By Marina Medved-Lentini
Migraine During Pregnancy
My migraine journey began when I was 13. I successfully navigated through college, law school, and my career as an Attorney. However, once I married and became pregnant, the hormone fluctuations significantly changed my migraine pattern. Although some women get relief from migraine during pregnancy, I was one of the unlucky ones who got worse. My attacks gradually became more severe in frequency and severity until I was experiencing them daily.
I had two babies seventeen months apart. Parenting young children with daily migraine attacks was challenging and often tested my sanity. The days were a blur while I focused on feeding, changing diapers, and reading books, mainly in a fetal position on the floor. My amazing family, supportive husband, kind friends, and migraine community helped me through those difficult days. I finally was able to gain control over my migraine disorder and find the right combination of treatments.
Migraine During Pandemic
Unfortunately, the frequency and the severity of my migraine attacks intensified again during the pandemic. I was homeschooling my kids during the first year of the pandemic. We were in a pod that gathered at my house, and of course, the stress triggered my migraine attacks. I gradually began taking more acute medications and started to experience migraine attacks daily again. I feel exhausted, frustrated, and often defeated by how migraine affects my life. However, I continue trying different treatments and do not lose hope.
My Migraine Treatment Plan
For someone with chronic migraine, a treatment plan is never simple. It usually involves a multimodal approach. For me, my preventive and acute treatment involves the following:
Preventive and acute medications, procedures, and infusions;
Living with chronic migraine has made me the person I am today. I am a migraine advocate at Parenting With Migraine, where I share my migraine journey. It is also where I share educational information about migraine to empower migraine patients to become their own advocates. I am passionate about raising migraine awareness, making people feel less alone, and educating others about migraine.
As a migraine advocate, I stress the importance of finding a headache specialist for people who experience episodic migraine because I know how easy it is for episodic migraine to morph into chronic migraine. I also encourage women interested in having children to create a migraine treatment plan with their headache specialist and OB-GYN before getting pregnant. There are now many safe migraine treatments during pregnancy. I encourage women to find a headache specialist and an OBGYN willing to work together to help them find a migraine treatment to get through the pregnancy journey safely and as comfortably as possible.
Finding Migraine Community
Living with chronic migraine means we often feel helpless and alone. Finding a community of people who understand us and support us is essential. When I was first diagnosed with chronic migraine, I thought I was the only person living with daily migraine attacks. I was a new mom with a newborn in constant pain, wondering what was happening to me. I learned through social media that I was not alone and that many others lived with chronic migraines. Please know that you are not alone. Many migraine communities on every social media channel are waiting to welcome you. We are here, wanting you to know that you are not alone.
Marina is a content creator and migraine advocate on Instagram and blogger at Parenting With Migraine. She is also an Attorney and a Social Media Strategist at Social With Marina. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two children. When she is not working or being a migraine advocate, she enjoys gardening, listening to audiobooks, and spending time with her family.