the long term effects it would have on me.

Migraine Medications after Baby

It scared me to think that I would be poisoning my body again and to what extent. The thing that I know is this…I can not live without meds. I’ve been reading about how the body can heal itself and ways to cure yourself with food. Over the years I have accumulated quite a list of foods that trigger my migraines. Red wine, soy sauce, pork, draft beer, and on and on and on.

I have never committed fully to a migraine elimination diet, gluten-free, or any of the other diets that migraine suffers experiment with. However, I have always thought that because I have so many other triggers not related to food that restricting myself wouldn’t help. I did, however, start seeing food in a different way than I had in the past. Instead of thinking of what I can’t have, I have started to see some foods as something I can and should have to help my body heal or stay in a more consistent state.

Migraine with Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

With that said, I can not “heal” myself of Migraine. It is a neurological disease that I was cursed to inherit from my mom and grandmothers. The wiring in my brain is altered and I have many triggers that make them fire and attack. I am starting to believe, though, that I can certainly try to stop my wires from firing through living more proactively and not relying solely on drugs.

I have started to make changes in my diet and the ways I live my life and react to my triggers and pre migraine symptoms. It’s definitely a slow process but I’m starting to look at western medicine in combination with my medication therapy. In the past, I have relied on drugs and even a migraine surgery to magically cure my brain of these life-altering migraine attacks and chronic pain that I live in but nothing has cured me. My greatest hope is to find a combination of therapies to put my disease in remission or slow the attacks.

Like any good vacation, I have walked away with a more positive outlook on my health both mentally and physically. I’m ending my drug vacation with a clearer vision of my disease. I want to see medication as only a piece instead of feeling like it is my only option. I have felt like a lab rat my whole life. No migraine sufferer is the same and a lot of trial and error is required. I am trying to find a path to wellness specifically for me both medicinally and holistically.

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Sarah Rathsack

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. Living life through Migraine consists of advocacy, treatment, prevention, and searching for health and happiness in a positive honest way. My kids, husband, dog, family and friends motivate me to make a difference in the Migraine World.

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3 Comments

  1. Wendy Schaetzke on July 9, 2014 at 1:25 am


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