Pregnancy is the happiest time in the life of a woman. But during the childbearing process, various health problems can disturb a future mother. Migraines during pregnancy are often torturing women who have never had a headache before.
Sometimes migraines while pregnant become unbearable. That’s why they should be treated in time and with caution. So, what can an expectant mother do about this problem?
What are the Specificities of Migraines During Pregnancy?
The main characteristic of this ailment is a pain in the brain area. In the majority of cases, migraines have hereditary nature. One can usually recognize particular symptoms preceding a migraine attack:
- The woman becomes distant and withdrawn.
- She has a sharp reaction to strong odors, and loud noises; daylight brings her great discomfort.
A pregnant woman can misinterpret these signs for toxemia, failing to understand their true nature – an impending migraine.
Migraines and Pregnancy: The Causes of the Malaise
Some patients have been suffering from migraines long before pregnancy, some of them have their first unpleasant experience during gestation. There is a possibility of more frequent attacks in the first trimester, and in the second-third trimesters of pregnancy, migraines are easier to bear and become less frequent.
Migraines during pregnancy are developing under the influence of a number of factors:
- Hormonal adjustments of the female body to pregnancy;
- Unhealthy eating habits. It’s important to remember that chocolate and citrus fruit should be eaten with caution. The future mother should give up smoking and alcohol;
- Dehydration during pregnancy can cause a migraine;
- Sometimes the reason for migraines lies in the intake of particular drugs prescribed by a doctor;
- Migraines during pregnancy start after stress, emotional disturbances, and a lack of sleep. The pregnancy itself sometimes is too much of a challenge for the woman. The future mother needs correct time management, should get more fresh air;
- Sometimes migraines become a response of the brain to changing weather or stuffy rooms;
- Low blood sugar can cause a migraine.
Can you get Rid of Migraines During Pregnancy Without Medical Help?
Folk remedies for migraines can be very effective. Let’s learn more about some of them.
You can relieve a migraine with the help of strong tea. But don’t try this method during the first months of pregnancy.
Sometimes cabbage leaves compress helps: pour some hot water on a fresh cabbage leaf and apply it to the sore spot. This is an excellent remedy for the pain!
Use an ice pack. But don’t keep it on your head for long – you can catch a cold.
Try to massage your temples with a bit of lavender oil or inhalation therapy with lemon balm. This method is suitable only for women who don’t have allergic reactions to the components of essential oils.
Take a short cold shower in the morning. It dilates blood vessels and prevents not only migraines during pregnancy but also varicose veins. You shouldn’t remain in cold water for more than 5 minutes. With the help of this procedure, you can overcome migraines in early pregnancy.
The recipe for lavender tea can also come in handy: infuse 0.5 oz. lavender flowers in 0.8 pt. boiling water. Then the infusion is filtered, and the tea is ready. You should drink it when it’s still fresh: the remedy preserves its healing properties for only 1 day.
You can make a small pillow: you’ll need bay leaves, eucalyptus, and cherry leaves in equal proportions. When you feel the first symptoms of a migraine, lie down on this pillow and have a rest.
A thyme compress is another remedy for migraines during pregnancy: wrap an ounce of this herb in a clean piece of cloth and hold it against your temple.
What Medications do Doctors Recommend?
You should be very careful with medications when you are pregnant. A lot of drugs can do you or your baby harm at the time. That’s why you should consult with your doctor before taking any medication!
Tylenol is considered the safest over-the-counter painkiller to take during pregnancy. It doesn’t have a negative effect on your unborn child. The doctor can also prescribe magnesium-containing medicines – they improve the state of your blood vessels.
Acetaminophen easily copes with even severe migraines during pregnancy. It’s perfectly safe for you and your baby. The medication doesn’t cause an allergy, but you will have to strictly adhere to the recommended dosage. You can take acetaminophen anytime during your pregnancy term.
Are there any Preventive Measures Against Migraines During Pregnancy?
What should you do if you are afraid of having migraines during pregnancy? Healthcare providers recommend keeping to a healthy daily routine and pregnancy diet. Don’t eat too much spicy or sweet food.
You’ll have to forget about products containing chemical preservatives and flavor additives, they can cause migraines. And join a yoga group for pregnant women or do exercises at home.
An Alternative Way to Treat Migraines During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are often scared of doing something harmful to the baby, so it’s hard for them to agree to take painkillers. But there is another way out – massage therapy! It relieves muscle tension, brings positive energy, and lightens the mood.
Unlike drug therapy, this method doesn’t have side effects – it’s suitable for any pregnant woman. If you can’t afford a course in professional massage, try the pressure point self-massage. You can do it at home. Just don’t apply too much pressure to a specific point: otherwise, you can make your muscles even tenser.
There is an opinion that in order to treat migraines during pregnancy you need to work on the five most important points of your body. Each point should be massaged at least 10 times. End the self-massage slowly, reducing the pressure on each spot little by little.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.