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What Can You Do For A Migraine When Pregnant

Triggers Of Migraines In Early Pregnancy

Is it normal to get migraine headaches during pregnancy, and what should I do about them?

Triggers of Migraines in Early Pregnancy

Women in the early phases of pregnancy may experience occasional headaches. It’s a known fact that pregnancy can mess with your head. However, in this blog, we will not talk about brain fog and mood problems. Here, we will take a deeper dive into a common type of headache in womenmigraines. Also, we will provide answers to the following questions:

  • What triggers migraines in the early stages of pregnancy?
  • What are the symptoms of migraine attacks during pregnancy?
  • What’s the best and natural migraine remedy for pregnant women?
  • Is migraine pain medication safe for pregnant women?
  • Where is the nearest pregnancy chiropractor in Oakland, California, who can help save you from the throbbing pain?

Pregnancy Means Big Changes In A Womans Body: What Does That Mean For Women With Migraine

Starting a family is one of the most amazing experiences in a womans life. It can be exciting, intimidating, joyous and even a little bit scaryespecially if you are one of the millions of women in the United States who are living with migraine. But before you put your pregnancy dreams on the backburner, we have great news: pregnancy can oftentimes bring relief to migraine patients.

Dr. Matthew Robbins, associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researches headache and pregnancy. In a recent Facebook Live event hosted by the American Migraine Foundation, he revealed that pregnancy, and breastfeeding after birth, can actually reduce the frequency of headache attacks in women with migraine.

Women with migraine should definitely not be afraid of becoming pregnant, and theres no evidence or experience that suggests that having children is in any way harmful to women with migraine, overall, Dr. Robbins said.

The First Three Months Of Pregnancy

During the first three months the symptoms of pregnancy can make your migraine worse. Morning sickness can mean that you feel like eating and drinking less which can cause low blood sugar and dehydration. If you are not careful this can make your migraines worse. You should try to eat small frequent meals and drink frequent small amounts of water to prevent this. You will also be helping reduce any pregnancy sickness.

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Remedies For Pregnancy Headaches: How To Relieve Migraines

Youve probably had a headache before, but during pregnancy, they can be more intense and frequent.

Although you may be tempted by over-the-counter medications, most quick fixes are off-limits during pregnancy. Well let you know which pain reliver is safest and the lifestyle changes to try before taking medication.

Read on to learn how to relieve headaches when youre pregnant.

Is My Headache A Cause For Concern

What causes migraine and how to prevent it?

Sometimes. Headaches tend to be more common in the first and third trimesters, but they can occur in the second trimester as well. While there are common causes for headaches during pregnancy, its important to note that headaches during the second and third trimester can also be due to high blood pressure, called preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related condition that requires prompt evaluation and management with an obstetrician or maternal fetal medicine specialist, Dr. Saunders said. Elevated blood pressure prior to pregnancy puts a woman at increased risk for preeclampsia.

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How To Treat Migraines Safely During Pregnancy

Bright lights, loud noises and obnoxious smells are your worst enemies when you are pregnant and suffering from a migraine. Its as if you cannot seal yourself off from the world enough to escape the

Bright lights, loud noises and obnoxious smells are your worst enemies when you are pregnant and suffering from a migraine. Its as if you cannot seal yourself off from the world enough to escape the intense pounding in your head and sickness in your growing belly. Those who have had migraines know treating one is difficult; then add to the list being pregnant and your options are well, limited.

The culprits to blame are usually lack of rest, certain food triggers or not enough water. Estrogen has been found to cause migraine headaches as well. Many women who suffer constantly from migraine headaches find they follow a pattern with their menstrual cycle. If you are one of these women, its been suggested that pregnancy actually eases migraine headache symptoms because estrogen patterns change during pregnancy. However, there is no end all be all. Lets face it, many women suffer from migraine headaches during pregnancy whether they have or have not had them before. Although preventing them would be best, many anti-migraine medicines have been found to cause birth defects.

I Am Pregnant And Getting Blind Spots With My Migraine Should I See My Doctor

It is not uncommon for a woman to have her first attack of migraine aura during pregnancy. Symptoms are typically bright visual zig-zags growing in size from a small bright spot and moving across the field of vision over 20-30 minutes before disappearing. A sensation of pins and needles moving up an arm into the mouth may accompany this. If you experience these typical symptoms and your doctor confirms that this is migraine, there is no need to be concerned and no tests are necessary. However, if the symptoms are not typical of migraine aura, it is important to exclude other disorders, such as blood clotting disorders or high blood pressure, which may occasionally produce symptoms not dissimilar from migraine.

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Migraine Medications That Are Safe During Pregnancy

Thanks to stable levels of migraine-preventive estrogen that occur during pregnancy, women who frequently experience these debilitating headaches often get a reprieve from them when they’re expecting. For those in the minority who still get migraines, the question of how to treat them is an important one. While there are several effective medications for the treatment of migraines, not all are considered safe for a developing baby.

