What Helps Headaches While Pregnant

Is It Safe To Breastfeed And Take My Migraine Treatments

Pregnancy Tips : How to Treat Headaches During Pregnancy

If youâre breastfeeding, youâll need to avoid the medications that are known to make it into your breastmilk .

When it comes to your acute medications for treating migraines when they strike, âsumatriptan is generally considered safe,â Dr. Crystal notes, âbut eletriptan is preferred due to minimal excretion into breast milk.â

In terms of preventive medications, propranolol and amitriptyline are generally considered safe, says Dr. Crystal, though thereâs not enough data about topiramate for doctors to assess how safe it is.

To be safe, youâll want to discuss your migraine treatment with your doctor to be sure itâs safe for breastfeeding mothers. In the meantime, check out TOXNET, a database on which medications are safe to use while breastfeeding.

During pregnancy, youâre juggling a million things, and dealing with migraines can add to the stress. And, since other types of headaches could crop up during pregnancy, like tension headaches, you may need extra guidance on how to handle headaches during pregnancy.

To make it easier on you and to keep your baby safe, make a plan for treating your headaches early in your pregnancy, and always check with your doctor before taking a medication or starting a treatment.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

How To Treat Patients For Migraine During Pregnancy

Its important for providers who treat women during their reproductive years to be aware of treatment options that are safe during pregnancy. Many women with migraine who are pregnant or considering pregnancy stop taking their migraine medications and assume they dont have safe treatment options availablebut this is simply not true.

Women typically start to experience migraine attacks during adolescence, which aligns with when menstruation begins. The highest incidence of migraine is between ages 18 and 44, which are also the year many women experience pregnancy. The rate of migraine among women is three times higher than it is for men. Because of these figures, it is believed that fluctuations in estrogen levels play a role in migraine development.

Dr. Tracy Grossman, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has completed a fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine and earned a masters in neuroscience, shares the range of treatment options available for pregnant patients with migraine.

When Should I Call My Doctor

Whether you experience headaches or not, its always important to discuss your pre-pregnancy history, obstetrical history and concerns with your doctor for an individualized assessment and management plan. However, if none of the above treatments resolve your mild headache or your headaches become more frequent and severe, talk to your doctor to determine the cause.

This includes new headaches that present after 20 weeks, a sudden onset of severe headaches, headaches associated with a fever, mental health changes, elevated blood pressure and vision changes, Dr. Saunders said. Its important to keep an open line of communication with your physician and let them know about any changes in your health so they can rule out anything serious.”

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Do Migraines Get Worse When Pregnant

Usually, migraines get worse during the first trimester. However, a reduction in the intensity and frequency of migraines is seen at a later stage of pregnancy .

Migraines during pregnancy can cause excruciating pain. Some women find it difficult to cope with it as certain medications are not good to take in pregnancy. However, there are few treatment options and medications available that can help a pregnant woman. It is essential to make a migraine management plan with the doctor by discussing individual migraine triggers.


  • Migraine in pregnancy.
  • Coffee Helps Prevent My Migraines Can I Have Caffeine While Pregnant

    Pin on Natural Headache Remedies

    Caffeine and migraine have an interesting relationship. According to the National Headache Foundation, caffeine can help with pain relief, since âit contains properties It can even make some pain relievers work better. Yet for some people, caffeine a migraine trigger. And becoming reliant on caffeine every day can lead to rebound headaches.

    All that said, even if you know caffeine helps fight your migraines, what can you do? Isnât caffeine off limits during pregnancy?

    If youâve been resisting the urge to reach for a cup of coffee, take comfort. Dr. Crystal points out that some caffeine is okay during pregnancy . âDrinking up to 12 oz. of coffee per day, or about 200mg of caffeine, is considered safe,â she says. Still, itâs always smart to double check with your doctor before pouring yourself a cup.

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    What Are The Dangers Of Taking Ibuprofen While Pregnant

    Taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs in the last few weeks of pregnancy has also been linked to a low level of amniotic fluid and high blood pressure in a newborns lungs. Theres also some concern that these medications may delay or prolong labor and, if used within a week of delivery, increase your risk of bleeding.

