I’ve dealt with migraines since the age of twelve. Our relationship is old enough to order a glass of sauvignon blanc. I’ve been to numerous skilled neurologists. Taken dozens of prescription drugs. Tried hormone help. Tried acupuncture. Cranial release. Let’s just say, I have some experience with these awful headaches.
One the best ways to handle migraine headaches is to learn what causes them for you in the first place. Getting a head of the headache can help reduce the number of days you suffer. If migraines are becoming a more frequent issue for you make sure to follow up with your primary care physician. If you ever experience what could be described as the “worst headache of your life” or stroke like symptoms, that is considered a medical emergency and you need to call 911.
Especially hormonal migraines are responsive to a reasonable dose of caffeine. But, don’t over do it! Try to balance this out with hydration, however. A cup of tea is a great tension reducer and doesn’t pack a huge caffeine punch.
It is so easy for mamas to get dehydrated. Chasing kiddos and attending to their needs it’s very easy to neglect our own. Try getting a reusable water bottle that you cary around with you on errands. Or an app that tracks water consumption. When a migraine strikes, chugging some H20 can take the edge off.
Eating the Right Snacks
High protein snacks balanced with carbs are a great way to make sure you’re getting adequate nutrition. A handful of almonds and some fruit make a good one. Almonds also contain natural melatonin that may help you get better rest at night.
If your sleep is interrupted by babies, snoring husbands, pumping, anxiety, whatever it may be headaches can worsen. If Dad can take a shift with the baby to get you more sleep, release control and let him! If anxiety is plaguing you at night talk to your doctor.
I am so familiar with this one, but I wish I weren’t. Any kind of stress either long term or situational is bound to make migraines more frequent. De-stress in whatever way you can. Self care of choice. Exercise. Therapy. Date Night. Do it.
I love me a good glass of red wine, but booze ain’t good for ya. We all know this. Red wine especially. Unfortunately, that happens to be my favorite. Finding wine lower in sulfites might help, as does drinking only with food and while well hydrated. Your best bet is to avoid during other triggers.
Learn Your Menstrual Cycles
Often women get worsening migraines either right before their periods or during ovulation. Learning how your cycles work can help you prepare for headaches before they ruin your day. This also may limit the types of birth control your able to use without headache consequences.
Learn Other Triggers
Other common migraine triggers might include strong smells, second hand smoke, weather/barometric pressure changes, jet lag, processed food, chocolate, cheeses, MSG (monosodium glutamate), birth control, strenuous physical activity, and more.
This is far from an exhaustive list of all of the reasons people get migraines. And of course, migraines are only one type of headache. In a follow up post, I will go over some quick treatment options for headaches that mamas can use in the moment while still parenting littles. If you are a fellow migraine sufferer, my heart goes out to you!
No information on this post should replace conversations with your healthcare professional.