Migraines affect up to 17% of women of childbearing age. These headaches are usually one sided and are likely to have a pulsatile or throbbing quality. Accompanying features may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Stress, weather, hunger, menstrual periods, sleep disturbances, light, birth control pills, and certain types of foods can be contributing factors. Migraine headaches are thought to have a multifactorial etiology, and only familial hemiplegic migraines have an established genetic basis.1
Dental care is extremely important during pregnancy. Pregnant women have elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones cause the gums to be more sensitive to the bacteria that is found in plaque and can lead to a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis”. Some of the symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and bleeding gums. To avoid the buildup of plaque, it is important to brush teeth at least twice a day and floss before going to bed.
For most women, pregnancy is generally considered a period of emotional well-being for the woman and her family. However, many women suffer from an increased vulnerability to psychiatric conditions during pregnancy and after delivery.
There has recently been a lot of discussion in the news about the potential hazards of taking antidepressants while pregnant. Some researchers are concerned that they increase the risk of birth defects.
Some people dread the change of seasons. Shorter, darker days mean fatigue, oversleeping, too many carbs, and having a general sense of malaise: a pattern known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Fortunately, safe treatments for pregnant and breastfeeding women are available.