Safest Ways to Treat Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

Team Bramhansh
Ways to Treat Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

This article was reviewed and approved by Bramhansh's Scientific Consultants Team.

Pregnancy is special and challenging too, one such challenge is how to treat migraine headaches during pregnancy. Migraines which are characterized by severe throbbing pain and other debilitating symptoms, can be particularly distressing during pregnancy.

Managing migraine headaches during pregnancy requires a delicate balance between finding relief for the mother and ensuring the safety and health of the developing baby. Therefore, it's essential to find ways to treat migraine keeping the safety of both the mother and the developing baby when considering treatment options. In this blog, we will explore the safest ways to manage and treat migraine headaches during pregnancy.

Ways to Treat Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

Ultimately, this blog aims to empower pregnant individuals who experience migraine headaches by providing them with the knowledge and resources they need to manage their symptoms safely.

By understanding the safest ways to treat migraine headaches during pregnancy, expectant mothers can make informed decisions, seek appropriate treatment, and enjoy a smoother and more comfortable pregnancy journey.

Migraine Headaches and their possible complications during pregnancy

Migraine headaches are a common neurological condition characterized by recurring episodes of moderate to severe headaches. During pregnancy, the hormonal changes and physiological adaptations that occur in a woman's body can affect the frequency, intensity, and duration of migraines. It is estimated that around 15-20% of pregnant women experience migraines.

While migraines themselves do not pose a direct threat to the pregnancy, they can cause discomfort and impact the overall well-being of the expectant mother. Additionally, certain complications may arise in specific situations:


Women with a history of migraines may have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and organ dysfunction, typically occurring after the 20th week of pregnancy. Migraines may be associated with a higher risk of preeclampsia, although the exact relationship is still being studied.

Medication concerns

Some medications commonly used to treat migraines are not considered safe for use during pregnancy. This can present a challenge for pregnant women who rely on migraine medications for pain relief. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to evaluate the risks and benefits of specific medications during pregnancy and explore safer alternatives.

Impact on daily functioning

Migraine attacks can significantly impact a pregnant woman's quality of life, causing disruptions in daily activities, work, and sleep. Fatigue and nausea associated with migraines can also add to the discomfort experienced during pregnancy.

Managing migraines during pregnancy requires a multidimensional approach, considering both non-pharmacological strategies and safe treatment options. Overall, while migraines can pose challenges during pregnancy, with proper management and support from healthcare professionals, pregnant women can find relief and ensure the well-being of both themselves and their babies.

Tests for Migraines during pregnancy

Ways to Treat Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

When experiencing migraine headaches during pregnancy, it's important to obtain an accurate diagnosis to ensure appropriate treatment. While there isn't a specific test that definitively confirms migraines, healthcare professionals can utilize various diagnostic methods to identify and differentiate migraines from other types of headaches. These diagnostic tests may include:

Medical History

The healthcare provider will discuss the symptoms, their frequency, duration, and any associated factors to gather information and understand the migraine patterns.

Physical Examination

A thorough physical examination will be conducted to assess the overall health and check for any neurological signs or abnormalities related to migraines.

Headache Diary

Keeping a detailed record of migraines, including triggers, symptoms, and severity, can help in the diagnostic process. The healthcare provider can also ask to maintain a headache diary to track migraines over a certain period.

Elimination Tests

In some cases, the healthcare provider can suggest eliminating potential triggers, such as certain foods or environmental factors, to observe if they have an impact on the migraines.


While rare, neuroimaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans may be recommended if there are concerns about other underlying conditions that may mimic migraines.

It's important to communicate openly with your healthcare provider and provide them with accurate and detailed information about the symptoms. This will assist them in making an informed diagnosis and developing an appropriate treatment plan tailored to their specific needs and the unique considerations of pregnancy.

Maintaining Migraine Diary during pregnancy

During pregnancy, it becomes even more crucial to effectively manage migraine headaches. One effective way to gain insights into your migraines is by maintaining a migraine diary during pregnancy which is an effective strategy for tracking your migraines and identifying triggers. It enables them to recognize patterns, identify potential triggers, collaborate with healthcare providers, and take proactive steps to manage migraines more effectively.

By documenting migraines and related factors, you gain valuable insights that empower you to make informed decisions and optimize your treatment plan for a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy journey.

Here's why maintaining a migraine diary is important during pregnancy:

Recognizing Patterns

Keeping a record of your migraines and related factors can help you identify patterns and trends. By noting the date, time, duration, and intensity of each migraine episode, along with other relevant details such as your activities, food and drink consumption, sleep patterns, and stress levels, you may start to notice connections between certain factors and your migraines. This information can provide valuable insights into your triggers and help you make informed decisions about managing them.

Identifying Triggers

A migraine diary allows you to pinpoint potential triggers that may be exacerbating your migraines. By tracking your migraines alongside lifestyle factors, such as specific foods, environmental conditions, hormonal changes, or stress levels, you can identify common triggers that may be contributing to your migraine episodes. This knowledge empowers you to make targeted lifestyle modifications and avoid triggers that could potentially worsen your migraines.

Effective Treatment Planning

With a comprehensive migraine diary, you can collaborate more effectively with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan. By sharing your diary with them, they can gain a deeper understanding of your migraines, triggers, and patterns. This information enables them to tailor their recommendations and prescribe appropriate medications or interventions that are safe for use during pregnancy. The diary serves as a valuable tool for both you and your healthcare provider to track the effectiveness of different treatments and make adjustments as necessary.

Empowerment and Control

Keeping a migraine diary empowers you to take control of your migraines and actively participate in their management. By gaining a clearer understanding of your triggers, you can make informed choices about your lifestyle, including making modifications to your diet, sleep routine, stress management techniques, and environmental factors. This sense of control can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines and enhance your overall well-being during pregnancy.

