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How To Deal With Migraines During Pregnancy

How Can I Treat A Headache In Pregnancy

How To Deal With Migraine Headaches Before, During And After Pregnancy

If you have a mild headache, its safe to take paracetamol. Make sure you follow the instructions on the packet for how much you can take.

There are some painkillers you should not take while youre pregnant. These include tablets or capsules that:

  • contain added caffeine
  • contain codeine
  • are anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen or aspirin.

Some women may be advised to take a low dose of aspirin as a treatment if they have had miscarriages before or they are at risk of pre-eclampsia. This will be prescribed by a doctor. Aspirin should not be taken as treatment for a headache.

Try to take the lowest dose of paracetamol that works and for the shortest amount of time. Your midwife, GP or pharmacist can give you more advice if the pain is ongoing and doesnt go away with paracetamol.

Find out more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy.

What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to recognize what triggers an attack and trying to avoid them. For example, stress, eating certain foods or lack of sleep may bring on an attack.

Avoiding your triggers can be difficult when youre pregnant. For example, if you have morning sickness you may not feel like eating or drinking much. This can cause low blood sugar or dehydration, so its important to try and find ways to cope.

Getting enough sleep may also be difficult during pregnancy. Try our tips for a better nights sleep.

You should also try to

  • rest and relax as much as possible. You could try things like mindfulness or yoga.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Migraine Headaches

About 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women have migraines. Over half of women find that their migraines occur less often in the last few months of pregnancy. However, migraines may worsen after delivery, during the postpartum period. Although migraine headaches may cause severe pain for the mother, there are no dangers for the developing fetus.

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What Medications Should I Avoid When Im Pregnant

Starling recommends against taking NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen during pregnancy. Thats because in the first trimester, these drugs are linked to an increased risk of spontaneous abortions, and in the third trimester, there are concerns about fetal kidney issues, and other issues with the fetus, she says.

A study published in 2018 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that NSAID use in women around conception was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, especially in women with a lower body mass index .

The FDA issued a safety warning in 2020 that recommends avoiding NSAIDs in pregnancy at 20 weeks or later because they can result in low amniotic fluid and may cause rare kidney problems in unborn babies.

Using Painkillers When Pregnant

Migraine During Pregnancy

Some medicines, including painkillers, can harm your baby’s health.

Paracetamol is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Always check the packaging for the correct amount of tablets to take, and how often you may take them.

If you find you need to take paracetamol for more than a couple of days, you may need to speak to your GP.

Ibuprofen is sometimes recommended for headaches during pregnancy. You can only take this at certain times during your pregnancy. Always check with your GP, pharmacist or obstetrician before taking ibuprofen.

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How Im Dealing With Migraines During Pregnancy

during my pregnancy with mila, i was so happy because i only had one or two migraines the entire time. it was wonderful. especially because the prescription medication i take when i get migraines is not deemed safe during pregnancy.

this pregnancy, however, has been completely different. starting around week 15, i have been plagued with frequent migraines and terrible headaches that last as many as five days straight.

thankfully, being married to a neurologist has some perks and i was able to get an appointment with one of georgetown university hospitals headache specialists a doctor with a two year wait list. she shared some pregnancy safe tips with me to survive the headaches and migraines and i thought i would share them here in case anyone else is dealing with the same thing.

ive had migraines as long as i can remember. they started around kindergarten, when i was about 5-years-old.

until i was in high school, i didnt realize there was anything that could be done for them. i was never taken to the doctor for them as a kid, just given a cold towel for my head and a bucket to throw up in.

anyway. back to help for migraines while pregnant.

here are things my doctor said studies prove work.

  • 200 mg of magnesium daily. the doctor said this can help prevent headaches and migraines from even starting. im sure if it is working or if it is the fact that my pregnancy has progressed . regardless, im taking this every night with my prenatals.
  • What Is The Best Treatment For Migraine Pain

    The best treatment for migraine pain depends on the patient. For pregnant women coping with migraines, meeting with a physician provides a great starting point for treatment. Of course, for patients who are dealing with chronic migraines but find that their medications are ineffective or cause unwanted side effects, additional treatment options may be considered.

    Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute offers comprehensive treatments to chronic migraine patients. He is a board-certified head and neck surgeon with dual subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and he uses his unique expertise to provide a custom treatment for each chronic migraine patient. In doing so, Dr. Cabin helps chronic migraine patients identify the root cause of migraine pain and treat their migraine symptoms appropriately.

    Dr. Cabin is available to discuss migraine treatment options for individuals who previously received a chronic migraine diagnosis and are not satisfied with their migraine medications. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please contact us online or call us today at 310.461.0303.

