32 answers

Breastfeeding and Migraines

I am addicted to caffeine!! Whenever I don't have caffeine by a certain time in the morning I get a migraine. However, I want to quit drinking caffeine and will not be able to do this without medicated help. Excedrin Migraine has always worked great, but I don't want to risk using aspirin while I'm still breastfeeding. What has everyone else used?
Updated: I guess I could have been a little more specific:) I say that I am addicted as I get migraines when I don't drink caffeine, but I only drink about 20 oz a day of Diet DP. I know that this is well within my limits and has not affected my son, but want to stop drinking since I know that it is healthier than not.

What can I do next?

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I get migraines too. I stopped using Excedrin Migraine when I discovered that any analgesic (Tylenol, Advil, etc) works with a small amt of caffeine. If I feel a migraine coming I can take two Tylenol and have a glass of Iced tea or a quarter of a can of coke. It works just as well. I was able to wean myself off of caffeine all together, but this works for me when I get a headache.

One of the reasons excedrin is working so well for you is because I believe it contains a lot of caffeine! So if you're trying to kick caffeine, you definitely want to stay away from the excedrin. I breastfeed as well and have decided to reduce my intake of caffeine instead of totally eliminating it. Just a suggestion! I hope you find what works best for you!

I have migraines all the time. I wouldn't suggest using Excedrin migraine because it also has caffeine in it. You might see if the doctor will give you a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. The other thing you could try is to slowly reduce the amount of caffeine you drink over a few weeks. I am so sorry you are having migraines. They are no fun.

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I take Extra Strength Tylenol. It does not work as well for me as Excedrin, but it eventually does work. Sometimes I have to take 3. You should ask your doctor.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Dear V.
Haven't you found that your baby which is being breastfed is a bit hyperactive from your coffee/caffeine ingestion?
You could begin by drinking decaffeinated coffee and the occasional cup of coffee, until you are "weaned off" your coffee addiction (I too enjoy my coffee!).
If you are still having migraines after using this route, then your best bet is to see a doctor.
Jewel

1 mom found this helpful

My doctor allowed me to drink caffeine and it did not affect my baby and I breastfed all 3 of mine. I drank it while pregnant and while nursing. He told me that as long as my body was already used to it, then it was allowed in moderation - what I was used to. It's when you overdo more than usual when you're body reacts to it. Regarding my headaches - the caffeine continued to help. I did take aspirin when absolutely necessary. I would always try Tylenol - though it doesn't do me much good. I know what they say about aspirin - but my mom took it with 5 kids. And, when you have those bad headaches - you need it to just function basically. So, again, in moderation - not daily, I took aspirin. But, I did stop the prescription I was on for headaches. Excedrin Migraine has caffeine, apirin, and tylenol, I believe. In that case, you aren't overdoing on any one. Still talk to your doctor and listen to the risks. But weigh the advice. Not all "new" information is accurate and many times it is exxagerated. Do your own research as well. With my mom's experience, and my doctor's knowledge, and my pain - I was comfortable with my decision.

Excedrin is NOT aspirin - it is caffeine laced pain reliever. Tylenol is supposed to be the best pain reliever to take while pregnant and nursing. Good luck!

Slowly wean yourself - get a large can of decaf and start with using 1 scoop in the pot, next day 2 scoops (instead of your usual caffinated). Then you'll slowly get down to where it's all mostly decaf. A little won't hurt you - but stay away from Excedrin Migrane - it's mostly CAFFINE!!

One of the reasons excedrin is working so well for you is because I believe it contains a lot of caffeine! So if you're trying to kick caffeine, you definitely want to stay away from the excedrin. I breastfeed as well and have decided to reduce my intake of caffeine instead of totally eliminating it. Just a suggestion! I hope you find what works best for you!

If you wanted to get off caffeine, you couldn't use Excedrin Migraine because it is loaded with caffeine. That is how it gets rid of the headache. They put it in their because most headaches, especially migraines, are associated with caffeine withdrawal. I've had to get off caffeine completely too because of migraines. To do so, you will have to suffer about 3 to 4 days of the worst headache you will ever experience but in the end, it is completely worth it! No more headaches at all...ever! I mean it. Caffeine is a highly addictive drug. It is in a lot of things that most people are not aware of. Do yourself a favor and go to this web sight. I found it when I was getting off caffeine. http://www.caffeineawareness.org/
Caffeine Awareness. Good luck to you V.. I will be praying for your success.
M.

