Migraines During Pregnancy
How can migraines can affect you and baby during pregnancy and ways to safely treat them.
What is a migraine during pregnancy?
A migraine is a pulsating headache that’s caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the brain. Most people who get migraines know they have them because they’re simply different from regular headaches. Sometimes there’s nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, and sometimes there’s an “aura” -- a kind of a glow or wavy line around the things you see. If you get migraines, you're probably wondering how to safely treat them during pregnancy.
What are the signs of a migraine during pregnancy?
You can often tell a migraine is about to set in since it can start out very dull and slowly become severe and constant.
Are there any tests for migraines during pregnancy?
There are tests for migraines. But you might not get them during pregnancy. Often, doctors diagnose migraines based on just a physical exam, your medical history and your symptoms. If the migraines are severe, or the diagnosis is questionable, you could be given an MRI or a CT scan.
How common are migraines during pregnancy?
According to WomensHealth.gov, about 29.5 million Americans suffer from migraines, and they’re more common in women. “Usually, a third of the time the migraines get worse, a third of the time they get better, and a third of the time they stay the same during pregnancy,” says Lara Simondi, a certified nurse-midwife at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
How did I get this migraine?
Certain foods, drinks, behaviors and even environments can trigger a migraine -- everyone's different about what sets them off. “Often, it’s when you’ve gone four to six hours without eating, or if you’re dehydrated,” says Simondi.
How will my migraine affect my baby?
It won’t! But a migraine could be a sign of a more serious condition, so definitely keep your doc in the loop. And call right away if you’re also experiencing fever or blurred vision, or if your migraine just doesn’t seem to go away. Certain medications could affect baby, so be sure to check with your doc before taking anything.