Migraines During Pregnancy When To Worry

How does pregnancy affect migraine headaches?

About 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women have migraines. In the final few months of pregnancy, over half of women report that their migraines occur less frequently. However, migraines may worsen after delivery, during the postpartum period. Although migraines can be extremely painful for the mother, the developing fetus is not at risk.

What are the symptoms of migraine headaches?

Classical migraines and common migraines are the two most prevalent types of migraines. The following are the most common symptoms. However, each woman may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Migraine aura. A type of migraine that involves the appearance of neurological symptoms, called an aura (flashing lights or zigzag lines, or temporary loss of vision), 10 to 30 minutes before an attack. An attack may last one or two days. Pain associated with classic migraines may be described as:
    • a severe pounding or throbbing sensation felt in the ear, jaw, forehead, temple, or the area around the eye.
    • beginning on one side of the head and possibly spreading to the other
  • Migraine without aura. A type of migraine that is generally not preceded by an aura, although there may be a variety of symptoms prior to its onset. Common migraine pain may last three or four days. Symptoms may include:
    • Mental “fuzziness”
    • Mood changes
    • Fatigue
    • Unusual retention of fluids
    • Diarrhea and increased urination
    • Nausea and vomiting
  • The signs of migraines can resemble those of other illnesses or conditions. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

    How Is a Migraine Treated During Pregnancy?

    In general, the first trimester gives a woman a good indication of whether she experiences migraines and the most effective way to treat them. A pregnant woman should consult a doctor if she has a migraine attack. Then, this patient and their doctor can decide how to treat migraine pain.

    Usage of preventative migraine medications during pregnancy is typically not advised When pregnant, these drugs can occasionally make nausea and vomiting worse. They may also raise the possibility of dehydration in pregnant women.

    In one study, researchers indicated pregnant women should first use nondrug therapies to help treat migraine pain. These therapies may include relaxation, sleep and massage, along with the use of ice packs and biofeedback therapy. Following the use of nondrug therapies, pregnant women may consider paracetamol (acetaminophen) as the initial drug treatment for migraine pain. The risks of using aspirin and ibuprofen to treat migraine pain are usually lower than those associated with other types of migraine medications; thus, pregnant women may sometimes use aspirin and ibuprofen to address a migraine attack.

    Prochlorperazine, an antipsychotic, can also be used by pregnant women to treat migraine-related nausea. According to research, prochlorperazine helps with nausea and is unlikely to endanger pregnant women.

    Pregnant women may also use metoclopramide for stomach and esophageal issues related to migraine pain. According to one study, metoclopramide is probably only safe to use in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

    Avoiding factors that may cause migraines in pregnant women, such as lack of sleep, skipping meals, and emotional stress A pregnant woman can prevent migraine attacks by leading a balanced lifestyle that includes eating wholesome meals at regular intervals and creating and implementing regular sleeping habits. Additionally, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices may reduce a woman’s risk of migraines.

    Headaches During Pregnancy: When to Worry | Parents

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