It is the addiction that is causing the migraines. It is the withdrawal from caffiene that is causing them. You need to wean yourself SLOWLY off the caffiene. Don't try to do it "cold turkey". The headaches will make you crazy - but do it SLOWLY - 1 cup less a day - 2 cups less a day -.. and so on. Eventually, you will be okay. I AM addicted to caffiene, too - I don't go ANYWHERE without my mug of iced tea. I wish I had the strength you have to get off of it.

It's aboslutely like some of the other moms said, Excedrine of any kind is basically caffiene mixed with acetemetophine. I would suggest ibuprofen, completely safe during breast feeding (even though it was no good during pregnancy). I would suggest makeing your regular coffee in the morning then start mixing it with the decaf. And each day more decaf, less regular. My big thing was pepsi while I was pregnant. So I had to start drinking the caffiene free, I was so glad they made regular pepsi just without the caffiene. Otherwise I don't think I would have made it. Lots of luck, it's just as hard to give up the caffiene as it is to quit smoking.

Just talk to your OBGYN. I suffer from migraines and while I was pregnant I got them more often than usual. I told my OB and she gave me a prescription that was pregnant friendly since I couldn't take imitrex. Now I'm breastfeeding and while I don't get migraines as often, I have a medication that I am able to take.

Excedrin Migraine also has caffeine...which you're trying to avoid.

Wean yourself off caffeine, don't go cold turkey and that should help. You might not have migraines while breastfeeding because of the hormones, but when you stop breastfeeding they may come back with a vengeance.

I know it may be impossible, but exercise and enough sleep will help, as well as lots of water. I haven't really found any other medications that help, but I'll check back for the responses!

I gave it up during my preg and for a while after the birth but was told by the nursing consultant that I didn't have to give it up. I still drink coffee while breastfeeding. (My child is 13 months old and still nursing.) I do watch how much I drink and when I drink it. I usually have a cup in the morning and then when I'm not going to be nursing for a few hours - another cup. You could also try half-caf and caf mixed. Good luck!

Have you tried small quanitites of coffee in the morning. I drink one cup a day while nursing. No more than that. Would one cup be enough to prevent your migranes? I drank a cup every morning while nursing my son, and do the same with my 9 month old daughter. When she was younger than 2 months, I started out with all de-caff and slowly worked my way up to 8 oz of full-caff. I tried my best to cut back on the caffine by brewing a mix of 1/2 caff and 1/2 de-caff. I didn't have a problem with headaches but I became more tired and tired. This is why I actually started adding caffine to my diet. It's never seemed to interfere with her naps/sleep.

Well, how much caffeine are you taking in? I think that you can have a couple cups of coffee with no ill effects on your nursing baby. I think one cup of coffee is really no big deal at all. If it is more than on or two cups, maybe you can cut back slowly as another poster suggested. I mean what about experimenting with the smallest amount possible without getting a headache and just drinking that and then wean down slowly. I bought some great dark roast at starbucks and cut it in half with a some decaf columbian that I got in the grocery store. Maybe that will work for you to start. I know they sell half that caff in the grocery store as well. Best wishes!!!

Excedrin Migraine has caffeine in it and it will not allow you to kick this awful addiction! I too was addicted for many years and tried several times without success to get off of it. once I realized that I was replacing my coffee, with a Dr. Pepper for breakfast and that the Green Tea capsuls I was taking had it, and that Tylenol or any Acetaminephen product had it! You can't even drink decaffeinated coffee while you are trying to kick it. Are you also doing artificial sweetners? like sweet and low or equal? they will give you migraines too you know! Here's what i did and it was successful. I quit cold turkey all caffeine products that i just mentioned. And I felt horrible for 3-4 days. headache, groggy, irritable, tired ! you name it... it's withdrawal. But it only takes a few days to get it out of your system, and feel so much better than you ever did when you were addicted. Then make sure that you don't mess up and start it up again... which only leads to another 3-4 miserable days! Once you have kicked it, you can have the occaisional cup of de-caf (only about 5 milg.). decaf tea of caffeine free is best, and sweeten with sugar, or if you are like me,(try to stay away from sugar) you can use "Stevia" or splenda. Good luck, you can do it, just know that you will feel pretty bad for 3-4 days! Let me know if I can help in any way.

