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Complex migraines/pregnancy

Hi everyone! Someone I know who has history of migraine began getting complex migraine (stroke like symptoms/loss of memory) while 27 weeks pregnant. Is this common, since I know they can be hormone related? I’m currently trying to get pregnant and am now worried about a new migraine factor…even though I know many people go into migraine remission while pregnant

  1. Many women experience headaches during pregnancy, especially in the first and third trimesters. If you're pregnant, you may notice an increase in the number of headaches you have at around week 9 of your pregnancy.

    withdrawal from caffeine (e.g. in coffee, tea or cola drinks)
    low blood sugar
    feeling stressed
    poor posture, particularly as your baby gets bigger
    having depression or anxiety

    In pregnancy, migraine may get worse for the first few months, but for many women it can improve in the later stages of their pregnancy when the level of the hormone oestrogen stabilises. Other women may experience no change or a decrease in the number of migraine headaches while pregnant. Some women may experience differences in migraine during different pregnancies.

    You could try:

    pregnancy yoga classes or other exercise
    practising good posture, particularly later in your pregnancy
    eating regular, well-balanced meals
    putting a warm facecloth on your eye and nose area, if it is a sinus headache
    putting a cold pack on the back of your neck, taking a bath or using a heat pack, if it is a tension headache
    neck and shoulders massage
    Pregnant women who experience migraine should avoid things that may trigger their migraine. This may include:

    So while pregnant, pamper yourself more and you'll do okay. Sorry about the momentary worries.

    1. Well, i wish I could answer that with 100 percent certainty but I believe that just like every other migraine attack, a complex migraine could be noticed before stroke symptoms. It is known that migraines that might bring on strokes are the ones with the aura.

      Symptoms of a migraine with aura include:

      Flashes of light
      Blind spots
      Tingling in the hands or face
      Difficulty concentrating
      Neck stiffness
      Sensitivity to light or sound
      Blurred vision

      While stroke symptoms include:
      Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
      Sudden confusion
      Sudden trouble speaking
      Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
      Sudden trouble walking
      Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
      Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

      Since aura is like the second of the four stages of migraine and most of its signs are noticed before the attack, plus from past experiences of a migraine attack, one could say the symptoms of a complex migraine can be caught early before stroke/ER symptoms occur.
      And please, try not to worry too much.

    2. tysm. A little nervous of how preg and postpartum can change my migraines

  2. Ty for this info. Most people w migraines who I know really didnt have any while preg. They have a few headaches. I worry about complex ones due to hormones while preg and espec postpartum. Really scary

    1. I don't think it's at all common to experience what you described above (eg complex migraine). As you said, many women who have migraine experience a respite from migraine during pregnancy. That said, I personally experienced an uptick in my attacks. I ended up becoming bedridden by the third trimester of my second pregnancy and things seemed to tip the scales from episodic to chronic at that time. A switch that never turned back off, unfortunately. But I know I am unusual in that experience.

      Most people, as I said, get a respite from migraine during pregnancy (and breastfeeding). This has to do with whether or not your migraines are more reactive to rises in progesterone vs. estrogen. If you wanted to try to forecast this, you could meet with an OBGYN hormone specialist. They would try to evaluate how your migraine attacks have historically aligned with your menstrual cycle, if at all. Some women have a rise in attacks on the first and fourth day of their period, for instance. Others in the days leading up to their period. This information can potentially foretell how your body will handle migraine during pregnancy. But there are really no guarantees and as the very kind and informative has shared, a great goal would be to try to release your stress around this and focus on the joys to come! Easier said than done, I understand.

      We are here for you every step of the way. Sending comfort and care. Warmly- Holly team.

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