Postpartum Migraine Management: A Quick Guide

postpartum migraine, upper cervical

Congratulations on your new baby! It's probably a lot to take in, so if you're also dealing with postpartum migraine (PM) then this is just one more thing to think about. But don't worry: there are some tricks that can help manage the symptoms of postpartum migraine until you can find the time to address problems in your upper cervical spine. We'll talk about how this works later on, but let's start with what exactly postpartum migraines are all about first.


The Link Between Postpartum Migraine, And Your Spine

Postpartum migraine, also known as PPM, is a chronic headache disorder that affects women after giving birth. It can last for several months and may recur during subsequent pregnancies. 

During pregnancy and childbirth, the natural curvature of your spine is lost as it straightens out to accommodate a growing baby. This loss of curvature (or “lordosis”) can put pressure on your lower back, which can lead to pain in that area. After you give birth, your spine will regain its natural curvature (also known as “kyphosis”), but only if you take care of yourself by exercising and doing pregnancy-safe stretches, and giving your spine ample attention and seeking upper cervical care.


How Pregnancy Can Alter Your Migraine Pattern

Before we get into migraine management, let’s talk about how pregnancy and childbirth are related to migraines. If you or your partner has experienced a migraine during or after pregnancy, it’s likely because the rapid bone growth and change that occurs during these periods can cause the upper cervical spine to move out of alignment. 

The topmost cervical spine is made up of smaller bones called vertebrae. These are stacked on top of one another and make up your spinal column. Since it is the most flexible part of our body, it can easily be affected by changes in posture as well as external forces like gravity and movement. This can make your migraines more common or severe than they once were. Pregnancy affects your hormones, which in turn affects how your body responds to migraine triggers.

The many changes a pregnant woman experiences throughout their bodies can cause a myriad of unpleasant conditions like migraine at any time during pregnancy or the postpartum period (post-labor). These include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Physical changes in the body
  • Emotional factors 

Post labor, the stress of childbirth can trigger migraines in so many ways, including the natural curvature of your spine, affecting its overall flow and all organs connected to its whole length – from the bottom to the upper cervical region.


Postpartum Migraine Symptoms

The symptoms of migraines and headaches are similar but can be distinguished by the timing. Migraines generally occur on a monthly basis, whereas headaches can happen more frequently or less frequently. Postpartum migraine symptoms may include:

  • Headache or pain in the head (usually one-sided)
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tired
  • Neck pain

postpartum migraine, upper cervical

Postpartum Migraine Management

Migraine is a common condition that attacks a person with headache pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Although the exact cause of migraines is not known, new mothers may have headaches after childbirth. 

Postpartum migraine management can be difficult for some women because of how many factors come into play when managing postpartum migraines. Here are some tips in ensuring a healthy spine and fewer postpartum migraine days:

Take some time to rest

Your body will need time ton of time to recover from the changes associated with childbirth, so take some time off from work. You may also find that you are unable to do things that require a lot of physical strength, such as housework or going for a walk in the park. 

If you have other children at home and no one to help you around the house, ask someone else to look after them for an hour or two each day so that you can rest. If it's not possible for someone else to come round, then consider hiring a cleaning service or asking a friend if they could lend a hand once or twice per week.

Eat well and keep your blood sugar stable

Eating well is a very important thing that you can do for yourself, especially after childbirth.  Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help keep your blood sugar stable so that you don’t experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). A diet rich in protein and fiber can also help to prevent constipation, which could make it harder for you to pass gas.

Seek upper cervical chiropractic care

If you're suffering from postpartum migraine, upper cervical chiropractic may be able to help. But what is upper cervical chiropractic? 

Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the top of your spine, which is located in the back of your neck. This area can get out of alignment due to trauma or poor posture, causing pressure on nerves and interference with nerve transmission throughout the body. If this happens enough times over time, it can lead to chronic pain and other health issues.


How Does Chiropractic Care Works?

The technique primarily involves manual adjustment of the two topmost vertebral bones. By doing so, the other spinal bones slowly return to their original alignment, allowing your body to transmit essential information needed to manage recurring issues like migraines.  For some people who experience migraines as well as lower back pain, having misaligned vertebrae in their neck may cause pain down their backs without them realizing there's something wrong up top first!


Book Your Appointment with a Cervical Chiropractic Doctor Today!

While some people may be able to manage their migraines on their own, postpartum migraine is a serious problem and requires care from a trained professional so it's important to seek professional help from a board-certified upper cervical chiropractor.

If you have not yet found a trusted upper cervical chiropractor in your area, visit the Upper Cervical Awareness website and take advantage of their Find a Doctor database. A comprehensive list of all credible chiropractors in the United States, so you can be sure that you are in good hands!


Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.