Pregnancy Migraine: Managing Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

There are a lot of causes of headaches when one is pregnant, yet the kind of headache you cannot hope to tolerate is pregnancy migraine. This is no ordinary headache because the throbbing affects the head severely like your head had been split in two. Your typical headache usually lasts for several seconds or minutes but with migraine it last for hours or days. These pains are coupled with aura – a neurological symptom which includes light flashes, blurry vision and/or tingling or numbness in the leg or arm. Some migraines make people feel nauseated, fatigued, very sensitive to sound and light and dizzy.

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If you are a pregnant woman wondering what causes these severe headaches, one of the factors is the sudden change of hormonal levels in your body. Other factors also point to improper balance of the chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, a chemical that helps in regulating the pain in the nervous system; the altered flow of blood to the brain; and also the changes of the pathways in the nerves.

There are triggers to pregnancy migraine which are mostly influenced by your surroundings such as fatigue, loud noises, stress, tobacco smoke, too much cold or heat, and some foods like chocolates, processed meats which contain nitrates and artificial sweeteners – both of which are to be avoided during pregnancy.

Luckily, some women do not experience migraine during pregnancy. It was noted that women who experience pregnancy migraine are those with history of migraine long before they even conceived. There are other cases wherein those who do not have any history experience migraines in less frequency.

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Pregnant women should not take migraines for granted as this condition may indicate risks of preeclampsia, hypertension and other vascular diseases. Women should inform their doctors if the occurrence of migraine is constant, so appropriate evaluations could be done to discover the cause.


If you heavily rely on medications to control your migraine, then you must avoid it all costs when you are pregnant. You will have to ask your doctor about particular medications you are allowed to take while carrying a child. Here are some tips to managing migraine during pregnancy:

• To help alleviate the pain from migraine, do some holistic therapies such as yoga, meditation, massage, biofeedback and acupuncture. These activities help reduce the stress levels which is a factor to trigger migraine.

• Keep a note to yourself by writing down what you eat and what you feel after that. If it causes migraine, avoid it. There are also certain places that may cause migraines so take note of that as well. Note everything that you think triggers your migraine. Avoid them as much as possible.

• Get as much rest as possible so to help you relax. Look for a room that is dark and free from noise. Lie down and put a cold compress on your forehead or your neck. You might not notice that you have already fallen asleep and by the time you wake up you no longer feel any headache.

• Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Eat regularly to keep your sugar at the right level. These will help ward off migraines.

Pregnancy migraine can be controlled. But if it becomes persistent and debilitating, it is best to seek your doctor’s expertise.  Read about menstrual migraine

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