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    Medications For Headaches During Pregnancy :

    • Ibuprofen
    • Eletriptan should not be used during pregnancy, because it may cause a miscarriage.
    • Sumatriptan
    • Verapamil.

    Before taking any medication, ask your obstetrician, midwife or primary care provider about the safety of the medication.

    If you think that the headache is caused by high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia, contact your doctor immediately.

    Take A Nap Or Practice Yoga

    How can I deal with constant headaches during pregnancy?

    Sometimes, a lack of sleep can trigger headaches and migraines so if you think you are experiencing a headache because of poor sleep, take a nap, and you will feel better. If you want to sleep longer, then do try anything that will make you feel better.

    If you are feeling super-stressed, doing some yoga would be a good idea because of the multiple benefits it offers. Yoga will help lower your stress and help you sleep better. It will also make sure that your body gets the required exercise during pregnancy.

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    How To Prevent Migraines During Pregnancy

    There are a few ways you can lower your chances of developing a migraine in the first place. The best way is to simply cut down on stress.

    This common migraine trigger seems unavoidable during pregnancy, but you can help yourself out by taking on fewer responsibilities, and practicing meditation, yoga, etc.

    The more exercise you can get, the better. Along with helping to prevent migraines, it will help with so many other aspects of your life.

    It’s important to note though, attempting to exercise while you are already experiencing a migraine is a bad idea, as it will exacerbate the symptoms.

    We also recommend you avoid other common triggers of migraines: loud noises, glaring lights, excessive heat, certain foods, etc. These are typically things you want to avoid during pregnancy as it is. Some of the most common food triggers include:

    • Caffeine
    • Foods filled with preservatives, nitrates, or aspartame

    When To See A Doctor

    Check in with your doctor the first time you suspect you’re having a migraine. Ditto if an unexplained headache persists for more than a few hours, returns very often or is accompanied by a fever.

    From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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    How Do Migraine Headaches Typically Change From First Trimester To Second Trimester To Third Trimester

    âDue to the abrupt hormonal changes and increased blood volume,â says Dr. Crystal, âthe first trimester is often a time of increased headaches for women with migraine.â

    Luckily, they can get better in the second trimester, âthough for some patients the turning point does not occur until around week 20.â

    For some women, migraines can come back near the end of pregnancy, possibly because the discomforts of late pregnancy can impact your sleep.

    What If My Migraine Attacks Get Worse During Pregnancy

    How to Get Rid of Headaches During Pregnancy

    If a woman develops migraine for the first time during pregnancy, or if theres an increase in migraine symptoms during pregnancy, those symptoms should be taken seriously, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

    Research presented at the 2015 International Headache Congress suggested that women who had acute severe migraine during pregnancy are at increased risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. In the study, more than half of the women experienced adverse outcomes, which included preterm delivery, preeclampsia , and low birth weight. The investigators found no association between the medication the women were taking for migraine and their pregnancy outcomes.

    Its important for all pregnant women with migraine to discuss disease management with the healthcare provider who treats their migraine, especially those women who have worsening symptoms of migraine during pregnancy.

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    Is It A Headache Or Something Else

    It isnt always easy to tell what kind of headache youre having, but the most common types of headaches during pregnancy are tension-type headaches, migraines and cluster headaches.

    Tension headaches are the most common kind of headache in pregnant women. It can feel like someone is trying to squish your head like a watermelon. If you carry your stress in your shoulders and neck, you may be more susceptible to this kind of headache.

    Migraines are a particular type of headache that occur on one side of the head. For some women, migraines can get worse the first few months and then improve in later stages of pregnancy. For others, they may experience no change, decrease or difference in their migraines.

    Cluster headaches are less common but can occur during pregnancy. Youll suddenly have severe pain around your eyes or temples usually about the same time every day.

    The good news is that there are plenty of pregnancy-safe things you can do to prevent and relieve the most common pregnancy headaches.

    Headache And Migraine Remedies That Are Safe During Pregnancy

      Most women deal with headaches at some point in their lives. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that one in five women had a severe acute headache or migraine in the previous three months. Additionally, migraines are more common in women than men approximately 18 percent of women have them compared to 6.5 percent of men.

      Because headaches and migraines are so common, its probably no surprise that many women deal with them during pregnancy. For the majority of pregnant women, occasional headaches or migraines are no cause for alarm, and most standard treatments are safe. However, suffering a severe headache at key times during or after pregnancy can indicate a serious medical emergency.

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      What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make While Im Pregnant To Improve Migraine

      Lifestyle measures and behavioral treatment options are important for everyone with migraine, but even more so if youre pregnant, because we want to avoid medications as much as possible, says Starling.

      One thing I always discuss with people are the SEEDS for success in migraine management, which is a mnemonic that reminds people of things they can do to improve migraine, she says.