Migraine painif experienced during pregnancyis often severe enough to require medication. Sometimes other migraine symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, also must be treated with drugs as well.

Fortunately, there are a number of effective migraine medications that the Food and Drug Administration considers safe to take during pregnancy. Before reaching for your regular prescription, make sure that it is included in this list . If it’s not, discuss these safer options with your healthcare provider.

Second And Third Trimesters

Things you can do to prevent a migraine attack

In the second and third trimesters, a woman may be less likely to experience headaches due to hormonal changes, as the body has usually adjusted to these changes by this stage of pregnancy.

However, some women continue to experience tension headaches from hormonal changes throughout their pregnancy.

In the later stages of pregnancy, symptoms such as headaches are more likely to be due to:

  • excess weight
  • poor diet

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Why You Should Discuss Medication Safety Before Pregnancy

A large percentage of pregnancies are unexpected or unplanned, and the majority of our patients at the headache clinic are women of childbearing potential, says Starling.

The latest data for the United States, published in 2016 in The New England Journal of Medicine, shows that 45 percent of pregnancies were unintended in 2011, a decrease from 51 percent in 2008.

I always discuss the importance of family planning when prescribing any medication that isnt safe to take during pregnancy to make sure the patient is aware that the medication could be harmful to take during pregnancy or when breastfeeding, says Starling.

Well talk about what different contraceptive options need to be in place so that we can prevent pregnancy in that situation, she says.

If a patient is planning on getting pregnant or if that is a possibility, there are many medication options that are still available to use, adds Starling.

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Visit A Pregnancy Chiropractor In Oakland

Dr. Melissa, our pregnancy chiropractor in Oakland, aims to help restore your health and quality of life. She works for pregnant women and also takes care of children, adults, and elders. So, whether you are suffering from migraines or any disease that roots in spinal misalignment, you’re welcome to schedule a consultation with Life Chiropractic.;

We provide gentle and precise care to restore proper communication between your nervous system and the rest of your body, resulting in migraine relief in Oakland.;Connect with us by booking an appointment. You may access our online booking system here. You can also send us a text at 510- 394-5035. Make sure to state your name and your preferred appointment time.

To schedule a special consultation in our Oakland office call;, or just click the button below.

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What Can I Take To Treat My Migraine If I Am Breastfeeding

The same drugs used in pregnancy can be taken whilst breastfeeding, with the following exceptions; aspirin is excreted in breast milk, so should be avoided during breastfeeding because of the theoretical risk of Reyes syndrome and impaired blood clotting in susceptible infants; metoclopramide is not generally recommended during lactation since small amounts are excreted into breast milk. The licensing for sumatriptan indicates that a 12 hour delay between treating and breastfeeding is necessary. However, the breastfeeding can continue without interruption during treatment with sumatriptan.13 Almotriptan,eletriptan, frovatriptan, and rizatriptan are licensed for use in breastfeeding providing that you do not breastfeed within 24 hours of the last dose. We would recommend similar advice for naratriptan and zolmitriptan.

Having Migraine Can Raise Your Risk Of Certain Complications During Pregnancy

Migraine During and After Pregnancy

Theres currently no data to suggest that a migraine attack that occurs during pregnancy is harmful to maternal or fetal health, says Starling. However, in people who have migraine, there is a higher risk of other medical issues, such as preeclampsia and blood clotting disorders, she says.

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and signs of organ damage.

The migraine attack is not causing those issues; its just that having the disease of migraine may increase your risk of having those medical issues during pregnancy, says Starling.

Signs that a person may be at risk for these complications include migraine symptoms that first appear or that get worse during pregnancy, according to the American Migraine Foundation. If that occurs, you should let your ob-gyn and your headache doctor or primary care doctor know right away.

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What Do Early Pregnancy Headaches Feel Like

If youre at the beginning stages of your journey, you might be wondering what early pregnancy headaches feel like. Although you may get a typical tension headache, migraines are also common during the first weeks or months. In fact, a headache or migraine might be one of the first signs of pregnancy for some people. However, since theres many possible causes, you wont know without taking a pregnancy test.

A tension headache;creates mild to moderate pain behind the eyes and might feel like having a tight band around your head. These are the most common type of headaches.

A migraine feels like a throbbing sensation, usually on one side. They may cause nausea and vomiting in severe cases.

Managing a headache or migraine in the first trimester may be particularly difficult because theres many medications you should avoid.

Tips For Managing Pregnancy Challenges With Migraine

Managing migraine throughout pregnancy can be a challenge, but there are options that can help limit attacks.

Everyone says its difficult, but nothing quite prepares you for the challenges that come when managing migraine while pregnant.

Not only are you dealing with wild hormonal changes, but theres also not a lot you can do when you need relief from attacks.

This past year I went through in vitro fertilization treatments, which ended in a successful embryo transfer. Thrilled with our viable pregnancy, I had no idea that my first trimester would bring an increase in my vestibular migraine attacks.

