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Pregnancy Pain: Migraines

Fight this painful ailment in 3 natural ways.

Pregnancy Pain: Migraines

Migraines can be debilitating to anyone, but they are especially crippling when you’re pregnant. Symptoms like throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sometimes vomiting are so much worse when painkillers are out of the question.

The causes of migraines are unknown, but there are a few possibilities of the culprits. According to WebMD, some contributing factors are lack of sleep, stress and skipped meals. But these symptoms can vary greatly by person. I used to contract caffeine-induced migraines, whereas in most people, caffeine cures migraines. Other triggers for me included chocolate, coffee, MSG and Aspartame.

When I was pregnant, I didn’t succumb so much to morning sickness as I did to migraines. Here’s a few of the natural, non-medical tricks I used to ease my pain.

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1. Pressure. This may sound a little crazy but it worked for me. Tie a scarf very tightly around your head. It should be so tight that it couldn’t possibly be any tighter. On top of that, take an ice pack and put it all around your face and head, or wherever the pain is its worst. Lie down for a bit and when you untie the scarf, the pain should be gone.

2. Tiger Balm. I was at my wits end when I was pregnant because my doctor told me every time I get a migraine, I should take a Tylenol along with a cup of soda. This did absolutely nothing for me. I spoke to a nurse who told me to put a tiny bit of Tiger Balm on my temples. This worked wonders. But be careful as to how much you put on your temples. I figured if a small bit worked, a lot would be even better. Not the case—I wound up burning my forehead!

3. Vicks Vapor Rub. After the Tiger Balm turned my forehead a nice flaming red, I decided to go another route. I used Vicks Vapor Rub on my forehead and my migraines vanished in no time. In fact, I kept a jar of it with me at all times.

These natural tricks helped me tremendously when I was pregnant and are my go-tos now, even though I am not. However, if these do not work and your migraines persist, call your doctor.

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

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I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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