Pregnancy Headaches & Migraines
What causes headaches now that morning sickness is over?
Want to know how to cure a migraine the natural way? The science behind a headache versus a migraine and what are the 3 replicable tricks used to treat them in the Emergency Room (ER)? Ultimately to give you the answers for the best information about pregnancy migraines there is to date. Think of Pregnancy Pukeology Podcast as your answer to all things pregnant. And our podcast wouldn’t be complete without a few pregnancy migraine puke stories that will give you the comical relief you need and tips to stop the up-chuckle. Comedy + Science + Edutainment = Pukeology Podcasts in Pregnancy Episode 8 HOW TO CURE A MIGRAINE
Pukeology Science Answers: How to Cure a Migraine?
Did you know headaches were reported in 35% of pregnant women? Some even experience headaches for the first time ever, and usually starts in their second trimester. The many gifts we receive from our little ones even before they get here.
It is important to identify if the headache is from a primary source like tension headaches or migraines. A secondary source is when something else is causing the headpain like hypertension, pre-eclampsia, idiopathic intracranial hypertension (high pressure in the brain of an unknown source) subarachnoid hemorrhage (blood leaking in the subarachnoid space), or reversible cerebral vasoconstriction (blood vessels in the head are squeezed). We are only going to focus on those that affect pregnancy as I could do another podcast on neurology causing high intracrainal pressure.
Primary headaches are benign similar to tension headaches caused by muscle contractions (have you ever had a stiff neck or hold your stress in your shoulders causing a headache? That’s what I’m talking about. This bilateral headache is usually like a tight band of pain on both sides of the head, just remember no NSAIDS (like Advil, Excedrin, ect) while pregnant.
Foods can also be triggers especially ones that are high in preservatives. You all remember the list of foods not to eat while pregnant, right? If not download pregnancy pukeology episode 5 foods not to eat while pregnant. It will give you a list of do’s and don’ts and believe it or not these foods that are on the bad list can also trigger headaches during your second trimester so stay away from MSG, fermented cheese, and vinegar as these foods contain 2 amino acids, tyramine or phenylethylamine, which these additives can trigger the onset of a migraine.
Migraine, with or without an aura (technical term for visual disturbances), and are usually unilateral, throbbing, and aggravated by light where nausea and vomiting are present. Migraines usually improve in the third trimester and some studies correlate women suffering with migraines are at an increased risk for pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is classified as the new onset of high blood pressure after 20 weeks, with significant proteinuria (or protein found in the urine) which can lead to stroke and seizures if untreated. Flank pain and severe headache is noted with lots of edema.
Tips & Tricks to Naturally Cure a Headache
Find the reason for the headache or migraine. The good news is there are many non-pharmacologic treatments. Think of how the Emergency Room treats a migraine. They give you oxygen, pain medication to distract the brain, and treats dehydration with fluid. (Again no NSAIDS during pregnancy.)
The first I will start off with my favorite that works everytime. It’s called NoMo Migraine. Check out www.NoMoMigraine.com and always drink lots of water especially while pregnant during those hot summer months. Both of my babies are Leo’s, so I know what its like walking around Disney and other theme parks in July.
NoMo Migraine combines 3 items used by doctors to stop headaches. The aromatherapy of peppermint oil helps to increase oxygenation when smelled thru the nose. The cooling sensation around the wrist helps to distract the brain. Remember your brain is a popularity contest, majority wins. (Here’s an example, if your finger really hurts and someone stomps on your foot, then all of a sudden you forget about your finger entirely.) That’s what changing temperature on the wrist does with the menthol inside of the wristband. The cool part is that it is waterproof and stylish.
Peppermint oil also acts as a dual purpose. It is an arterial constrictor, like caffeine where it decreases the pounding headache by reducing blood flow. It is also a vasodilator, which means is helps to pool oxygen on the way back to the heart so your oxygen storage increases. Acupressure at P6 helps to break the current headache cycle and increase the length of time until another migraine by increasing beta-endorphins known as happy hormones. Even after you take off NoMo Migraine the anti-headache affect still works for 12-24 hours after the band is removed. The Korean Hand sign acupressure, basically squeezing in the middle of the thumb and pointer finger.