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Advice please - paid help for caring for newborn as I have chronic migraines

(17 Posts)
cluelessnewmum Tue 10-Jun-14 07:35:41


I wonder whether anyone can give me some advice please?

I have just found out I am pregnant a week ago, and after the initial surprise and joy, my husband and I started talking about practicalities.

The issue is that I suffer from chronic migraines, on a bad month I might get 17 in a month and am expecting the sleep deprivation from having a newborn to make them worse.

Our concern is that I will struggle to look after the baby when I am having a bad migraine (which I'm expecting might be 8 days a month).

We've therefore been discussing options for paid help but the issue is that I don't know when I will get a migraine so difficult to plan ahead and get help in advance.

My husband thinks an au pair is the best option but I'm not really keen on having a stranger in the house all the time and besides I've read that as pairs are not suitable for taking care of babies.

Hiring a nanny is not an option financially. My mum can help sometimes but she is quite old and has other carer responsibilities. We have no other family /friends who could help and my husband has a very stressful job with long hours so he won't be able to help during the week.

Any advice / options / suggestions welcome! Should I just put up with the au pair if that is the only option?

Thanks, Ellen

BobTheFly Tue 10-Jun-14 07:48:14

Au pairs aren't really suitable for newborns. They tend to be for supervising children rather than physical caring.

What about registering with an emergency nanny company?

fluffymouse Tue 10-Jun-14 08:17:57

Could you pay for a mother's help/doula for a few hours a week, with the agreement that you could increase her hours on weeks when you need her more? Subject to her being free of course.

Or maybe try a childminder is finances won't stretch.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 10-Jun-14 08:31:09

Congrats smile

I would advise a night nanny /mn to help get bubs into a routine and sleep through the night - hence you will hopefully get sleep

Daytime harder as you don't know when you need help - prob best to contact several agencies and ask about temp /emergency nannies or contact cm's and see which ones if any have spaces on what days and hopefully if you need help either a nanny or cm will be free

PrudentPolly Tue 10-Jun-14 08:37:47

I suffer from migraines and they have been much better since having children.

However, we did get an au pair who was totally amazing when my DD was born, the au pair was in her late 20s and doing a masters, she was just an extra pair of hands and could cuddle and feed the baby a bottle if necessary. If you have space I would do it.

Good luck and congratulations.

Jinxxx Tue 10-Jun-14 10:58:07

I used to have very severe migraines but they have been very infrequent since having children. With luck you may be similar.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 10-Jun-14 13:32:13

An au pair could work, but you'd need to recruit VERY carefully. Maybe looking for a junior live-in nanny might be better. How incapacitated are you when you're having a migraine?

DocDaneeka Tue 10-Jun-14 13:41:50

I used to have severe migraines. Stopped completely whilst pregnant and whilst I was breast feeding.. I still get them but they are way less severe.

Obviously I'm NOT you OP, but I'm told that it isn't uncommon to have fewer and less severe when you are pregnant / newborn stage. So it ispossible that you could get away with an au pair.

You are sensible to plan though.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Tue 10-Jun-14 15:23:19

Congratulations would a night nanny work maybe for a few nights a wk reducing number of nights as baby sleeps better enabling you to get some sleep at night.

Perhaps a 24/5 maternity nurse if you would want someone around all the time

Or a daily maternity nurse (or baby nanny) who could come in every day and do maybe shorter days so 9-4 for example- a nanny who has a school age child may be interested in a short temp contract just working school hrs which would enable you to rest.

weegiemum Tue 10-Jun-14 15:30:41

What sort of treatment/prophylaxis do you get?

I ask as I'm a regular in a neurology ward (for something different) and met a lady yesterday on a new migraine treatment - in the next bed! - and she has 3 days a month on a drip in hospital and then pretty much nothing for 4-5 months, gets the treatment 6-monthly?

Could you ask your neurologist/GP for a review of your treatment to see if there's anything better available?

A mature AP sounds like a good option. I also used to get migraines but didn't have them when pregnant or in the first few months, they were definitely hormonal as since I had a premature menopause they've stopped altogether.

cluelessnewmum Tue 10-Jun-14 16:40:40

Thanks all very much for your replies it's been very useful.

The emergency nanny service idea is a good one, I'd never heard of that.

Also interesting to look into the night nanny initially to get the baby into a routine, how long do you think that would take eastmidwarwicknightnanny? Would it have to be every night to work?

I'd prefer an older au pair especially if they were a masters student or something, but then I suppose that's what everyone would want ideally so may be hard to find. A nanny who wants to do fewer hours could maybe also work if I could find someone like that.

All good suggestions, thanks!

Daneka, Jinx and Polly, I really hope the same thing happens to me and my migraines are better post pregnancy! I haven't been pregnant long but so far I haven't even had any headaches which has been a great bonus of being pregnant! So I'll keep my fingers crossed I have the same result as you did!

Thanks again, all xx

Takesalongtime Tue 10-Jun-14 22:17:52

As a cm I have a parent that has a list of diff cm's who
She rings if she has work that day to see if they have space. Great for me as a cm as will often fill a space that wouldn't have for a regular child. Might be worth seeing if local cm would do same

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 10-Jun-14 22:46:32

I'm a emergency nanny and would happily do a job like yours. Tbh I have tho helped out as mum had c section

A good mn /night nanny should be able to get bubs into a routine within a few weeks and then you /dh/gp etc to carry it through and can take turns to do a night and actually get sleep between feeds

Trumpton Tue 10-Jun-14 23:02:47

My DD is a midwife and gets horrific migraines. She did some research and found a nasal spray that has a short life and she managed to breast feed through ( sometimes using expressed milk)
I will ask her the name of the meds so you could possibly see if it is suitable for you.
Apologies if this information is of no use to you.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Wed 11-Jun-14 10:37:54

Hi no you don't need a night nanny every night they can provide routine advice for day n night that you can follow - have whatever you can afford 2-3 nights is normal usually 3 reducing down to 2 and sometimes down to 1. Usually a Sun Tue thur or Mon Wed fri however this isn't a set in stone pattern just a regular pattern booked. I would suggest starting a night nanny couple nights before husband finishes paternity leave rather than from day 1 so you fully benefit from the amount of nights you can afford. A night nanny should be able to have a baby well on the way to sleeping through from a dream feed at 10/11pm til 6/7am by 12wks all being well.

Rates vary dependant on experience I would say you would want someone experienced and would budget £150 for a 10hr night and work out from that how many nights you can afford contact a couple night nannies and discuss their rates and then ask what they suggest in terms of nights per wk over x weeks based on number of nights you can afford (for example if you told me you could only afford 10nights I would suggest 2wks of 3 nights and 2wks of 2 nights or 5wks of 2nights)

Hope that helps

Trumpton Thu 12-Jun-14 04:48:06

Sumatriptan nasal spray is the one DD uses when breast feeding .

cluelessnewmum Fri 13-Jun-14 16:43:56

Thanks again for all your messages.

I will also look into the childminder route to see if any would be prepared to act as an emergency option.

Trumpton, I'm always happy to try different things so I'd you know the name of your daughter's nasal spray I'll give it a go.

Weegiemum, I'm seen by a good neurologist, we have tried a lot of different things but unfortunately no magic bullet so far. Given that the headaches have so far stopped during pregnancy I'm thinking a hormonal treatment might be the answer. I've never heard of this drip for three days treatment you describe, I'll ask him about it next time I see him.

Thanks again all, lots to look in to. Xx

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