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Living with Migraine

Coping with Migraines during pregnancy

  • By Jmom

    I need some support and advice. I have been suffering with migraines for years and they have greatly intensified in the last 5 years. Before I was on preventative meds, I had migarines 20-25 days out of the month.

    My neurologist has worked with me to help find a preventative med(topimax) and dosage that has been working very well and triptan drugs are all that treat the migraine when they do come.

    My OB-GYN had me on birth control to help level out hormones as an attempt to help with the migraines. In that time, apparently God had a different plan because I am now expecting my 4th child. Quite a shock but always a blessing…

    A quick trip to my neuro revealed the plan to go off all meds. I am FREAKING OUT! I cannot even imagine going back to dealing with migraines for 9 straight months. I work a very full time job and I am just at a desperate place. Can anyone advise any safe, all natural remedies that I may be able to take to my OB to approve?

    This is going to be a much greater shock to my body than being pregnant unexpectedly at 36…

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    JMOM,

    I wish I had lots of great information to throw in your direction, but the fact is that each of us is different, and each pregnancy will be different too. Only your doctor is going to be able to help you with this decision. There are a great many “natural” things to try, but any/all of them could potentially create problems with the pregnancy. Some to a lesser degree than others, but everything with the potential to help you also has the potential to hurt you – – and your precious baby.

    That said, the thing that comes to mind the quickest is magnesium. The reason I mention this is that mag is also used in pregnancy for pre-eclampsia as well as pre-term labor. Many Migraineurs are deficient in magnesium – not necessarily in blood levels, but in tissue where it is more difficult to “see” on labs.

    What were your other pregnancies like??

    I will remind you what I know you already know… freaking out and getting upset or worried is not going to help your Migraines. With any luck, your Migraines may stabilize or even lessen or go away for a time. Either way, I do hope you’ll keep in touch and let us know how things are going. If your doctor is able to try something with you that works and is safe during pregnancy, I hope you’ll share that with us too. 🙂

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  • By Anonymous

    There are options for those with migraines who are pregnant. Many drugs are class C but have been around a while and are more than likely safe. Also triptans are class C but have had some registries of pregnant women using them and review of those registries reveals no increase in birth defects. I would discuss this with a headache specialist who is local.

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  • By Anonymous

    My pain specialist said that pregnancy was the best cure for migraines, esp in 2/3 trimesters. He didn’t say the kids themselves were good for migraines though! lol

    I’ve come off the pill as another thing to try to see if it helps as it was described as a possible trigger by my GP. I decided that, as we want kids anyway, this wasn’t really a bad thing, but that I’d come off the Topirimate (Topamax) just in case I did get pregnant as I didn’t want to harm the baby.

    I’m taking Magnesium, Q10 and B2 supplements now, and I don’t feel any different to how I was when I was taking Topamax, except I don’t have pins and needles in my extremeties anymore.

    The main thing is to not worry about having migraines, because then you WILL have migraines. Speak to a specialist who have dealt with migrainous mothers to be and see if they’ve got any other solutions.

    And best wishes for you and “bump” xxx

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  • By Ellen Schnakenberg

    TeeferTiger – With all due respect, your pain specialist is obviously not a Migraine or headache specialist. The idea that pregnancy is a cure for Migraine is obnoxious at its best, and dangerous at its worst. This simply IS NOT TRUE. Some pts experience reduced Migraine attacks, others experience more or worse attacks. You simply won’t know which category you fall into… until you are pregnant. Your advice to speak to a specialist is right on target though 🙂

    Ceasing chemical birth control is helpful for some, and not helpful for others. You may not notice a change however for several months.

    The same goes for topiramate. The effect of preventives sometimes take quite some time to wear off enough that Migraines once again become a problem… if you’re lucky. Each patient is different.

    Remember too, that you are also taking 3 often very useful preventives even now – magnesium, B2 and CoQ10. Their affects have not worn off because you’re still taking them.

    Of course it doesn’t always work like this for everyone, but just because you don’t feel different today, doesn’t mean that won’t change later.

    Worry without action is worthless. Worry with positive action can be very effective though! Worrying is never a good thing when it is destructive. However, it can also be constructive because it reminds us to do something to prevent what we’re worried about. According to the ICHD II Stress is not a Migraine trigger. It is most often what we do when we’re stressed that is the biggest problem for most Migraineurs. One really good reason to be very diligent in keeping a Migraine Journal like this: http://bit.ly/A9HUHb 🙂

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