DEALING WITH MIGRAINES
If you’re a migraine sufferer, here’s some great news: “Migraines are less common and less severe for known migraine sufferers during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester,” according to Dr Grundlingh. The aura (the sensory disturbances that often come with migraines, such as flashes of light, blind spots, vision changes and tingling in hands or face) might be more but the head pain is usually less. The not-so-great news is that you can still get migraines during pregnancy and treatments are limited. Dr Grundlingh says standard migraine kits from pharmacies are not recommended for pregnant women. “Acute, severe migraines can be treated with an anti-emetic (drug used to treat vomiting and nausea), pethidine (an opioid pain medication) and paracetamol. Sumatriptan (a drug used to treat migraines and cluster headaches) might be an option in some patients,” he says, but warns that no medications should be taken without medical supervision. Like with headaches, avoid the triggers: caffeine, stress, bad posture and dehydration. “Make sure that you eat well, reduce stress, get enough sleep and, importantly, exercise, as this helps lower the incidence of migraines,” advises Dr Grundlingh. He adds that studies suggest migraines might increase the risk of premature labour or pre-eclampsia, so it’s vitally important to let your doctor or healthcare provider know if you experience any migraines.