A woman in white blouse experiencing migraine in her pregnancy journey.

Handling Migraines When Pregnant

When the throbbing or pounding pain in your head begins, you can be out of action for anywhere from four hours to two days.

Migraines can be an incredibly debilitating condition that shouldn’t be mistaken as a simple headache. 

They can cause intense pain, usually on one side of the head, and symptoms like feeling nauseous and vomiting can occur. Extreme sensitivity to light and sound can be prevalent too - all of which is the last thing you need when going through the motions of other pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness.

Unfortunately, pregnancy can sometimes be a trigger for the dreaded migraine as your body is going through a major hormonal change.

For some women who experience this condition already, pregnancy can actually ease symptoms but it does differ from person to person.

If you’re one of the unlucky ones who keeps getting struck down by pain, we’ve put together some key information to remember for handling migraines when pregnant. 


Avoid Common Triggers for Migraines in Pregnant Women

A pregnant woman experiencing Common Triggers for Migraine.

The one unavoidable trigger is the body going through its natural pregnancy process which involves a whole lot of changes. While this one cannot be altered, there are other factors that can play a role in bringing on this painful condition:

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Foods that contain the preservatives MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrates
  • Aspartame

Other triggers could be anxiety and depression, stress, not getting enough sleep, not eating regularly or skipping meals, and a lack of exercise.

If you're dealing with flare-ups consistently, keep a diary to help you work out what might be triggering them. You should visit your doctor if they’re severe and persistent.


How Do You Know When a Migraine Is Coming On?


When you spot a pattern of what brings on your migraines, you may be able to notice some key warning signs too.

Before a migraine starts, you may start to feel very tired, crave certain foods, see changes in your mood and have a stiff neck.

Warning signs then typically happen if you have a migraine with aura which could include problems with your sight (like seeing flashing or zig zags), a pins and needles feeling and dizziness.

Shortly after, and no more than an hour, the migraine will then start which could last between just a few hours and several days.


Natural Remedies for Migraines During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman showing Natural Remedies for Migraines During Pregnancy such as yoga.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for migraines and there’s not a whole lot of knowledge about why they actually start, but there are some natural remedies you can implement into your day-to-day to help sufferers of the condition.


Relaxation, Yoga and Meditation


Whether you’re experienced in yoga or have never attempted it before, it’s a really easy way to increase feelings of relaxation and wellbeing - with the potential for it to reduce migraines too.

There are thousands of YouTube tutorials out there targeted specifically for helping with the condition or simply practice some beneficial poses like the ‘Child’s Pose,’ ‘Legs up the wall,’ and ‘Downward Dog’ in your spare time.

Yoga can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, helping you to find some relief in the aftermath as this form of exercise lowers blood pressure and slows the heart rate. In turn, the body is able to recover from the migraine episode and enter into a state of relaxation.

General meditation has similar effects too, so carve out some time in the day and get comfortable in your favorite spot to recharge and soothe your body and brain.

If the tension is growing, try the recovery pose. This can reduce physical stress when you feel a migraine coming on. 

Simply lie on your back with your knees bent and gently hold your hands together behind your head and neck. Your elbows should be relaxed towards the floor and you may feel a slight stretch. Focus on your breathing and hold the position for one to two minutes.


Dietary Changes


Unfortunately for everyone, chocolate can bring on migraines due to the presence of certain ingredients like caffeine, tyramine, and phenylethylamine. It’s actually one of the most popular food triggers and has been epidemiologically implicated in bringing on migraine attacks.

Understandably, caffeine is a major culprit too as it can affect blood vessels and brain chemicals which can prompt migraines to start.

If you’re struggling with migraines when pregnant, opt for caffeine-free alternatives to replace your morning drink. This is recommended across the board too as drinking more than 200mg of caffeine per day can increase your risk of pregnancy complications.

You may have to swap out the chocolate for another snack while your body is going through a whole lot of hormonal changes.

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Home Treatments for Migraines During Pregnancy


Treatments at home are the most convenient as people who have migraines with aura may not be able to drive to a medical room or leave the house at all.

For when you’re in need of relief, here are some accessible home treatments for migraines during pregnancy.


Using Cold or Warm Compresses for Headache Relief


When a migraine strikes, lie down in a dark room and place a cold or warm compress on your forehead or neck for some relief. The cold variant can have a numbing effect which could dull the pain for a short while. It works by constricting blood vessels which could decrease the downstream of blood flow which lessens the pain that migraines can bring.

Whereas a warm compress increases blood flow to the area which can relax any tense muscles and provide some relief. This version can have a soothing effect too which further promotes feelings of relaxation.

A cold or warm compress only provides very temporary effects though and it’s a treatment that works best as soon as symptoms first begin as it doesn’t work as a preventative option.

So, if you have a flannel or other compress on hand when a migraine strikes, take some time to lie down and place it on your head to ease some of the pain.


Red Light Therapy


While the development of migraines is highly complex and not fully understood, researchers do believe inflammation plays a key role.

Nerve-controlled inflammation of the membrane between the brain and skull could be bringing on the condition which begins when the production of cytokine is triggered. Cytokine is a protein involved in inflammatory signaling and one that brings on pain.

Red light therapy is known for reducing the production of the pro-inflammatory protein cytokines and upregulating the anti-inflammatory cytokines. This then causes a reduction in inflammation which many believe is one of the main drivers in migraines.

This form of light therapy also increases blood flow and circulation which promotes healing and a reduction in pain.

One of the other known elements of the condition is how Prostaglandin E2 brings on the pain and induces immediate migraine attacks. Light therapy has been found to effectively reduce “COX-2 content, leading to the inhibition of PGE2 production, relieving pain, and swelling in joints.”

Red light has double benefits for women who are pregnant too as its anti-inflammatory benefits mean it can be used in the areas where swelling is most prominent, like the legs and feet.

Overall, red light therapy can support you by…

  • Reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines
  • Reducing oxidative stress
  • Improving circulation and blood flow, contributing to hormone and cell health
  • Increasing quality of sleep
  • Providing relief from pain


Seeking Support 


As there isn’t a cure for this condition, and everyone’s experiences will differ, a combination of treatments might be the best plan for you.

If you are struggling with migraines, do let your doctor know about what you’re going through and they should be able to provide support and tailored advice - especially when pregnant.

When opting to use red light therapy as your holistic treatment tool due to its numerous benefits for pregnancy and beyond, ensure you’re choosing a device that is legitimate and has a positive reputation.

Kineon’s MOVE+ Pro is being used by thousands of people to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. It’s being backed by health experts worldwide and top athletes spanning different fields.

The MOVE+ Pro is non-invasive, safe, and can be used on the go. This means the device can be used when a migraine strikes in the comfort of your own home, so it’s more accessible than other treatments.

Whether you’re using the device for handling migraines when pregnant or for reducing general inflammation and pain throughout your journey and beyond, we have a whole host of information and help out there to support you when needed.

We even run a private Facebook group where you can speak with others who are using red light therapy. It's become a real community where people who are going through the same situation can talk with one another.

You can buy the Move+ Pro in a risk-free 30-day at-home trial with Kineon, give it a try today.


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Bringing the latest advancements in enhanced red light therapy for home use. Our mission is to get you back on your feet and moving pain-free.

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