Dealing with Migraine Headaches during Pregnancy

Due to the many hormonal changes occurring in a woman’s body during pregnancy, headaches and migraine headaches are common.

Migraine is different from usual headache as it starts off as a dull ache and progresses to become a throbbing pain on the temples, side or base of the head.

Migraines may or may not be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Some women who have had a history of migraines before they became pregnant may find that the frequency of migraine headaches may actually reduce during the pregnancy.

For some other women though pregnancy may actually trigger migraine headaches, especially in the first trimester. Lack of sleep, fatigue and stress in addition to hormonal changes during pregnancy can all lead to migraine headaches.

If you are pregnant and experience frequent migraines, it is important that you report the same to your doctor. It is not advisable to take any over-the-counter medications for migraines occurring during pregnancy. Your doctor will generally advise you not to use any medication unless it is absolutely needed, as some migraine medications are linked to birth defects in babies and increased risk of miscarriages.

The key is to follow your doctor’s advice and prescription to treat migraines during pregnancy. Many times, migraines are triggered by certain foods or lifestyle habits. Hence, each time you get a migraine attack, try to figure out if there is a pattern leading to migraine.

Chocolates, caffeine, disturbed sleep, stress, etc are considered contributing factors that lead to migraine attacks. Determine if any of these high-risk factors are contributing to your migraine.

Since medications are to be avoided during pregnancy, you can resort to self-care and natural remedies to ease migraine headaches. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods such as veggies and fruits and cutting down on processed food. Get enough rest and avoid stress to prevent the on-set of migraine.

If migraine strikes, applying a cold pack on your head or taking a cold shower can help. Many times, sleep is the only remedy that can give migraine relief. Though with a throbbing headache, sleeping may seem difficult, try resting in a dark room, where you can eventually fall asleep.