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I am a 33 year old female who gave birth to my third child two and a half weeks ago. I had minor problems in my pregnancy with vericose and spider veins in my legs and an inguinal hernia. My labor and delivery was quick and normal with no problems. About 6 days after giving birth, I got a bad headache that started early evening and lasted the whole night. The top of my head on both sides would just throb. If I was walking, I felt ok, but if I sat down or lied down, it hurt worse. I was able to sleep but woke up often from the throbbing. Once morning came, the headache was gone. This went on for about five days. I went to see my ob and she said it was most likely a migraine. On the fifth night, I took excedrin migraine which helped but did not clear the headache completely. On the sixth night, I took a sample of a migraine medicine she gave me called treximet. This medicine seemed to have the opposite effect. It made my head pound so hard for about five hours. No position would help. I could not eat, sit down, lie down, talk, or take care of my children. I finally took a hot shower and some nyquil and was able to sleep. My doctor thought maybe I had a sinus infection and got me a z pack and told me to also take tylenol cold. The headaches are now here all day but are very dull and move around different parts of my head. They are sometimes on top of my head, in the back of my head, or behind my eyes. This is now twelve days straight for the headaches. I also have some neck pain. I am still bleeding a bit off and on and last night had alot of bleeding with some small clots. I occasionally have some lower back pain on both sides. During the first week this started, I was losing weight rapidly - I lost about 15 pounds in about 10 days. I was also slightly anemic when I went into labor. My blood pressure is normal and my ob did a blood work up and I have not heard anything back.
I am trying to figure out if headaches can be common after childbirth due to changing hormone levels or if this could be something more serious. I don't know how long I should wait it out or if I need to see my primary care or a neurologist. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. Thank you - Tina Taylor
Severe headaches after childbirth demand immediate neurological assessment. This means a detailed history and examination including checking the eyes for signs of high pressure in the head. I would hope that this has been done already by your GP, but if not this should be done immediately.
I do not mean to scaremonger, but the reason that proper assessment is important after childbirth is that certain conditions such as a blood clot in one of the main veins in the brain, a tear in an artery or a problem in the pituitary gland are much commoner after childbirth than at other times.
Having said this, these situations are much rarer even in your situation than "simple" causes such as migraine...so please get checked properly ASAP so you can be reassured, and let us know how it goes.
I saw my general practitioner yesterday and he prescribed me a medicine for atypical migraines and tension headaches. He also said there was some sinus drainage. All of my vital signs, including my blood pressure, were normal. The medicine is definitely working. The headaches have not totally subsided but they are very dull. He said to try this for a few days and if it doesn't get better, he gave me a referral for a neurologist.
Did he look into your eyes with a special instrument?
I would strongly advise getting a full neurological examination as soon as possible including examination of the optic fundi...this means that someone looks into your eyes using a machine called an ophthalmoscope to check for signs of raised pressure in the head.
Checking the pupils with a regular flashlight is important, but actually looking at the back of the eyes (the retina) is critical for proper assessment of anyone with headache, especially after childbirth.
Please get this done and let us know how it goes.
I have been having the same problem. I had my third child Nov.25 via c-section, and since about a week after birth the headache started and has not gone away. I have had bleeding the entire time, and in the last 3 days it has been so heavy I have to change my pad about every hour. I have been very fatigued, and have no energy to do anything. I called my OB and she didn't seemed concerned that I was having these issues, but I am worried because it is starting to affected me physically and mentally. What is the cause of this and how can I correct it?
