07 Aug Hormones Help Headache
Pregnancy can take its toll on a woman’s body, but reports show that migraine pain before childbirth is unlikely. According to NHF statistics, approximately 80% of women who have migraine stop having migraine attacks from the end of the third month of pregnancy until delivery because of hormonal stability.
Though 20% of women still suffer from migraine pain during pregnancy, medication use during this time is discouraged due to potential harm to the fetus. Women typically experience migraine during the first trimester of pregnancy, when the fetus is most susceptible to birth defects that may be caused by medications. All headache medication should be avoided, but if it is absolutely necessary, patients should consult their healthcare providers.
Pregnant women who continue to suffer from migraine should consider non-medicated therapies to relieve their head pain. With the consent of a doctor, pregnant women can try:
- Relaxation exercises
- Eliminate migraine food triggers: e.g. chocolate, aged cheeses, alcohol, peanuts, fresh-yeast breads, citrus fruits, meat cured with nitrates, MSG, lima and navy beans.
- Cold packs
- Low impact exercise
Even after delivery new mothers still need to be careful about medication use. Women who breast-feed after delivery should consult their physician about which medications can be used safely as certain drugs can be passed to the child through breast milk. Check out an NHF case study that discusses a migraine sufferer’s preparation for pregnancy.