Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Headaches complicating pregnancy and the postpartum period
  1. Mary Angela O'Neal
  1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mary Angela O'Neal, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA; maoneal{at}


Headaches are a common neurological complaint during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Most are primary and benign, but there are also several secondary headaches. This review uses a practical case-based approach to the evaluation and management of the most common headaches referred for neurological consultation: primary headaches such as migraine as well as the presentation and management of some of the secondary headaches complicating pregnancy and the puerperium. These include: idiopathic intracranial hypertension, eclampsia, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, cerebral venous thrombosis, pituitary apoplexy and postdural puncture headache.

  • Pregnancy
  • Postpartum
  • Migraine
  • Eclampsia
  • Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome
  • Cerebral venous thrombosis
  • Pituitary apoplexy
  • Postdural puncture headache

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors MAO wrote 100% of the article.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally . This paper was reviewed by Alexandra Sinclair, Birmingham, UK.

Other content recommended for you