Migraine Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Medication

migraine pregnancy, breastfeeding medication

Migraine pregnancy, breastfeeding, and medication are very complicated! Migraine medication and breastfeeding are even more personal than ever. Overall, migraine during pregnancy is just HARD!

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

Migraine Medication and Breastfeeding

My pediatrician and neurologist permitted me 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. During pregnancy, I suffered a lot. It prolonged my pain but knowing that I was putting my baby above myself gave me confidence in my decision. I would have significantly benefited from abortive drugs; I just didn’t. No judgment for anyone that does, though. It was just my personal choice 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. Throughout my “medication vacation,” I started to journal my migraine life and joined support groups. I learned a lot during this time. It made me look at the number of drugs I was taking, the side effects 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 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 other diets that migraine suffers experiment with. However, I have always thought that because I have so many different triggers not related to food that restricting myself wouldn’t help. However, I started seeing food differently than I had in the past. Instead of thinking of what I can’t have, I have begun to see some foods as something I can and should have to help my body heal or stay more consistent.

Migraine, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding

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

I have started to change my diet and how I live my life and react to my triggers and pre-migraine symptoms. It’s 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 migraine surgery to magically cure my brain of these life-altering migraine attacks and chronic pain that I live in, but nothing has healed 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 mental and physical health. 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, requiring much trial and error. I am trying to find a path to wellness specifically for me, 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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