Don't make life any harder than it already is! ; ) If you need the caffeine, it's ok to have it in small amounts. I'm nursing too and I get a headache if I go all day without any caffeine. I take a tall travel cup of coffee in to work with me, and if I haven't finished it by noon, then it goes down the drain. I make noon my cut-off, and no caffeine for me after that. When my son was a newborn, I made the mistake of having a glass of tea with dinner and he was up late and very angry that night. I learned my lesson. Also, I know Tylenol doesn't always cure the worst headaches, but it's the one that's recommended for pregnancy and breastfeeding. I'd suggest taking 2 Tylenol and drinking a Coke as fast as you can gulp it down if you feel a bad one coming on.

Good luck!

Ask your doctor first but there is a small pill that you can get at the health food store that disolves under your tounge. It is for caffeine withdrawel & it works. I used it years ago.

I did not stop drinking coffee while breastfeeding. I drank 1 cup of coffee in the morning, (not enough to get a withdrawal, should I decide to go without my daily cup).

In the past though, I did get the symptoms you are describing, it hurt all the way into my back ! It's bad, but if you feel you need to quit caffeine, you dont need medication (Excedrin contains caffeine), it's only 3-4 days of headaches, feeling tired, and then it's over with. You might want to decrease your daily intake before stopping altogether, to make things easier.

I hope this helps
A.

I did this when I was pregnant with my son. The doctor had told me it was ok to have one glass of tea a day if I needed a little caffeine. For the most part I did cold turkey and would take tylenol to help with headaches. Tylenol is safe for you to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. After about a week or so, depending on how much caffeine you drink now, the headaches will stop and you won't crave the caffeine anymore. Good Luck

YES you can stop drinking caffeine without a migraine. If you drink say 4 cups of coffee (I used to drink SIX) in the morning. Continue to drink 4 just not as full--switch to a smaller glass or mug. You may have a slight headache, but not bad. Do that for a couple days. Be aware and congratulate yourself that it is Working. Next, cut down to 3 or whatever. I have also found that taking a good vitamin and liquid mineral supplement Daily helps greatly. I am now down to drinking a single mug and always pour the last couple sips out. Good luck--you can do it! C.

I'm now breastfeed my third baby. I've talked to my doctor, and caffine is okay in small doces. You can have a cup of coffee in the morning...just not a lot more than that.

As for asprin, both Tylenol and Motrin are safe while breastfeeding. I'm not sure about Excedring Migraine, but your OB or pediatrician should be able to tell you for sure.

I have migraines all the time. I wouldn't suggest using Excedrin migraine because it also has caffeine in it. You might see if the doctor will give you a prescription for Tylenol with codeine. The other thing you could try is to slowly reduce the amount of caffeine you drink over a few weeks. I am so sorry you are having migraines. They are no fun.

I was exactly like you. When I found out I was pregnant, I started slowly coming off caffeine. I made my coffee half-caf. I switched to Sprite and ginger ale instead of Coke and Dr. Pepper. I took Tylenol for headaches. After about a week, I switched to pure decaf coffee. I will occasionally have a caffeineted cola - but they even make caffeine free Coke - or have tea when eating out. I thought I was going to die at first, but since I didn't quit cold turkey it wasn't that bad. I will continue this through breastfeeding and hopefully not get myself into that situation again. You can do this if you go slow and don't expect yourself to be perfect. I was addicted to Dr. Pepper. I could have drank it exclusively. Now that the caffeine isn't a problem I can drink one and it is no big deal. Good luck! I promise you it isn't as hard as you might think!

I get migraines too. I stopped using Excedrin Migraine when I discovered that any analgesic (Tylenol, Advil, etc) works with a small amt of caffeine. If I feel a migraine coming I can take two Tylenol and have a glass of Iced tea or a quarter of a can of coke. It works just as well. I was able to wean myself off of caffeine all together, but this works for me when I get a headache.

Hi V.
I am guessing here but I think you are addicted to coffee? Do you like tea?I know it has caffeine but less.Is that you dont want the caffeine in your breastmilk?Therefore you want to do it cold turkey,if so you will have to do it cold turkey and take some tylenol.The headaches will go away.Unfotunately nothing comes without some kind of price.I thought that I was addicted to coffee and had to stop because I was sick I was fortunate that I didnt get any headaches.It really does go to show that everyone is different.There also is a product by I believe Maxwell House called half caffeine,you could start by drinking that for a week again not knowing if you need to do this right away,I think you may have to suffer with the headaches I hope you know that Excedrin has caffeine in it!Mydol also has caffeine in it but may not have apirin.
I cant think of anything else hopefully some of the other ladies have better ideas.
Much Luck
Regards
S.

