A migraine headache is another common pregnancy side effect which is caused by the expanding blood vessels in the brain. They are different from the normal tension headaches. Apart from pregnancy issues, women are more prone to migraines than men.
Pregnant women who have experienced migraines before conceiving are likely to experience during pregnancy in a stronger way.
Symptoms of migraines during pregnancy.
One way to know it is a migraine is when you have a constant throbbing pain in the front or base of the head. Sometimes, it goes deep into your temple.
Other symptoms of a migraine include:Migraine headaches during pregnancy.
Sensitivity to light.
An aura (flashy lights which may be wavy, dots or jagged).
Nausea and vomiting.
Tunnel vision (blind spots).
When to call your doctor concerning your headache if you experience:
A persistent headache.
Causes of migraines during pregnancy.
Here are some of the possible causes of migraine while you are expecting:
Not eating enough.
Due to some pregnancy side effects such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, etc. pregnant women find it hard to eat because they want to avoid the stress that comes with eating which includes throwing up or adding to the burden of the digestive tract. The problem is when you don't eat; you put yourself at risk of developing other problems such as a migraine.
When you do not eat for more than six hours, you are likely to get a migraine during pregnancy.
That is why pregnant women are advised to eat frequent small portions of the meal.
Dehydration is another cause of the throbbing pain you've been feeling on your forehead. Not drinking enough water while pregnant can cause constriction of the blood vessels and this could affect the brain and give you migraines. It is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy according to your weight and activity level.
Change in sleeping habit.
Pregnant women have a low quality of sleep. If you notice you've not been able to sleep as much as you usually do because you urinate frequently, or have severe heartburn, then you are more likely to develop a migraine especially those that come with light flashes.
Stress also causes a migraine during pregnancy. Identify the stressor in your life and avoid them completely. Avoid vigorous exercises that will make you feel a migraine, avoid taking up more responsibilities than you can handle. Discuss with your boss at work to reduce the workload at work, talk to your spouse about the house chores you've been struggling to do.
Pregnancy is meant to give you a break from all strenuous activities so that you can concentrate on nurturing your child during pregnancy and after delivery.
Changes in weather.
Extreme weather can also cause migraines. Going from warm weather to super hot or cold weather is capable of bringing that severe ache to your head and other parts of your body. Avoid exposing yourself to these extreme weather. If it is hot, turn on the humidifier and always take a cold shower and if it is cold, the heater and a warm bath should be your companion.
Taking alcohol during pregnancy is not the best for either you or the baby. Avoid drinking red wines, beer, or any other alcoholic drinks as they are capable of increasing the likelihood of getting a severe headache when you are pregnant.
Certain medications you've taken can also trigger a migraine. If you notice any medication, you take is causing your migraines, discuss it with your doctor and get him to prescribe another medication for you.
How to avoid migraines during pregnancy.
Eat healthy foods.
There are foods known as pain-safe foods which will not trigger a migraine. Eat more of these foods to prevent a migraine. Example of such foods is brown rice, yellow and green vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, summer squash, cherries, cranberries, or any other non-citrus dried or cooked fruits. When using sweeteners or flavors, go for natural ones such as maple syrup and vanilla extract. Also, drink clean spring water to keep yourself hydrated.
Avoid certain foods and additives.
Avoid foods or additives that can trigger a migraine such as tomatoes, onions, citrus fruits, white bread, pasta, alcoholic red wine, matured cheese, nuts and caffeine products.
Other foods that can trigger a migraine are those with high sodium content, those that have additives such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), Aspartame, artificial sweeteners can also cause a migraine.
Improve your sleep.
Although it is difficult for you to improve her quality of sleep because some pregnancy side effects are the cause of your sleepless nights, there are things she could do to reduce the side effects thereby improving your sleeping quality.
Among those things you can do are, eat healthy meals, eat small frequent meals, eat early dinners, avoid eating close to bedtime, avoid drinking close to bedtime, avoid excess weight gain, exercise regularly and make yourself comfortable while you sleep by adding pillows under your head and between your knees.
Migraine treatment during pregnancy.
Avoid headache triggers such as chocolate, cheese, coffee, and stress. The weather may also serve as a trigger.
You should endeavor to keep a diary to know what triggered your headache and avoid triggers.
Other ways to cure migraines are through:
Placing a cold shower on your head.
Taking a nap.
Engaging in exercise.
Eating natural foods with no additives, preservatives artificial flavorings will decrease migraines.
Apart from water, drink other fluids such as almond milk, warm lemon water, peppermint tea, liquid fish oil, ginger tea, cayenne pepper tea. Almond milk is high in magnesium which is important to add to your diet if you hope on decreasing migraine.