Natural Remedies for Migraine Relief During Pregnancy

Natural Remedies for Migraine Relief During Pregnancy

Understanding Migraines During Pregnancy

Migraines can be extremely debilitating at any time, but even more so during pregnancy. The hormonal fluctuations and physical changes happening in the body can exacerbate migraines or even trigger new ones in some women.

While no expecting mother wants to take unnecessary medication, finding relief from severe migraine pain is important for both maternal and fetal health. Thankfully, there are several natural, gentle options that may provide relief.

Lifestyle Changes

Making certain lifestyle adjustments may help reduce migraine frequency and intensity during pregnancy:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat regular, nutritious meals
  • Exercise moderately
  • Reduce stress through meditation, yoga, etc.
  • Avoid migraine triggers like certain foods, bright lights, strong smells, etc.

Herbal Remedies

Many herbal ingredients have pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for migraines. Some gentle options to try during pregnancy include:

  • Peppermint oil – Apply topically to temples and neck
  • Ginger – Drink ginger tea or chew raw ginger
  • Feverfew – Use carefully under medical supervision
  • Butterbur extract – Use high quality, certified PA-free supplement

Physical Therapy

Physical therapies that apply pressure or warmth to specific points on the head, neck and shoulders can stimulate blood flow and release tension in muscles that contribute to migraines. Some examples include:

  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Trigger point therapy

Be sure to communicate with your prenatal care provider before starting any new therapies.

When to Seek Emergency Care

While natural remedies may provide relief in many cases, severe migraines or those accompanied by other alarming symptoms require prompt medical care. Seek emergency help if you experience:

  • Sudden, severe headache unlike previous migraines
  • Headache with fever, stiff neck, confusion
  • Headache causing disturbance in vision
  • Headache with seizures
  • Headaches more frequent or intense than usual

Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to call your provider with any concerns about new migraine symptoms or treatments during pregnancy.


Is Tylenol safe for migraines when pregnant?

Yes, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is considered safe for occasional use during pregnancy. It’s the preferred over-the-counter pain reliever when expecting.

Can migraines hurt the baby?

Severe migraines are unlikely to directly impact the baby. But chronic migraine symptoms like pain, nausea and vomiting can potentially contribute to dehydration, poor nutrition intake, and elevated stress levels in the mother – which may indirectly impact fetal development if left uncontrolled.

When should I call the doctor about a migraine while pregnant?

Contact your healthcare provider right away if migraines are accompanied by fever, stiff neck, confusion, disturbances in vision, inability to keep liquids down, or any type of seizure activity. Also let them know if migraines are more frequent or intense than usual.

Can pregnancy cause migraines?

For some women pregnancy hormones actually prevent migraines, while for others hormones can trigger them. Those with a history of migraines are more likely to experience them during pregnancy. Each woman’s experience is unique.

How can I prevent pregnancy migraines?

Making healthy lifestyle choices like getting adequate sleep, staying hydrated, eating regular nutritious meals, exercising moderately, and reducing stress can help stabilize hormones and prevent migraines for some women during pregnancy.