What Are Post-Pregnancy Headaches?

While you might think it's all smooth sailing after you've had your baby, your body is still undergoing many changes in the first few weeks and months postpartum. From hair loss to insomnia, these changes are common experiences for many postpartum women. 

As a new mom, headaches might just be one of the worst things imaginable. Unfortunately, post-pregnancy headaches are a common side effect of rapidly changing hormones. In this guide, we'll talk about the science behind these headaches as well as how you can treat them at home. 

Woman on bed

Why Do Women Experience Headaches After Pregnancy?

There are a few reasons women experience headaches during the postpartum period. For many, headaches go away completely during pregnancy, even if migraines were something common in the past. This is because women experience an increase in estrogen levels while pregnant, fighting off migraines naturally. 

Unfortunately, things change after birth. Here are some of the most common reasons for post-pregnancy headaches:

  • Epidural Headache: Epidurals are a much-needed form of pain relief for the women who choose this during labor, but it could lead to headaches later. Because the needle is inserted into your back, there is a risk that your dura could be punctured, leaking cerebrospinal fluid. This is rare, but it does happen.
  • Breastfeeding Headaches: Another common post-pregnancy headache is a lactation headache. This is because oxytocin, the hormone released when breastfeeding, might trigger a headache. 
  • Hormonal Headaches: With the natural decrease of estrogen after pregnancy, it's not uncommon to experience migraines or mild headaches. This is especially true if you're struggling to sleep through the night. 

How to Soothe Your Headache Naturally

First and foremost, if you experience a strong headache after pregnancy, talk to your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of preeclampsia or high blood pressure. 

Otherwise, if you have only minor headaches, here are some ways to treat them naturally at home. The best thing to do is to relax, but we all know that's not always possible as a new mom. These tips will help your body unwind as best as you can. 

  • Take a bath: While not a cure-all, a bath can do wonders for your body and mind. Not only does it give you some time to yourself, but you can also surround your skin with natural, soothing ingredients. Our Call Me Cleopatra Milk Bath has everything you need to relax and feel your best.
  • Use natural caffeine: Caffeine is a natural pain reliever, and it can do wonders for headaches. Brew a fresh cup of tea, snack on some chocolate, or use our Morning Matcha face scrub.  
  • Stay hydrated: You might experience a headache because your body is dehydrated. Try sipping on more water throughout the day to be sure you're drinking enough. 
  • Cold compress: If your head has that tell-tale throbbing feeling, a cold compress helps take the edge off. 
  • Get better sleep: Finally, a lot of moms experience post-pregnancy headaches when they're sleep-deprived. Unfortunately, this goes hand-in-hand with being a new mom. You can use natural sleep enhancers like the Full 8 Hours scrub or aromatherapy to get better sleep even with a new baby. 

The Full 8 Hours scrub

IImage by @AubreyyCook

Soothe Your Pain Naturally

Unfortunately, your body's changing hormones are likely to blame for your post-pregnancy headaches. Luckily, there are some things you can do to soothe your throbbing head naturally. 

Remember, you need to find some time for yourself, mama. Even if everything revolves around your baby, take a bit of time to care for yourself as well. You deserve it, mama.