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01 Feb 2010

Lactation Headache
Hi Doc

I have been having dull to severe headaches constantly for the last 2 weeks. My baby is 6 weeks old and I think they are lactation headaches as they get worse immediately after a feed. I have also ruled out any other potential causes (tried wearing glasses instead of contacts, bp is fine, no sinusitis).

I am convinced this has to be hormonal (they remind me of the headaches I get when I have PMS).

Is there ANYTHING I can do? I have only been using panado, but it never takes it away completely!

Answer 405 views
Headache expert
Headache expert

01 Jan 0001

Dear Woolly,

Headaches related to changes in hormone levels usually indicate that the body is responding in an abnormal way to the normal hormone fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle, or during pregnancy and lactation. The best approach to dealing with the problem is to diagnose why your body is reacting abnormally to your normal hormone fluctuations. It is important to remember that the change in hormone levels is only a trigger, not the underlying cause of the pain. To find out why your body reacts in this way, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. This must include an assessment of the tension in the head and neck muscles. There are so many different structures in the head and neck are, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, you need the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables us to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.