Early Pregnancy Migraines

## Early Pregnancy Migraines

It’s no fun dealing with migraines during any time of life, but when you are pregnant it can be especially hard. Migraines are a type of severe headache that are typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound and light, and an intense throbbing pain in the forehead.

It is estimated that nearly 15-20% of all pregnant women suffer from some form of headache, with migraine headaches affecting a large population of pregnant women. For some, the problem is new while others, who were migraine sufferers prior to getting pregnant, may find their migraine symptoms increase during their pregnancy.

### Causes of Early Pregnancy Migraines

A pregnant woman’s body undergoes many changes during the early stages of pregnancy. Some of these changes, such as hormonal fluctuations and a rise in levels of stress hormones like cortisol, can be a trigger for migraine headaches.

Other factors that can contribute to migraine headaches during pregnancy include:

* Dehydration
* Dietary changes
* Caffeine withdrawal
* Sleep disturbances
* Excessive fatigue
* Muscle tension

### Treating Early Pregnancy Migraines

Pregnant women experiencing migraine headaches need to be careful about the medications they take to treat the condition. Many drugs designed to treat migraine are not necessarily safe for use during pregnancy. To minimize the risk of harm to the unborn baby, pregnant women should consult their doctor or healthcare provider before taking any medication.

Below is a list of treatment options that are safe to use during pregnancy:

* Cold/warm compresses
* Stress reduction techniques
* Massage
* Resting in a dark and quiet room
* Acupuncture services
* Herbal remedies such as feverfew, ginger and lavender

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If none of these non-medical treatments provide relief, your doctor may be able to prescribe safe medications to help relieve migraine pain during pregnancy. Additionally, your doctor can also assess any underlying medical conditions that may be playing a role in the migraines and provide recommendations to help alleviate the symptoms.

### Prevention of Early Pregnancy Migraines

The best way to prevent migraine headaches during pregnancy is to identify and eliminate any potential triggers. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, maintain a regular meal schedule, and get enough rest. Regular exercise, such as walking, swimming and yoga, can also reduce stress and help to minimize migraine attacks.

It’s also important to keep your stress levels in check. Stress can be a major trigger for migraine headaches, so engaging in activities such as reading, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family can help to reduce stress and decrease the frequency of attacks.

Finally, make sure you consult your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any medications during pregnancy. Together, you can identify safe and effective treatments to help you manage your migraine headaches and have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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