Chronic Migraines and Pregnancy

Information about migraines and pregnancy is hard to come by. Most books on migraine rarely touch the topic except to say that if you become pregnant your migraines may get better, get worse, or stay the same. It’s apparently different for everyone. It also seems to vary depending on the type of migraine (chronic versus episodic, with aura or without), and the woman’s stage of pregnancy. Overall, this means that women with migraine have much less knowledge about what to expect when we’re expecting.

My husband and I discovered we were pregnant nine weeks ago. I start my second trimester in five days, and all I can say is this: The first trimester was hellish; I hope the second is better.

I spent the vast majority of the last two months in bed. It seemed like every pregnancy symptom I had (morning sickness, dizziness, fatigue, dehydration, headache) was exponentially amplified by a bout of migraines that disappeared at night only to arrive again the next morning. Luckily for me, I could drag my laptop into bed with me and get some work done in between the pain, nausea, and bone-crushing exhaustion. Unluckily for my husband, my ability to work and live from bed meant I pretty much stayed there for weeks.

I’m glad to say I’m starting to feel a little bit better as we approach the 14th week of pregnancy and the start of the second trimester. The morning sickness has ebbed, which means the only nausea I experience now is related to my migraines and thus usually occurs at night (when the migraines are at their worst) instead of throughout the day. My energy is starting to pick back up a little, and I’m hoping that means I will be able to start exercising again (which is an important aspect of my migraine prevention plan). At the very least, I would like to be able to take a walk every day. We’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to stay hopeful. Without information about what to expect next trimester, I am going to cross my fingers and believe my migraines will get better instead of worse. We’ll have to see how that goes.

If anyone out there with chronic migraine has had to deal with the disease through pregnancy, I would like to know more about your experiences. Did they get better at some point? Did you come up with any tricks that helped ease your pain and discomfort? Thanks for any tips or words of comfort you can share.