Pregnancy and Migraines

A known reason for migraines is the change in hormone levels. In women, hormone levels change significantly during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, the situation can improve or worsen.

Hormone levels during pregnancy

Estrogen levels can rise up to 100 times normal during pregnancy. For progesterone, the level decreases at the beginning of pregnancy and increases as the duration of pregnancy increases.
If a woman is not pregnant, the fluctuation of her hormone levels is not as great as compared to a pregnant woman. This may explain why migraines occur less often during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the level of endorphins is also much higher than normal. Endorphin is the pain-relieving hormone that is naturally produced by the body, this may also explain the fact that deviations in the migraine pattern occur during pregnancy.

Migraine does not always get better

Unfortunately, pregnancy does not always have a positive effect on the migraine pattern, especially during the first weeks of pregnancy. If a woman eats and drinks less because of morning nausea, a decrease in blood sugar levels and less fluid can actually lead to an increase in migraine attacks.

Safe medicines during pregnancy

If a pregnancy occurs, or if you plan to become pregnant, it is wise to consult with your doctor about which medication is best used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The most ideal option would be to stop taking medications completely, because in practice medications are not tested on pregnant or breastfeeding women.
If a painkiller must be taken, paracetamol is safest during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It is best to take paracetamol while eating to prevent stomach irritation. A soluble tablet is preferable to a solid tablet when the migraine attack occurs. When pregnancy comes to an end, it is better not to take aspirin anymore, because it thins the blood. Also avoid taking more than 600mg of ibuprofen per day.

Alternative medicines

Many women try alternative medicines during pregnancy. While some alternative remedies may be safe, it should be kept in mind that others, like traditional medicines, may adversely affect pregnancy. For example, in aromatherapy certain oils should not be used, such as rosemary. Foot reflexology should also not be used during pregnancy. In all cases, the therapist must be informed of the fact that you are pregnant.

Recurring migraines

Due to the sudden drop in estrogen levels, some women will suffer from migraines a few days after birth. But these migraines can also be the result of other factors such as fatigue, dehydration and low blood sugar levels.

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