Pregnancy and Migraines


Being pregnant is one of the best times of your life. You have the joy of feeling the little one growing inside you. Those first flutters bring so many emotions. One of the things that they don’t tell you is that the hormones in your body seem to go crazy. They go up and down and cause you to have uncontrolled crying and unexplained mood swings. One of the other things that tends to get worse with the pregnancy are migraines. There are ways that you can deal with it, ease the migraine, and find some relief so that it doesn’t take the joy from your pregnancy.

Migraine Triggers in Pregnancy

You may find that your pregnancy is giving you some relief from your migraines. Usually the first trimester they will ease up, the second trimester will see more flare ups, and by the third trimester you are feeling pretty migraine free. There are some things that might trigger your headache more than other things. It could cause your old triggers to no longer be triggers or you may find all new triggers.

Pregnancy tends to heighten your sense of smells. It is usually the cause of morning sickness. Smells may seem stronger, more pungent than they were before you were pregnant. The smell of your favorite foods cooking, your favorite air freshener, and even your favorite perfume may suddenly be stronger than you can handle.

Your eyesight also changes when you are pregnant which means you might get more sensitive to lightening. Bright lights, flashing lights, or even the television may become a trigger.

Loud sounds, or repetitive sounds may begin to make your head hurt. The buzzing of the fan, the hum of the refrigerator, or other common household sounds may seem more annoying or louder than you remember. You may not be able to stop the sounds altogether, but you can drown them out so that they don’t bother you so much.

What you eat is a common trigger. When you are pregnant, what you eat may become more difficult, especially in the first trimester. Try eliminating the different foods from your diet and you will find your trigger. Caffeine, wheat, dairy, and gluten are all common triggers, even when pregnancy is not a factor.

How to Find Relief

Fortunately, there are many options during pregnancy for migraine relief. You can try alternating hot and cold packs on the back of your neck. This usually eases the pain by allowing the blood flow to change. It is a simple fix that you can do almost anywhere that you are.

Go for a massage. Neck, shoulders, and head massages can alleviate the pain. It can also relax your sore muscles. Taking time for yourself can always help you to destress, detox, and alleviate pain. There are pressure points throughout your body that a massage therapist would be able to manipulate in order to give you the best possible pain relief.

Essential oils are really great for migraine relief. You can mix them with a carrier oil and rub them on your forehead or wherever you need to. You can also put them in a diffuser and allow the smells to permeate the whole room. Most oils are pregnancy friendly, but there are a few that should not be ingested or put directly on the abdomen. Peppermint oil is great for headaches, but you should not put it directly on the skin. It can leave a burn. Spearmint is a great alternative to peppermint, and it is pregnancy friendly.

Drink some water. During pregnancy, you need to drink extra water. When you aren’t pregnant, you need to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. Increase this by twenty ounces per trimester. If you are well hydrated, you are less likely to suffer from a migraine.

Medications and Pregnancy

If you are looking for something that you can just grab while you are at the store, you can
depend on acetaminophen to be pregnancy safe. You can take it four to six hours. Some say that it doesn’t work on a full blown migraine but it does help if take it as soon as you feel a headache coming.

If you are already taking migraine medications, you may not have to stop them. You can talk to your doctor about changing your dose, continuing with the regimen that you already follow, or starting an all new regimen.

If you are experiencing migraines for the first time in your pregnancy, your doctor may not
want to start you on a full dose of migraine medication. The best thing to do is try to find your trigger before you go on medication to see if you can avoid them rather than introducing new chemicals to your body.