Management of Migraine headaches during pregnancy

During pregnancy, effectively managing migraine headaches is essential for the well-being of both the expectant mother and the baby. Fortunately, there are various safe treatment options available to alleviate migraine symptoms.

Non-pharmacological approaches play a crucial role in managing migraine headaches during pregnancy. These approaches include making lifestyle changes, practicing relaxation techniques, and using Migraine relief devices. Lifestyle changes may involve maintaining a regular sleep schedule, managing stress levels, staying hydrated, and avoiding triggers such as certain foods or environmental factors. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga, can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being. 

When it comes to medications for managing migraines during pregnancy, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the safest options. Some medicines that are generally considered safe for use during pregnancy include acetaminophen (paracetamol) for pain relief, certain types of anti-nausea medications, and specific migraine medications such as triptans or certain beta-blockers.

However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medications to ensure they are appropriate for your specific situation and to discuss potential risks and benefits.

Ways to Treat Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

It's important to note that the use of medications during pregnancy should be done under the guidance of a healthcare professional, weighing the potential benefits against any potential risks to the mother and the baby. The healthcare provider will consider factors such as the severity of the migraines, the frequency of episodes, and the stage of pregnancy when recommending medications.

Is additional monitoring required to ensure the baby's health?

Ways to Treat Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, extra monitoring measures are necessary to ensure the well-being of the baby. These measures may include regular prenatal check-ups, ultrasound examinations, and other specialized tests to assess the baby's growth, development, and overall health. These additional monitoring measures are important to detect any potential complications or abnormalities early on and take appropriate action.

Effective communication with healthcare providers is key to ensuring the baby's well-being. Regular and open discussions with obstetricians, midwives, and other healthcare professionals allow for the exchange of information, addressing any concerns, and obtaining necessary guidance. By maintaining a strong relationship with healthcare providers, pregnant individuals can receive the appropriate care, monitor the baby's health effectively, and make informed decisions regarding their pregnancy journey.

Monitoring the baby's health throughout pregnancy is essential for a healthy outcome. By adhering to recommended monitoring measures and maintaining regular communication with healthcare providers, pregnant individuals can take proactive steps to ensure the well-being of their baby and receive the necessary support during this critical time.

Are there any risks to the Baby from Father's Migraine Treatments?

When considering the risks of the father's migraine treatments on the baby, it's important to consult healthcare professionals. While the direct impact is not well-studied, caution should be exercised for the well-being of both the baby and the mother.


Certain migraine medications may have potential risks during pregnancy. It's important to consider their effects on fertility, conception, and the baby's development. Healthcare professionals can provide specific information on medication safety.

Genetic Factors

Migraines can have a genetic component, so if the father has a history of migraines, there may be an increased risk for the baby. Understanding this genetic predisposition can help manage the baby's health in the future.

Lifestyle and Environmental Factors

The father's lifestyle choices can indirectly affect the mother's well-being and the baby's health. Managing migraines through a healthy lifestyle and avoiding triggers creates a supportive environment.

Consulting healthcare professionals is crucial for personalized advice. Open communication is key for informed decisions and support. They can address concerns, provide medication guidance, and offer recommendations for a healthy pregnancy and baby's well-being.


During pregnancy, it is crucial to prioritize the safe and effective management of migraine headaches. By understanding the potential risks and implementing appropriate treatment strategies, pregnant individuals can minimize the impact of migraines on their well-being and that of their baby.

It is essential to empower pregnant individuals to seek appropriate treatment and support for their migraines. This includes consulting healthcare professionals, maintaining open communication, and actively participating in their migraine management plan. By taking proactive steps and accessing the necessary resources, pregnant individuals can optimize their health and ensure a healthier pregnancy journey.

Overall, safe and effective management of migraines during pregnancy is vital for the well-being of both the mother and the baby. By addressing potential risks, seeking guidance, and advocating for their own health, pregnant individuals can navigate their migraines with confidence and enhance their overall pregnancy experience.


Can I take over-the-counter pain medications for migraines during pregnancy?

It is best to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any over-the-counter medications, as not all of them are safe for use during pregnancy. They can provide guidance on which pain medications are considered safe and appropriate for managing migraines.

Are there any natural remedies or alternative therapies that can help with migraines during pregnancy?

Some natural remedies and alternative therapies may provide relief for migraines during pregnancy. These can include relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and certain herbal remedies. However, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before trying any alternative therapies to ensure they are safe for use during pregnancy.

Are there lifestyle changes I can make to help prevent migraines during pregnancy?

Yes, making certain lifestyle changes can help prevent migraines during pregnancy. These can include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, managing stress levels, staying hydrated, and avoiding known triggers such as certain foods or strong odors. Discussing these lifestyle modifications with your healthcare provider can provide personalized recommendations.

Can hormonal changes during pregnancy affect migraines?

Yes, hormonal changes during pregnancy can influence the frequency and severity of migraines. Some women may experience an improvement in their migraines, while others may have more frequent episodes. It is important to monitor any changes and discuss them with your healthcare provider.

Are there any specific foods or drinks that can trigger migraines during pregnancy?

Migraine triggers can vary among individuals. However, some common trigger foods and drinks during pregnancy include processed foods, aged cheeses, caffeine, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners. Keeping a migraine diary can help identify specific triggers for your migraines.

Can relaxation techniques or stress management help with migraines during pregnancy?

Yes, relaxation techniques and stress management strategies can be beneficial in managing migraines during pregnancy. Practices such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, and gentle physical activity can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.

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