As others have mentioned, Excedrin has caffiene. I do not drink caffeine myself so I can't help you there but I did get headaches all the time durning my pregnancy. A lot of times headaches are caused by dehydration. So, when you feel a headache coming on before you reach for the Tylenol, Drink a tall glass of water (16 oz or so). If after 20 minutes you are not feeling better then take the Tylenol.

I have the same problem. However, I decided to not give up caffeine entirely. I just cut it way back to one cup every morning and I've had no problems. I would highly advise you to stay away from the excedrine migraine because then all you're doing is adding aspirin to caffeine. Not good for baby. To be honest with you, so little caffeine gets through the breastmilk, it's ok to do it in moderation. To help ease the migraine risk, cut back your daily cups of coffee one at a time til you're at the number you want.. one, two, or zero. One seems to be plenty for me. Also, when you're breastfeeding, you're more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, so less of it will give you more of the caffeine buzz you're used to.
Also.. I drink something called Monavie. Two shots a day. It's an organic blend of fruits with a very high antioxidant level, which research is starting to show is the core of health, energy, and longevity. Alot of people, myself included, have quit having migraines completely. And it's TOTALLY safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. I don't even keep my Zomig on hand anymore. Just a thought, if you're interested. It's not sold in stores, you have to get it through a Monavie distributor. Let me know if you're interested in trying that out.

when I was pregnant I was told to limit my caffeine. Iwas tlod one a day was good. I was addicted to diet coke. If i didn't have my 1st by 8a.m. the migraine was there. Inow have one a day and that is with dinner.
The headaches do stop. until they are gone have your caffeine(if you dr says it is ok) in small doses throughout the day.
Make a cup of coffee and drink it gradually thrpughout the day.
Be sure to talk w/your dr. to see if it is safe.
I think the drinking of the caffeine will be safer for the baby than excedrin migraine.
Good luck

Could you try weaning yourself off the caffeine slowly? (as opposed to going cold turkey)

You could try just plain Tylenol with a caffeinated beverage like iced tea (like the ingredients in Excedrin migraine without the aspirin). And an ice pack.

Excedrin migraine can give you what my doctor called rebound headaches and requested that I avoid using it. So sorry to hear you are having such a hard time cutting back, try mixing 1/2 reg. coffee (or coke }and decaf. to cut back as suggested by others to slowly wean off.

I am addicted to caffeine/coffee too. My nanny actually gave it to me in my baby bottle (coffee con leche) - don't ya just love the 70s? I don't drink sodas anymore because of the other preservatives/syrups in them. That could cause you to have a headache after the DP goes out of your system. Just a thought really, not advice. Do what works for you!
I also get migraines and go to a neurologist. she is a head ache specialist here in Austin, TX - but nationally well known and has written several books/is a guest speaker on headcaches, etc.... She says to NEVER take Excedrin. NEVER. It causes rebound headaches.
Drink your cup of coffee or DP in the morning - if you need more - drink it slowly throughout the morning - quit at noon. You can decrease the amount that way, kind of ween yourself down. Also, the baby will be irritable if you drink it daily after noon - from my experience.
I drank 1 - 1.5 cups a day when I was prego and 1 a day when nursing. My OB and neurologist told me it was fine and within the limits and dangerous for me to quit cold turkey - so don't do that.
You can't be everything you want to be for your baby if you are hurting. People who don't get migraines don't understand how you can't do ANYTHING. I can't even have the lights on when I get them.
And, my 2 yr old daughter is a GEM! She is so smart and WAY advanced. The kid will be fine!

Going cold turkey is a bad idea if you get migraines that badly. I did cold turkey when I became pregnant, but I just had a headache for two days and then it all went away. Even though I am breastfeeding now, I allow myself one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning. You might try slowly weaning yourself off of the caffeine...if coffee is your beverage of choice like mine, try half-caf and slowly move yourself to decaf. I now have one cup of caffeinated coffee in the morning and then make decaf for the rest of the day. If still get a headache, you might want to try acetaminophen which is safe to take while breastfeeding.

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