Not only was I having to supplement estrogen and progesterone to sustain the pregnancy, but I was also dealing with horrible morning sickness that actually lasted all day. It was especially bad in the evening hours, when I couldnt keep anything down until about 18 weeks.

When managing migraine, we know that sleep quality, hydration, and diet can be essential elements toward lowering the frequency of attacks. But what happens when youre trying to manage an increase in attacks and only given the option of Tylenol?

Here are some options for managing challenges you may face during pregnancy:

registry of pregnancy medications that may have an exposure risk to the fetus.

Luckily, certain beta-blockers, which are often the first line of therapy if a medication is needed, are approved for use during pregnancy.

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Effect Of Pregnancy On Migraine

Migraine headaches often improve during pregnancy, but have also been to known to worsen or start during pregnancy.2,3 A link between migraine and the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, is seen in menstrual migraine and migraine in pregnancy.3 Almost half of women with migraine have improvment during the first trimester , and this improvement increases substantially in the second and third trimesters.4 The number of women with complete remission in the first trimester is low ; however, the rate of complete remission increases significantly as pregnancy progresses .5 Migraine with aura is less likely to improve or remit compared with migraine without aura.5 In a study of pregnant women with menstrual migraine, participants reported increased headache intensity but not frequency early in pregnancy , compared with pregnant women whose migraines were not menstrual.6 Regardless of whether womens migraines were menstrual or nonmenstrual, headache intensity decreased during the second half of pregnancy as did frequency of analgesic use.6

Migraine itself may be a potential teratogen. A retrospective study showed that women treated for acute migraine had higher rates of preterm delivery, preeclampsia, and low birthweight.7 A more recent prospective observational study, however, showed no teratogenic effect of migraine itself.8

Safe Tips To Treat Headaches During Pregnancy

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You don’t have to suffer through pregnancy headaches. Ward them off with these safe solutions.

If you’re like most people, you tackle a headache with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Then you charge on with your busy life. If you’re pregnant, though, the type of medication you can take is seriously restricted. It’s a cruel irony since some of the common hallmarks of pregnancysuch as fatigue, low blood sugar, and hormonal mood swingscan also trigger headaches.

In general, most headaches are considered tension headaches, and they’re usually described as a tight band of pain around the head and sometimes at the back of the neck. Emotional factorslike stressoften cause them, but there’s a wide range of physical causes too. Eyestrainfrom poor lighting or sitting too long at a computerfor example, can bring on a headache. Sinus headaches, where the pain sits behind the forehead, cheeks, or the bridge of your nose, are less common, but they happen if an infection or allergy causes an inflammation that blocks mucus from draining into the nose.

Finally, there are migraine headaches. If you’ve endured them, you know that the word headache” doesn’t quite describe the debilitating pain, which is often associated with nausea or sensitivity to light or noise. A wide range of things can trigger migraines, including weather changes, menstrual cycles, and certain foods.

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What Causes Headaches During Pregnancy

Theres several possible causes of headaches in general, and some are related to pregnancy changes.

Knowing the cause of your pain might help you find the most appropriate remedies for pregnancy headaches. For example, lets say youre on the computer more frequently researching baby information. If you know the eye strain is causing your headaches, you can take steps to minimize it.

With that being said, you wont always know the cause of headaches. You might need a doctors help if the pain persists.

You should also know that some people are more likely to experience headaches during pregnancy. A 2009 study;showed that women aged 40 and over were 2.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with migraines compared to younger mothers. Also, if you were suffering from headaches before pregnancy, it might be likely to continue or become more severe.

Pregnancy Headaches: Third Trimester

Headaches are most common in the first trimester when your hormones are changing rapidly. Unfortunately, though, you can still experience them in the third trimester. Since youve gained more weight and may be uncomfortable, your muscles may be strained and your posture may suffer, causing headaches. Since it could also be a sign of high blood pressure, make an appointment with your doctor if its severe or persists.

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Be Prepared With A Treatment Plan

During pregnancy, no longer can you simply pop a pill to avoid a migraine. Yet, this doesnt mean that all medications are off-limits.

There are a handful of safe medications that your healthcare provider can recommend. These safe medications are unique to each pregnancy, so its vital to speak with your own provider about taking them.

When medications arent optional or preferred, try to practice relaxation techniques. Things like deep breathing, visualization, or yoga tend to work well for all headaches.

Plus, relaxation techniques enable you to get in tune with your body. So, you will recognize when something is off-kilter more quickly.

How To Plan For Pregnancy When You Have Migraine

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Planning for pregnancy includes learning which migraine treatments are safe during pregnancy and which lifestyle measures can help.


Choosing if and when you want to have children is one of lifes biggest decisions. Your career path, relationship status, financial health, and long-term goals all factor into the equation.

For women living with migraine, the decision can be even more complex. Concerns about the pregnancy, the health of the baby, and the additional daily stressors of living with a debilitating disease can lead many women to question if having a baby is the right choice now or ever.

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