A variety of pain relievers and reducers can potentially harm an unborn baby causing long term complications such as birth defects.
Before ways to safely remedy and reduce migraines during pregnancy are examined, what exactly is a migraine?
Definition of a Migraine
A migraine is in a category all its own since it is not associated with stress or tension headaches. According to the American Pregnancy Association, migraine headaches are a “type of vascular headache that is a result from blood vessels dilating in the brain.” Many women do not experience their first migraine until pregnancy. It is said that it is due to changing hormones.
A migraine can start out as a throbbing pain and then it eventually moves to the temples causing excruciating throbbing pain either at the front or the back of the head. Some women have reported that they have experienced nausea and vomiting as a result of a migraine. Other women have reported flashing lights or even flashing dots in their vision making it difficult to see.
What can trigger a migraine during pregnancy? Things like stress, hormones, the weather, and chocolate can be a determining factors in the cause of migraines. Pregnant women tend to get migraines more often than men because of the HCG pregnancy hormone.
Safe Remedies for Migraines
Women can safely remedy and reduce migraines during pregnancy by doing the “home remedy” approach. According to “Just Mommies”, here are a few ways to help a migraine:
- A cold shower or cold compress on the head
- Lie or sit in a dim or dark room, as bright lights can cause a migraine to grow worse.
- Perform a temple or sinus massage, which can help alleviate any pain.
- Get plenty of sleep; lack of sleep can trigger a migraine so sleeping it off can make a big difference.
- Avoid any caffeine. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is not good for a migraine, especially during pregnancy.
If none of the above home remedies above help a migraine, it is best to consult a doctor to see what types of medications are safe and low-risk to consume during pregnancy.
Alternative Treatments for Migraines During Pregnancy
According to WebMD, there are a few treatments that are safe enough to use during pregnancy, let’s take a look at a few of these migraine treatments, but be sure to consult a doctor before trying any of these medications or treatments.
- Acetaminophen is considered a low-risk pain reliever during pregnancy.
- Non-steroidal drugs such as salicylates are advised only during the second trimester. Risk of miscarriage is higher in the first trimester and more blood loss during birth may be a result of aspirin. Consult a doctor.
- Triptans aren’t known to cause birth defects but may help a migraine. Again, consult a doctor.
- Antidepressants are safe pain relievers during pregnancy.
If all else fails, most doctors prescribe acetaminophen because it is safe during pregnancy but always consult a doctor before trying any migraine treatment during pregnancy.