No, it’s not a sinus headache.

My baby’s recent 2 month check up was less about her and more about me.  She’s gaining weight, gaining chub, and healthy as can be.

Me, on the other hand… on appointment day I was in the throes of a nasty headache that I simply could not shake.  I remembered getting it when baby #4 was a month or 2 old, also, so I tried not to “go there” thinking I was dying of a brain tumor or something (tell me I’m not the only one who does that).  It would pound and I’d get dizzy whenever I had a change in position from sitting to standing, or lying down to sitting.  It nearly made me nauseous at times.

It was awful, had been going on for a week or longer, and I was honestly a bit afraid to drive to the appointment that day.

I had them take my blood pressure, because I tend to run low.  It was fine.  My doc checked my throat and ears.  Clear.  He asked if I’d had any sinus issues.  Just the normal fall allergies.  Nothing severe.  Nothing that got in my way.

He suggested Claritin.

I smiled and nodded, then ignored him, and promptly made an appointment with my chiropractor for later in the week.  Call it mother’s intuition.  ;)

The headache continued, and my chiropractor had immediate answers for me.  As she was adjusting me (and attempting to, because I was too tight in the shoulders/neck area) she declared my joints really dehydrated.  “You’re not getting enough to drink.”

A nursing mama almost never gets enough to drink.

I’m also one of the fortunate mamas whose weight drops rapidly in the early weeks of breastfeeding.  According to my chiropractor, too rapidly.  She sent me home with a “prescription” for drinking as much water as I possibly can, eating good proteins and fats, asking for head/neck/shoulder massages from my husband ;) , and sleep.  Lots of sleep.

If you’ve been there or are walking this mama journey with me, you know it’s easier said than done to take care of mom.   After three days of renewed efforts and lots of water, the headache was gone.    I didn’t have a sinus problem or even a tumor.  I’m just a tired nursing mama who gets stiff and sore looking down at her baby all the time and who doesn’t get enough to drink.

Mama friends, I know these early days and weeks are tough.  Some days we’re in survival mode.  Just today I posted on Facebook that I feel all I ever get done is making sure we have clean clothes to wear and good food to eat!  I was reminded by the headache, though, that taking care of mom has to be a priority.  Similar to the oxygen mask scenario on an airplane, you simply can’t take good care of everyone else if you yourself are not healthy. 

Drink.  Eat.  Sleep.  Your health is worth it!

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. So what about your neck and shoulders…did the hydration help? I just assumed the looking at your baby during nursing made the ache unavoidable. This is good info!!! Keep it coming so I’ll be ready next February!

    • My neck and shoulders are still stiff, but not painful like they were. I think that the pain of the headache made me even MORE tense in the neck and shoulders, so once that pain was gone I was able to relax some. Lance and I try to trade 10ish minute neck and shoulder rubs several times a week. That helps more than anything! (That and getting out of this silly recliner. When I lean back while nursing the baby, but have my laptop on my lap, my head/neck crane forward. NOT a good position for the neck.)

  2. this is good to read. my baby (#4) is one month and yesterday, i started getting the symptoms of mastitis. it’s true, i need to rest, but how does that happen with four little ones to take care of??? now, i’m trying to drink more and resting when i can and praying for healing. thanks for the reminder.

    • I know! My problem is that if the stars align and the baby sleeps at the same time the toddler is napping, I tend to want to either 1) get something done, or 2) enjoy the quiet ;) when I really should be sleeping. I’ve been napping big time on the weekends and trying to catch a small nap a couple days a week.

  3. I’m glad you got to the root of the problem – don’t you just love your chiropractor? I adore mine! I’m glad it was a simple fix for you.

    Some of your essential oils could help with the stiffness in your neck too from the looking down constantly. I use peppermint oil rubbed on the back of my neck and shoulders(diluted because it’s too hot for me straight up) and it helps. Just check and make sure what’s okay to use while nursing. I believe some oils can dry up your milk supply, but I’m not certain on that as I am really new to the oils.

    • I *do* love my chiropractor! She has never once said “here let me adjust this and you’ll be all fixed up.” Never a bandaid or quick fix. Always about HEALING, and always giving me “homework.” ;) I think peppermint is one that can interfere with milk production, so I’ve been hesitant with that, but yes! Excited to try them out. I think my oils arrived right after my headache episode. I need to read up on what’s best to use for massage. (Sounds like LOTS of them are good to rub into the feet.)

  4. That’s what they always tell me at the chiro. – “Drink lots of water”. And then I think, “Oh yeah. They tell me that every time and then I forget.” Gotta do something to remind myself!

  5. I don’t care WHAT is wrong with me (or one of my kids), the very first thing I try is increasing water intake. It is completely staggering how many ailments that cures or, at the very least, helps.

  6. Elaina Marshall says:

    I will bet that we all need to drink more water especially while we are nursing and as we age. Fortunately, its one thing that we can control (vs. sleep more!). Always a good reminder!

  7. I feel for you. I suffer from chronic dehydration headaches, which are worse during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I had serious milk supply issues because of lack of calories and lack of water, so hydration is very important. It’s tough though with multiple kids, if I drink too much then I’ll have to go to the bathroom and I barely have time for that as it is.

  8. Chiropractors are awesome! Especially for pre and post natal care. I got torticollis (sever neck spasms) a week after giving birth and ended up in the ER twice and on morphine for almost a week. I also thought I had migraines or crazy sinus problems at first…next time I plan on seeing my chiropractor immediately rather than waiting to end up in the ER :).

  9. Oh this is EXACTLY what is going on with me!! My baby is 4 months old and I just went back to work in January. I work from home but keep her here with me so its constantly a balancing act between baby and my computer and I find myself forgetting to drink anything! Between breastfeeding and poor posture at my desk I have awful neck pain and headaches. Ive also lost 15 pounds in the past 5 weeks due to lots of dedication and hard work but I fear it was too fast…maybe not enough calories and water and this is contributing to my headaches. Ive never been to the chiropractor but have been saying over the past month that I feel like I need to with all this neck pain and crackling going on. Thanks for this blog because before I found it I too thought I had a brain tumor!! Im going to run to the chiropractor next week but not befor I guzzle a few gallons of water this weekend!!

  10. haydee says:

    Thanks for posting. I’ve been suffering from serious headache. As I layed inbedserveral njghts I also wonderedcan it be something more serious.its really scary. Ill try more watef and post back.

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