      • S stands for good sleep hygiene. That means going to sleep around the same time and waking up around the same time every day, says Starling.
      • E is exercising, and she recommends about 20 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three days a week.
      • E stands for eating regular meals, so not fasting or skipping meals, says Starling. This is really important: Try to eat multiple small meals throughout the day.
      • D is short for dehydration, or preventing dehydration, by drinking lots of water throughout the day, says Starling.
      • S stands for stress response or stress management. Not stress reduction necessarily, but more managing the way that you respond to stress, she says.

      There are also some behavioral treatment options that have proven to be beneficial in evidence-based, randomized, controlled trials. These include biofeedback training, cognitive behavioral therapy training, mindfulness, and relaxation techniques, says Starling.

      Dealing With Pregnancy Headaches The Right Way

      POTS & Migraines during Pregnancy // How Chronic Illness has Changed with Pregnancy (1st trimester)

      Before dealing with a pregnancy headache, you need to ascertain the reason as to why it occurred in the first place. That alone can help you take care of it in a better way.

      Headaches Caused by Fatigue

      Pregnancy can be a tiring term for a new mother who needs to learn to cope with carrying the weight of her unborn child. This can cause a toll on the body, causing extreme fatigue which in turn can cause headaches.

      The best way to cope with headaches that are caused due to fatigue would be to get ample amounts of rest during the first few weeks of pregnancy itself. The first and third trimesters are the best stages to give your body the rest that it needs to cope with the pregnancy later on. So take plenty of rest during this period to avoid fatigue and the ensuing headache later on during the pregnancy.

      Headaches Caused by Cold, Flu, Sinus

      Cold, flu, nose blockages and sinus infections are synonymous with headaches. And if you happen to catch cold during pregnancy, you would most surely end up with one big headache, trust me!

      The best way to get rid of headaches caused by colds and flu would be to get rid of the mucus from your body. And for that you need to drink plenty of water . Try inhaling steam or opt for a nasal decongestant to remove blockages in the nose and mouth. Your doctor may also check for a possible sinus infection and prescribe necessary medication for the same.

      Headaches Caused by Stress/Tension

      Headaches Caused by Low Blood Sugar

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      How To Traet Your Headache During Pregnancy

      Everybody knows that a headache while pregnant is a complete disaster and you must have geared yourself up to fight against it.

      Therefore, I put forward these hidden tactics to treat it in the twinkling of an eye.

      These methods emulate like..

      • Go for a ice pack massage
      • Try out heating pad massage
      • Explore some essential oils
      • Dim the lights

      Mmm, nice techniques though. However, do these techniques really work as you stated ? You must be wondering like that.

      On top of that, if I were you then Id definitely continue reading to check whether they work or are just some false show.

      Continue browsing if you think as Id do.

      RELEASE PRESSURE ON THE HEAD

      A too tight pony-tail triggers the possibility of headache. As far as I can guess, you already are unconsciously aware of that.

      Well, not only pony tails but also, external compressions on head like, hat with some extra weight, stiff hair band can also do the same as a pony tail does.

      In conclusion, give freedom to your beautiful hair. In a poetic manner, let them be relaxed and emit their sweet fragrance into the breeze especially in the cases like headache and pregnancy.

      Just saying, Ariana Grande must be worried about regular headaches because of her beautiful but stiff pony tail. Dont take it seriously, Im just playing around.

      AVOID CHEWING

      Chewing for an extended period does not do anything except increasing the risk of getting a headache.

      You obviously know it does, but do you know how it does that?

      STAY WELL HYDRATED

      Natural Remedies For Headaches During Pregnancy

      It is advisable to rely on home remedies to deal with the problem of headache since medications should be taken only after consultations with doctors. In addition, there are probable side effects of medications on babies that need to be taken care of. So, try these following home remedies, and you might be able to relieve yourself of a headache without any medications.

      Read Also: Headache On My Period

      What Advice Do You Have For A Migraine Sufferer Who Just Learned Shes Expecting

      Instead of waiting until the first time you have a migraine attack while pregnant, Dr. Crystal recommends talking to your doctor to work out a treatment plan in case you get an attack.

      When you find out youâre pregnant, youâll probably need to work with both your obstetrician and the health care provider you see for headache treatment. Make sure to mention all of the medications you take for headaches, including supplements, and other migraine symptoms.

      With so many changes in your body, itâs important to âbe extra vigilant about avoiding triggers,â adds Dr. Crystal, and to avoid skipping meals, getting dehydrated, or developing poor sleep habits.

      Of course, with pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and trouble sleeping, that could be easier said than done. But do your best to maintain healthy habits.

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