How To Deal With A Migraine During Pregnancy

A migraine headache could ruin your day and plans. Blame the female hormones for it, but a migraine is more common in women than in men. The good news is the severity of migraines decreases during pregnancy.

Women who have to deal with migraine attacks often feel that condition will only worsen once they become pregnant. Since female hormones play a significant role in a migraine, a surge in these natural chemicals during pregnancy could mean a severe attack. On the contrary, pregnancy only benefits women, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters—about 55-90% of expectant moms having migraines found positive effects of pregnancy on their migraines with reduced and mild attacks.1

Pregnancy Reduces Migraine Attacks

1.The attacks become mild and less frequent because the female hormone estrogen surges during pregnancy and remains stable—the estrogen levels don’t change significantly, lowering the headaches.

2. Due to the pain-inhibiting hormones released naturally by the body, the effect of these intense headaches also decreases.

Not withholding the information, it must be mentioned that for a very small percentage of women,

a migraine starts only after pregnancy—about 1.3-16.5% of women experience their first migraine attack during pregnancy, mostly in the first trimester.2 Even smaller percentage of mothers (around 4-8%) experience harsh bouts of attacks.

Worry not moms, migraine doesn’t affect your baby’s health or your pregnancy. It neither increases any pregnancy complication nor does cause any birth defects. At most, your day could be difficult with a headache and the nasty pregnancy symptoms combined.

Treatments During Pregnancy

Your doctor must know about your pregnancy to ensure the medicines prescribed for your migraine are safe. Informing your doctor before you try to conceive is even better. Some medications that prevent a headache are safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Still, it is always better to consult your doctor and avoid taking medicines without prescriptions.

Ideally, you should avoid using drugs during pregnancy because they are not completely tested on pregnant and breastfeeding women—such tests are considered unethical.

There are many non-medical and natural methods to prevent migraines while you are already dealing with nausea and back pain during


  • If you know your migraine well, there must be certain triggers associated with it. For instance, few people get a migraine when they are out in the scorching sun or over-exhaust their bodies—some even develop a headache eating foods like chocolate or cheese. Make a note of such migraine triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
  • Stay away from stress—stress during pregnancy and otherwise is unhealthy. If you are pregnant and suffer from migraine attack, getting stressed is the last things you would want to do.
  • Not eating properly could also induce a migraine attack, apart from affecting your health. It makes it even worse when you are pregnant. Ensure that you eat on time and never skip a meal.
  • Sleep works like a charger for our bodies. Get enough rest and replenish your mind and body. Take day naps to make up for your loss of sleep at night.
  • A shower preferably cool can relieve your headache. Even hot or cool dabs on the head, eyes and at the back of neck could bring down the severity. You will feel relaxed—try closing your eyes and
    taking a short nap.
  • Yoga and meditation are the best stress-busting techniques. You could also choose to exercise, but make it a daily routine. It can help relieve stress, which can otherwise induce a migraine related headache.
  • A massage therapy could work wonders for you. If your migraine is accompanied by neck pain, a massage can relieve stress and promote relaxation. Not all massage therapies will have a positive effect. Consult your doctor and therapist before choosing a type of massage therapy.
  • Many a time, severe migraine could cause aura—the visual sensations (spots, sparkles, zig-zag lines) before a migraine strikes. For a few women, these may worsen with pregnancy. However, non-medication methods and little changes in lifestyle can make a huge difference.

A migraine attack could render you dysfunctional. Have someone to take care of you when you feel an attack lurking around. After delivering when your hormone lowers back to normal levels, the headache may come back. Talk to your doctor about it and enlighten yourself with the ways to deal with your migraine. Make sure you get enough rest for the day, eat properly

and keep yourself hydrated. There are more chances that your migraine will only reduce during pregnancy.