Aches and pains are part of pregnancy. Every expectant mom may have suffered headache at some point during those nine months. The restriction on medicine intake makes it worse for pregnant women. However, there are other efficient ways to fight headaches. Before we get to it, know more about headaches during pregnancy so that you know when to worry about it.
Causes Of Headaches
In The First Trimester: The changes in your body when you are pregnant are often attributed to hormones. In case of headaches, many experts consider the same hormones as the culprit. The surge of hormones might result in headaches in some pregnant women. Moreover, the increase in blood volume during pregnancy could be another reason. Apart from this, pregnancy fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, low blood sugar, or poor posture could also contribute to your headache. Even your attempts to reduce caffeine intake as part of healthy habits during pregnancy may lead to headaches. Dehydration is another reason.
In the Second Trimester: It is often found that episodes of headache attacks are less during the second trimester.
In the Third Trimester: The stress and tension from the increased weight and the growing belly might be a reason for a headache during the third trimester. Even your poor posture can leave you with a headache.
- Apply a warm or cold compress on the sides of the head, the eyes, or along the back of the neck. For a sinus headache, a warm compress is found to be useful. To relieve from a tension headache, keep an ice pack at the base of your neck for 20 minutes.
- Steam inhalation is also found to be helpful to reduce sinus headaches.
- Seek help from someone to massage your shoulder and neck.
- Drink plenty of fluids as dehydration can be a reason for your headache.
- Practice deep breathing.
- For those who suffer from migraine headaches, staying in a dark room will be a good idea.
Steps To Avoid Headaches
- Minimize stress by getting enough rest. Yoga, meditation, or breathing exercises help you relax.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make sure you sit/stand/sleep in a good posture.
- Stay healthy by eating well-balanced, nutritious food. Skipping meals may result in low blood sugar, causing headaches.
- Avoid spending too much time in hot, stuffy spaces.
Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy
If you have regular migraine headaches, you might wonder how tough it will be during pregnancy. However, many pregnant women who have regular migraine headaches experience fewer migraines during pregnancy. But it may not be true for everyone.
Staying away from common triggers of a migraine headache is a good move. Alcohol, chocolate, aspartame, peanuts, and preserved meats are some of the potential triggers. The trigger might not be the same always. It is best to keep a diary to make a note of the triggers so that you will be better equipped to prevent your headache.
When Is Headache A Concern?
Headaches during pregnancy could be a symptom of a separate underlying condition such as preeclampsia. It is characterized by high blood pressure. A headache accompanied by other symptoms such as blurred vision, abdominal pain, and swelling requires medical attention. Whenever your headache is frequent or very severe along with other discomforts you should talk to your doctor.
A Word Of Caution
Some pregnant women may find it difficult to cope with the pain. However, you should not take any medication without talking to your doctor. Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided. If your headache is persistent and becomes worse, it is best to talk to your doctor. Even though headaches are normal during pregnancy, if it is accompanied by other symptoms or if the pain is unusual, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider.