Headaches During Pregnancy

For patients with a history of migraine, pregnancy can actually bring relief after the first trimester. Many women during their second and third trimesters notice a decrease in frequency of headaches if not complete resolution.

Those who continue to get headaches there are few treatments that are safe during pregnancy. Rescue treatments may include acetaminophen, SPG blocks with lidocaine, metoclopramide, and magnesium IV infusions. Most preventative medications for headache are contraindicated with pregnancy.

It is very important to speak with your doctor if you get headaches during pregnancy, especially in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, as they may be a sign of other medical issues including elevated blood pressure that may lead to preeclampsia.

Non-pharmacological treatments for headaches may include meditation, yoga, acupuncture, myofascial release massage, and use of essential oils. With clearance from your OB/GYN you may be able to use neuromodulation devices such as the Nerivio.

In general, it is very important to consult your OB/GYN and your headache specialist prior to taking any medication or treatments including over-the-counter medications during pregnancy. Also, when planning on conception it is important to speak with your provider well in advance of trying to get pregnant. You will need instructions on how to safely discontinue your preventative medication prior to attempting to conceive, in some cases up to 6 months prior.

For more information regarding headaches and pregnancy, call The Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology and speak with one of our caring providers!

By: Brooke Steiger, NP