Pregnancy isn’t all about the baby's health. Preggos need care, too, so they're fit to go through childbirth. Of the pregnancy symptoms moms go through, headaches are typical but no one wants migraines, which is a whole level of pain. It causes vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Now a new study links migraines during pregnancy to complications that can put the mom and baby's life at risk.
Researchers from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark used Danish health registers with 22,000 pregnant women with migraine. It includes preggos who sought help from health providers and were given prescription medication to alleviate its symptoms. The researchers compared their data with a larger group of women who didn't have migraines during pregnancy.
According to the study published in the journal Headache, about 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women who experienced migraines end up having a 15 to 25 percent risk of delivering their baby via C-section, which involves longer recovery time and can affect how a new mom cares for her newborn.
Apart from higher C-section rates, the study also said those who had pregnancy migraines had higher odds of developing complications such as elevated blood pressure, pregnancy loss, and pre-term births. It's also linked with fetal respiratory distress, febrile seizures, and low birth weight on babies.
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Women who sought medication for migraine may have helped prevent the complications but also acknowledged that the study was not designed to focus on that link.
“The migraine medication isn't the cause of the complications, but rather the migraine itself,” study lead author Nils Skajaa, BSc, of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital said in a press release.
Migraines affect twice as many women than men, and experts suggest it may be due to stress, fatigue, or hormonal changes such as those that happen in pregnancy. Past studies have linked severe and frequent headaches to high blood pressure during pregnancy or preeclampsia. Having a C-section also puts a new mom at risk for postpartum depression.
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While migraines during pregnancy become milder or happen less frequently as the pregnancy progresses, don't dismiss it if it's affecting your daily life. Pregnancy itself takes a toll on a woman's body. Getting help does not belittle the sacrifices of a woman going through nine months of severe headaches.