    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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    Remedies For Migraines During Pregnancy

    Migraines are intense headaches that can occur as a symptom of pregnancy. These are different from stress or tension headaches. It is also normal to experience your first migraine during pregnancy. Some studies have found a slight correlation between migraines and hormones. This makes questions about how to treat migraines naturally while expecting common.

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

    What can I do for pseudotumor cerebri while pregnant. Can medicine help the headaches?

    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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    Treatment Options During Pregnancy

    Certain medications used for migraine treatment and prevention are contraindicated for pregnancy, due to safety concerns for the developing fetus. For patients who use oral contraceptives to regulate their hormone levels and manage migraine, having a conversation about migraine treatment options may happen when they want to go off of birth control and start trying to conceive. The good news is there are safe options for migraine prior to and during pregnancy.

    Im always telling my patients, either preconception or patients that are pregnant, that we recommend in general to use the number of different medications for anything that were treating, Dr. Grossman says. And also, of course, the lowest dose possible that we can use in pregnancy and preconception is what we recommend. Her first-line treatment is non-medication options, and she then layers in other treatments as needed.

    When Should I See A Doctor

    Everyone may experience a headache or migraine from time to time, and even more so during pregnancy. Since its an expected side effect, in most cases, you can use remedies for pregnancy headaches. Sometimes though, your headaches dont go away or are severe enough to need a doctors help.

    You should see a doctor for pregnancy headaches if youre experiencing:

    • Persisting headaches that cant be treated
    • Severe pain

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    Is There An Association Between Headaches During Pregnancy And Gender Prediction

    You may have heard the old wives tales that headaches during pregnancy are a sign that youre having a boy.

    However, just like the sweet vs savoury cravings, the shape of your bump, or the glow of your skin, there is no evidence to date that headaches during pregnancy can help predict your babys gender.

    What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

    10 Ways to Quickly Treat Pregnancy Headaches

    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.

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    When Should You Call The Doctor

    • Before taking any medications, not all medications are safe during pregnancy.

    • Severe headaches starting after the sixth month can be a sign of toxemia or preeclampsia.

    • Your headaches get worse.

    • You experience headaches that are different than normal such as a migraine.

    • Your headaches are accompanied by: blurry vision, sudden weight gain, pain in the upper right abdomen, and swelling in the hands and face.

    Tips For Relieving Mild Headaches

    • Get plenty of rest. Sleep is especially hard later in your pregnancy but is so important to physical and mental health. Find yourself a comfy prenatal pillow and snuggle away.
    • Drink plenty of water. Pregnant moms require more water than the average person. While you may want to avoid extra trips to the bathroom, adequate fluid intake is important for you and baby.
    • Eat regular, well-balanced meals. To prevent low blood sugar, eat small meals throughout the day. Avoid sugar, like soda and candy.
    • Get a prenatal massage. A full-body massage can release tension in the muscles of your neck, shoulders and back.
    • Use warm compresses on head, neck and shoulders.
    • Avoid triggers. Keep a journal to help identify specific triggers so you can learn what to avoid. Some common headache triggers include strong odors and nitrites or nitrates.
    • Try exercise and relaxation techniques. Theres evidence that regular exercise can reduce stress and boost overall mood. Check with your doctor first before starting any new fitness routines.
    • Take acetaminophen to relieve symptoms .
    • Take caffeine in doses less than 200mg in a day .

    If you have a history of migraines, however, your doctor may treat them differently during pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor what medications are safe to take during pregnancy.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine Headaches

    The two most common types of migraines are classic migraines and common 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 , 10 to 30 minutes before an attack. An attack may last one or two days. Pain associated with classic migraines may be described as:

    • Intense throbbing or pounding felt in the forehead, temple, ear, jaw, or around the eye.

    • Starting on one side of the head, but may spread to the other side.

  • 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”

  • Diarrhea and increased urination

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • The symptoms of migraines may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

    What Can I Do During Pregnancy To Decrease The Chance Ill Get A Migraine

    Headaches During Pregnancy: When to Worry | Parents

    Since so many migraine treatments are off the table while pregnant, it might feel like your arsenal is running low.

    With fewer medications to turn to, lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in keeping your migraines under control while youâre pregnant.

