Many women who suffer from migraines often worry that their pain will be intensified during pregnancy. Some find that their migraine headaches are less frequent and less painful while they are pregnant, but others discover that their migraine attacks get worse. If you are pregnant and suffer from migraine attacks, you must work closely with your doctor to make sure that you can have a safe pregnancy while managing your pain.
There are many different factors that can cause migraines, and each woman’s list of triggers is different. A migraine diary is often helpful in determining which triggers may lead to a migraine. Your diary should include the duration of the headache, the foods that were consumed before the pain started, activities that were performed before the migraine, where the pain is located and other migraine symptoms. Some of the common triggers that sufferers report include aged cheese, alcohol, caffeine, yeast bread, processed meats and aspartame. Weather changes, excessive heat and hormones may also contribute to symptoms. By determining your triggers, you may be able to avoid the things that cause your pain.
If you are pregnant and have migraines, your doctor may want to perform tests to make sure that you are not suffering from preeclampsia. He may check for elevated protein levels in the urine and excessive swelling in the face and ankles. If you do not have preeclampsia, then he may rely on your medical history and migraine diary to make a diagnosis.
Preventing Pregnancy Migraines
A mother-to-be should always live a healthy lifestyle in order to ensure the healthy development of her baby, but it is especially important if you are a migraine sufferer. By taking the proper steps to care for yourself, you can minimize your risk for a migraine attack. To help you manage your migraines, you should:
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat regularly
- Avoid your known triggers
- Remember to relax
- Use ice packs and clinical massages to relieve stress and pain
Migraine Medications and Pregnancy
Since many medications can affect your unborn baby, your doctor may advise you to avoid most types of medicine. However, the two of you may be able to work closely together to find a solution that will alleviate your aches without harming your baby. In most cases, acetaminophen is an acceptable pain reliever for pregnant women. You should take it as soon as you feel the first signs of pain in order for it to be as effective as possible. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe a safe preventative to minimize the frequency of your attacks.
If you are unable to enjoy your pregnancy because of your migraine headaches, then it is very important to talk to your doctor. With his help, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms and savor this special time in your life.
*Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net