Throughout this pregnancy and my previous pregnancy, I have had severe migraines. In my previous pregnancy, my doctor prescribed Tylenol with Codeine for me to take to help out; however, this time, I opted to bypass the narcotic prescription and try to manage the migraines on my own. Luckily, I have found some things that help and have been able to avoid taking anything stronger than over-the-counter Tylenol.
I have discovered that I am more likely to get a migraine when I am overly tired. To help combat this, I take a nap every day while my kids nap. This isn’t always easy with two toddlers and an infant, but we make it work. While I lay down, I place a cool, damp towel over my eyes, which seems to help reduce my risk of developing a migraine, but it also helps to relieve a migraine if I already have one. I have tried eye masks, but those don’t work for me, so I stick to the basic cool, damp towel.
Stretching my neck muscles and back muscles seems to help keep the pain from a migraine under control. I am not sure why this helps, but it does. I also tried to loosen up my neck and back muscles by having my husband massage them; however, this seems to make the migraine worse.
When I have a migraine, I sit in my recliner and place a heating pad against my upper back, neck and the base of my skull. I put it on low or medium and leave it there for at least 30 minutes, but sometimes as long as an hour. The heat helps the pain from the migraine.
I also take warm baths to help the pain. Instead of turning on the lights in the bathroom, I grab a night light to use so that the bathroom can stay as dark as possible while allowing me to see.
I usually get nauseated when I have a migraine. Because of this, we don’t cook foods with a strong smell if I have a migraine. Usually, my husband will make pancakes and eggs. He opens the window in the kitchen if it isn’t too cold outside so that we have some fresh air coming in while he cooks.
I also take over-the-counter regular strength Tylenol every four hours while my head is hurting. I tried extra strength, but having to wait six hours between doses didn’t work for me.
The best way to manage a migraine while you are pregnant depends on the symptoms of your migraine and what works to manage them. Try different methods, but be sure that you let your doctor know about your migraines and the methods you are using to keep them under control.