My children are 3 years apart. For about a year before I got pregnant with my daughter, I had debilitating migraines. I was incapacitated for an average of 6 days a month and most of the other days of the month I had transformed migraine (daily headaches). I could not find adequate treatment and I was very scared that I would be unable to continue working. When I got pregnant with my daughter my migraines completely disappeared!
They are coming back now and I just had an amazing realization. My migraines became debilitating after my son stopped nursing. Currently, I had a 4 day migraine before Christmas and 3 days of milder "hangover" headache after. And this coincides with my "weaning" of my 14 month old daughter. We had gone down to nursing twice per day. I have had my "period" for months but they are light and irregular. I think the most recent one at the beginning of my migraine was my first "real" period.
When I had this realization, I started to nurse my daughter frequently during my 4 day Christmas weekend. I feel great now. Of course, the migraine may have run it's course but I am particularly surprised that the daily headache is gone...
So I am thinking that the prolactin that nursing stimulates is helping me. I am just speculating but what do you think? Could 4 days really spike my prolactin? Also, do we really have that much prolactin in our blood stream when we are in the late phase of breastfeeding. I thought it was mostly mechanical supply and demand type production now.
I am considering starting to pump again at lunch at work and trying to breastfeed more at home. I cut down on nursing because I was really touched out but I think I have had the respite I need and I can get back to it. It's a little exciting to think that I nursing could be like a daily preventative for me while at the same time benefitting my baby.
The other thing I have been thinking about is what will I do when I wean. I don't really want to nurse past 2 years old and I admit this is due partly to social pressure and partly to my own discomfort with the idea. Anyway, when I wean, I thought maybe taking galactagogues would increase my baseline prolactin even if I am not nursing. Is that how galactagogues work?
Do you need to be suckling?
I will be keeping a headache diary to see how this goes...
(I am cross posting in Chronic Conditions-Mother.)