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Migraine in pregnancy

Migraine's are never fun, but how should you deal with them when you are expecting a baby?

Posted: 22 December 2006
by Laura Lee Davies

It's one thing to have to deal with Headaches in pregnancy and quite another to have to manage the nightmare of migraine.
Like other conditions such as back pain and hayfever, migraine is something which women can either find gets better or worse during pregnancy.

What is a migraine?
A migraine is triggered by the blood flow to the head. When this flow is upset, symptoms are varied and can be unpleasant, even before the throbbing head pain finally arrives. Symptoms can include blurred vision and sensitivity to light, feelings of nausea, experiencing diarhoea and being sick, or simply feeling very tired.
The head pain is either localised on one side of the head or moves across the whole head, and may also be accompanied by discomfort in the limbs, a ringing sound or feeling dislocated from what else is going on around you.

Pregancy for regular migraine sufferers
When you are confirmed pregnant, it is a good idea right then to check with your GP what he or she considers to be safe medication should a migraine come on. Not all pain relief will be safe or advisable.
The best method of treatment is to control the triggers you are aware of, and try to avoid getting the migraine in the first place. If that is possible for you. Are yours usually brought on by a certain food, or by stress? Try to build some healthy, natural stress-busting techniques into your daily life - these are a great way to enjoy focussing on your pregnancy anyway.
If you have had migraines many times before, do you have certain routines that can help reduce their impact once you get the first symtoms? If a cold compress or splashing your face with water helps you, then try to act quickly. Plan ahead if you are likely to be going to an event or there is a particular occasion where it's likely something will set off a migraine, and try to plan where you might be able to go and rest if this occurs.

One-off migraines
Even if you have never had a migraine before, you can suddenly be struck down with one, whether you are expecting a baby or not.
Again, tell a pharmacist that you are pregnant before buying pain relief.
If the symptoms happen in a one-off episode, mention them at your next ante-natal appointment. However, if they return frequently, or go on for several hours, consult your doctor, as the symptoms could be an indicator of a more serious pregnancy condition.

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Discuss this story

Do you suffer with migraines? Have you found a safe medication to take as relief during pregnancy? Do you have other ways to handle an episode?

Posted: 21/12/2006 at 13:49

Hi Laura,

I suffered from migraines in my first - second trimester, to the point that I couldn't stand up straight as this put immense pressure on my head when I tried lifting it. I went to the doctors and they prescribed me with Co-codamol. I couldn't have asked for better tablets... I would take the tablets when my migraine would start and within about 10 minutes of taking the tablet, the migraine would go.
Total relief.
M x

Posted: 22/12/2006 at 07:23


Posted: 15/06/2007 at 15:47


I sometimes get blurred vision if I have a vry bad migrane. Unfortunately iv found nothing to get rid of them except sleep! x x

Posted: 15/06/2007 at 15:55

Hi there,
i have suffered fro them on and off and 38 weeks,they seemed to have tailed off recently.I had one not so long ago that lasted over a week,i thought my brain was going to explode.If you get them alot mention them to your midwife.I dont really agree with taking alot of pain releif while you are pregnant so i tried just to relax more and have plenty hot baths awsell as lots of water to drink which rehydrates your brain area.
It can get worse i think in pregnancy as it is common to suffer from them anyway.

Posted: 15/06/2007 at 16:14

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