Advice Column, Health, Lifestyle, Pregnancy, Pregnancy & Baby

Treat Headaches Safely During And After Pregnancy

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  • Category Advice Column, Health, Lifestyle, Pregnancy, Pregnancy & Baby

Being a new mother can be an exciting time for many women. Taking care of a new child can be one of the most wonderful experiences. But this time can also be extremely stressful when headaches occur. A recent study published in the journal Headache showed there are many safe methods to treat these headaches and migraines when women are breast-feeding.

A list of commonly used migraine medications was agreed upon by the 6 researchers, who treat migraine and other headaches on a regular basis. Each medication was researched by an author utilizing widely accepted data sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics publication “The Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals Into Human Milk”.

Dr. Elliot Shevel, South Africa’s migraine research pioneer, said the study found there are many reliable medications for women who are worried it will affect their babies through breast milk.

This comprehensive study revealed there are many commonly used migraine medications that may be compatible with breast-feeding based on expert recommendations. “Ibuprofen, diclofenac, and eletriptan are among acute medications with low levels in breast milk. They are therefore safe to use,” says Shevel.

What does not work?

Aspirin did, however, cause some concern. Due to an association with Reye’s syndrome; sedation or apnea is problematic with opioids. Finally, preventive medications not recommended include zonisamide, atenolol, and tizanidine.

Headaches during pregnancy

Most headaches seen in women are primary headache disorders (migraine, tension-type headache), complications or conditions associated with pregnancy can present with a secondary headache.

Headaches are very common symptoms in idiopathic intracranial hypertension, eclampsia, and reversible cerebral vascular syndrome. Migraines may begin or worsen during pregnancy, but pregnancy tends to reduce migraine frequency and severity. Although it is desirable to avoid medications for headaches during pregnancy, treatment should be considered when headaches are severe and cause significant disability.

“We always promote treating headaches and migraines without the use of drugs. This is the safest method we can employ,” says Shevel to treat these headaches and migraines when women are breast-feeding. Being aware of possible treatments for migraine and headaches during pregnancy is essential.

To find out more about how migraines affect your child, call 0861 678 911 or visit

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