    Dr. Crystal recommends:

    • Avoiding your known migraine triggers
    • Dental evaluation for a night guard, if necessary
    • Eating frequent, small meals
    • Getting good sleep, and enough of it
    • Physical therapy for neck pain and muscle spasms
    • Prenatal massage
    • Reducing stress as much as possible, and exploring techniques for managing stress

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    Things To Know About Migraines And Pregnancy

    1 Your healthcare providers can work together. Whether you see a general practitioner, neurologist, or internist for your migraines, be sure to let them know about your pregnancy or pregnancy plans. Make sure your migraine doctor also has the name of your prenatal care provider. Likewise, tell your OB/GYN or midwife about your migraines, and give them the name of your headache doctor. This allows both healthcare providers to coordinate the best care for your migraines and pregnancy.

    2 You can identify your triggers and limit them. Most of us have specific triggers that bring about migraines. Common triggers include caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and MSG to name a few. Fortunately, many typical triggers should be avoided during pregnancy, anyway. If you are unsure of your triggers, check out our list of the 7 Most Common Triggers. Keep a good headache diary and cross-reference your patterns with common triggers. You may find that it is possible to avoid your unique trigger or triggers and suffer less often.

    5 Natural remedies may help. Under the guidance of your healthcare professional, consider stocking natural remedies in case a migraine does strike. Examples include massaging lavender essential oils onto your forehead and temples, consuming ginger , drinking wintergreen tea, and using soft, wearable ice packs.

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    Migraine Relief And Remedies During Pregnancy

    A migraine bearing down on you? Stay away from ibuprofen and talk to your doctor before taking an aspirin. Try the following instead:

    • Relax. If you suspect a migraine coming on, lie down in a quiet, dark room with a cold compress on your neck or forehead for two or three hours. With any luck, youll fall asleep and wake up migraine-free.
    • Pop an acetaminophen. While you should never take any pain medication over the counter, prescription or herbal without the OK from your doctor, the occasional use of Tylenol is considered safe during pregnancy. Check with your practitioner for recommendations on dosing.
    • Talk to your doc. If you relied on strong migraine medications before you conceived, you may have to avoid them until the baby arrives . Your doctor may be able to recommend safer drug options, or refer you to a migraine specialist, who can suggest other strategies for managing your pain.

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    I Background And Objectives For The Systematic Review

    Headache, one of the most common symptoms in the general population, is also common during pregnancy. Primary headache refers to conditions where the headache itself is the disorder. In contrast, secondary headaches are caused by an underlying disorder, such as stroke, venous thromboembolism,1,2 or pituitary tumors.3,4 Therapy for secondary headache in pregnancy generally targets the underlying disorder, and is thus not the focus of this review.

    Primary headaches that occur in pregnant women are classified into four types: migraine, tension headache, cluster headache, and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias .5 Migraine is by far the most frequent type, accounting for about 90 percent of primary headaches in pregnant women.2 The lifetime prevalence of migraine disorder among pregnant women is approximately 30 percent.6,7 Other types of primary headache during pregnancy are rarer.8 Primary headaches can be pre-existing or can occur for the first time during pregnancy, postpartum, or breastfeeding. The stress of pregnancy and imminent infant care may exacerbate the frequency and/or severity of primary headaches. Migraine remains the most common type of both pre-existing and pregnancy-onset primary headache.

    When To See Your Doctor

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    Headaches in pregnant people are particularly concerning during the third trimester, when risk for preeclampsia rises.

    If you experience vision changes or seeing spots, call your doctor immediately as this is a sign of preeclampsia.

    To diagnose preeclampsia, doctors will check for elevated blood pressure and may conduct a follow-up urine analysis.

    If preeclampsia is ruled out, and your headache persists and is not responding to treatment especially Tylenol it’s still important to talk with a doctor to identify the root cause.

    Imaging including MRIs are safe during pregnancy and should be utilized by people with severe headaches, Columbo said. MRIs can help diagnose migraines, which could inform your treatment options.

    After you’ve figured out the cause, your doctor might recommend medication, like a combination of Benadryl and Reglan to treat headaches. If your doctor says the medication is safe, take it, Columbo says.

    “Don’t make yourself suffer needlessly,” he says.

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