You all sound like me. Only my daughter is now 11 and I'm still trying to find the cause of this sudden migraines after birth. I'll save you all from my long story and just say I was perfectly healthy, had my daughter in 1999 and have had chronic migraines since; never even had a headache before. I've tried nerve blocks, blood tests, allergy test (skin, outdoor - not chemical yet), acupuncture, deep muscle massage, visiting the chiro 3 times a week for 6 months plus twice, anti depressants, anti seizure pills, vitamins, magnesium, feverfew, hair samples, sinus cat scan, 2 brain MRI's. I've looked up everything I can think of and brought it to my doctors attention; been tested for diabetes, lime disease, thyroid problems... heart doctors, done lost of dental work, wore mouth guard for a while; getting braces soon. Asked if they punctured my dura; doctors say no; thought it was the epidural; who knows. Tried food elimination, gluten free diet, magnesium, avoid alcohol, chocolate, all the typical triggers like nitrates, processed meats, packaged foods. Lowered stress, drank tons of water, asked for lumbar puncture to which I was denied. Left my husband even cause I thought maybe he caused the stress... nope. Tried to go to mayo clinic, denied for preexisting condition. Plan to try again with new insurance. Eyes have been checked, tons of MRIs of Spine, took 3 month birth control pack to have period 4 times a years, now take nothing as I'm told birth control causes migraines. Stopped smoking 7 years ago, started 6 months ago, took allergy pills, steroids (which are great but you can't stay on them long term). The only thing that works is Relpax. Its no life, but its not like I've not tried and not as if I'm still not trying. Now I'm getting on FMLA at 32 and have been on AFLAC for about 4 years. I don't expect that I'll ever be normal again, but it would be amazing if it happened. I'm preparing just in case because I don't know what to expect. firstname.lastname@example.org
This is my story too!!! I gave birth to more daughter in 1993. 28 days later I got the first migraine headache I ever got in my life. This was not a headache - it was a migraine. Think mutiple knives being stuck in you head while someone is stepping on your head at the same time. At first I got the migraines about every 28 days, just before menstrastion. Eventually I would get addtional headaches "mid-cycle." I tried everything - elimination diets, accupuncture, naturopathy, yoga, medication, chiropractor. I finally gave into tradtional medicine in 2000 and now I am on an incredibly expensive drug called frova. (If I didn't have heath insurance it would cost about $200-400 a month.) My nuerologist told me that the headaches may go away after menopause. As I have got closer to menopause, they have not gone away and have become more irregular. I have a love/hate relationship with the medication because I don't like to take medication. I sometimes put off taking the medication in denial of the pre-migraine signals. I would love any natural solutions...
wow and here I am think I was alone in the battle. One year after having my baby and the headaches just wont go away. To see that there are people who have been dealing with this for over ten years is scary but somewhat assuring that I am not in immediate danger. I have tried all of the regiments mention above and have been to at least 15 doctors and no resolution. I just want this headache gone and to return to my normal life.
@Dana, your post scares me because I too have done almost everything you have tried with no relief. I had my daughter nov 18th, & have had a migraine EVERY SINGLE DAY since then. At first they started out as spinal headaches, my epidural was AWFUL and they admitted to puncturing my dural space. I just don't think it's likely that a spinal headache could last almost 4 months. I have three children under 4, and these headaches are literally ruining my life. I can't properly take care of them or leave my house because I have to be laying down all the time. They do go away when I'm lying down. Lately I've been getting extremely nauseous too. I also black out frequently. Just for a second each time, but still scary when I'm home alone with my girls. It's a good thing my husband has a decent job because I don't know if I'll ever be able to return to work. I don't know what else to do. I am going to have my eyes examined again and hope they find something this time. I never even had a headache before this all started. I am hypothyroid, but my doctors say my levels are okay. I really hope I'm not still dealing with this in 11 years! Good luck to you. I wouldn't wish this on my wors t enemy.
My wife has been undergoing same headache after delivering our second child in December. The headache started in late January and still continuing. Its been terrible days for her. Headache use to start in cheeks and also go top of the head. We have seen several doctors and nuerologist and also had Sinus X-Rays and MRI. Doctor says MRI is normal. Sinus has also been ruled out by certain doctors. Now her headache used to subsidise after taking medication in a hour or two. But, its become a daily affair. Can anyone help what kind of headache is this, and what would be right medication to prevent the headache ? Since she is feeding the baby taking medication has alos been difficult. Please Help.
What time of day do they start?
How would she describe the pain?
How long does it last?
Any other symptoms with the pain ?
What meds does she take?
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