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Postpartum Headaches- How It Affects Pregnancy



Postpartum Headaches- How It Affects Pregnancy

Headaches are unbearable. It can be unbearable and causes many problems. There ARE different types of headaches- Sinus headache, migraine, tension headache, etc. Often women experience severe headaches after giving birth to the children. According to studies, 39 percent of new mothers experience headaches after the first week of their delivery.

Often the headaches are triggered by hormonal changes and extra tensions but that is quite normal. Pregnancy and giving birth are not easy. This often goes away. But if any new mother experiences headaches even after six weeks of giving birth then you may need medical attention.


Causes of Postpartum Headaches

Many factors cause postpartum headaches or headache after pregnancy. The common causes are-

  • Shifting hormonal levels- Usually, estrogen hormone level changes after giving birth. Many other hormone levels also become abnormal. This may cause headaches.
  • If the mother is a migraines patient then she may experience migraines Headaches post-pregnancy.
  • Young mother loses weight or gains weight after pregnancy which causes headache
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Other environmental factors

These are the primary causes. The secondary causes are-

  • Preeclampsia
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Use of regional anesthesia
  • Some medicines
  • Cortical vein thrombosis


Types of postpartum headaches

Different patients feel and suffer from different types of postpartum headaches. Some are common and some other uncommon headaches also exist. Nearly half of the new moms experience headaches due to pre-existing migraines or stress. Nearly 24% of headaches are caused by preeclampsia. 16% of headaches are caused by regional anesthesia.


Common types of postpartum headaches

  1. Stress and Tension

This is one of the main and common causes of post-pregnancy headaches. Usually, these headaches do not become severe. Stress and tension related headaches happen on both sides of your head in a band. Usually, it lasts for 30 minutes or remains foe for nearly a week. Tension headaches often come into existence due to environmental factors and other lifestyle issues like dehydration or sleep.

  1. Migraine

Migraine is another main cause. If a mother had migraine before giving birth then there are high chances that she will experience migraines after giving birth. Migraines are a type of primary headache. It is a type of throbbing headache on one or both side of the head. It also triggers additional symptoms like vomiting, nausea, photo and sound sensitivity, etc. According to studies, postpartum migraines are often caused by hormonal imbalances and other environmental factors.

Secondary headaches

These types of headaches are the result of another medical condition. The main causes of secondary headaches are-

  1. Post Puncture headache

Regional anesthesia during labor may cause headache after labor. It can occur if the mother is given epidural on spinal and that accidentally punctures the dura before delivery. It usually causes extreme headaches for the first three days after childbirth. The pain becomes severe whenever the patient tries to stand up or sit upright. Additional symptoms like nausea and vomiting, neck stiffness or vision problems have been reported.

  1. Preeclampsia

This is a serious condition. It may occur before or after labor. This condition means a mother has high blood pressure and protein in her urine. This is an emergency condition and may lead to seizures, coma or even death.

Postpartum headaches are curable and can be treated with proper medical attention. Mothers need to be extra careful.