Which doctors should a pregnant woman with migraine work with?


A woman with migraine disease who becomes pregnant should work in collaboration with both her OB-GYN and her family physician or headache doctor.


“Yes, and to be honest, one of my concerns having done this for many years, is you have gynecologists, OB-GYNs, who are very knowledgeable about hormones, very comfortable prescribing birth control pills. But sometimes they don't have as much comfort level when it comes to migraines. And then you have some wonderful, wonderful headache doctors that are neurologists. And they don't have the training in gynecology; they don't know that much about hormones. So part of what I feel I bring to the headache world is that I kind of bridge that gap. You know, I did family medicine and gynecology for 21 years. And then I became so passionate about headache that I decided to focus on headache. So, I really try to encourage that collaboration between gynecologist, family physician, headache doctor, that we all work together. And that's how your women [with migraine disease] are going to really get the best care.”


A woman with migraine disease who is pregnant should work in collaboration with both her OB-GYN and her headache doctor or migraine specialist because headache specialists or neurologists don’t know that much about hormones, and gynecologists sometimes aren’t that knowledgeable or comfortable with treating migraine disorder.

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Susan Hutchinson, MD

Author - The Women's Guide to Managing Migraine
Orange County Migraine & Headache Center

Dr. Susan Hutchinson is a headache specialist and board-certified family practice physician. In February 2007, she founded Orange County Migraine & Headache Center, dedicated to serving patients with headache and mood disorders. Although she is not a psychiatrist, she has developed a special interest in treating mood disorders as well as headache. The mood disorders she treats include depression; anxiety; bipolar disorder; ADHD; and panic attacks. Dr. Hutchinson suffers from migraine headaches which gives her an empathy with her patients.

She felt such a calling to help patients with headache and mood disorders that she decided to specialize and devote her career to alleviating the suffering caused by both headaches and mood disorders. She lectures nationally on the subject of headache; has written dozens of articles for medical journals; participated in headache research projects and is very active in numerous professional organizations such as the American Headache Society and the National Headache Foundation.

She is the immediate post-chair of the Women’s Issues section of the American Headache Society after serving in the chair position for 5 years. Dr. Hutchinson is a dynamic and sought-after speaker. She speaks for community groups as well as professional groups. In 2010 she became the President of The Orange County Chapter of the California Academy of Family Physicians.