Pregnancy can be difficult for migraine sufferers, so knowing how to manage your headaches during pregnancy is important. However, a number of factors can make pregnancy a difficult time for you, including the discomforts of late pregnancy, which can impact your sleep and your health. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help reduce your chances of developing migraines during pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and are suffering from frequent migraine attacks, behavioral therapy may be an option that will help you manage your headaches better. Behavioral modalities are very appealing because they can be performed during pregnancy and lactation. In addition to these benefits, behavioral therapies are safe for the unborn child.
Although studies have not been performed specifically in pregnant women, behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective for migraine prevention. It is used when pharmacological treatments are inadequate or unsuitable. Some women prefer this form of treatment over other methods. It can be used alone or in combination with pharmacological treatments.
The risks of migraine during pregnancy are high. In fact, about one in five women reported suffering from migraine during pregnancy. Many of them feared the condition would worsen and harm their child. In addition, many women who take medications for their headaches were concerned that they would have to stop taking them while pregnant.
Avoidance of NSAIDs
NSAIDs are often prescribed to treat migraine attacks, but there are some warnings regarding their use during pregnancy. These medications can cause birth defects and may cause miscarriage. There have been no studies comparing the safety of NSAIDs for pregnancy to those for non-pregnant women. Therefore, it is best to use non-pharmacological approaches to migraine pain management during pregnancy.
Many women experience migraine headaches throughout their lifetime, with as many as 25 percent experiencing attacks during pregnancy. Pregnancy affects hormone levels, which can make migraine attacks worse. NSAIDs can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, and can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. However, they are generally safe during pregnancy when used as prescribed.
Many pregnant women who suffer from migraine headaches worry about their treatment options. But there are alternatives that are approved by the FDA and are safe. A good starting point is an acetaminophen-based headache medicine.
Treatment of acute headaches
There are several treatment options for acute headache during pregnancy, including medications, lifestyle changes, and non-pharmacological therapies. However, acute headaches that are not properly managed are not just stressful to the mother, but can have negative effects on the unborn fetus. For that reason, a diagnosis of CVT should be made as soon as possible.
Most health care providers will recommend acetaminophen. However, there are risks associated with acetaminophen, including potential adverse effects on the unborn baby’s development. It has also been linked to attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders. A woman should seek medical advice if she is experiencing headaches because of vision problems.
Headaches are common amongst pregnant women. About one in five will experience at least one headache during her pregnancy. Pregnancy-related headaches are more common in women than in men and are often caused by hormonal changes. Fortunately, most women report that their headaches improve after the second trimester. However, about 10 percent of women may experience a worsening of headache symptoms during this time. Once they have delivered, most women’s headaches will return to their pre-pregnancy patterns.
Prevention of future headaches
Headaches during pregnancy are common, but there are steps you can take to prevent them. The first step is to understand what causes them. Some pregnancy-related headaches can be related to high blood pressure. If you have headaches regularly throughout your pregnancy, it may be time to visit your health care provider.
Get plenty of rest. Too little sleep can also trigger a headache. Also, avoid foods and drinks that may trigger a headache. Some of these include cheese, dairy products, and processed meats. Keeping a food diary will help you figure out what triggers your headaches and which foods you can eliminate from your diet. Caffeine is also a potential trigger. But you should not cut it out completely, since this can cause withdrawal headaches. It’s best to cut out caffeine gradually, so you can wean yourself off the caffeine in your daily life.
Preventing migraines can be difficult during pregnancy, but you can make a difference. By identifying the symptoms and potential triggers, you can decrease the frequency of future headaches. And remember, your doctor is the best person to make recommendations for your specific type of headache. If you’re pregnant, you should avoid using over-the-counter pain relievers. Most over-the-counter medications can cause a headache, and are not safe to take while pregnant. However, Tylenol can be taken for occasional headaches.