Headache is one of the most undesirable symptoms of pregnancy. Most pregnant women have experienced it along their pregnancy journey but it commonly occurs either during the first or third trimester of pregnancy.
Health experts say that headaches during the first three months of pregnancy are caused by surging hormones that mark the new life inside a woman’s body. Headaches can also be attributed to an increased blood flow in the system of the woman. It could also be brought about by anxiety or stress over the condition, as well as the consequences it has in the life of the pregnant woman.
Factors that are unrelated to pregnancy but can still cause headaches during pregnancy are changes in vision, and chronic migraine problems.
During the latter part of pregnancy, headaches may be brought about by changes in posture. As the belly gets heavier, the person’s back gets strained and her posture changes to compensate for the strain.
Persistent headaches during the sixth to ninth month of pregnancy should not be shrugged off as it may indicate other serious pregnancy-related conditions like pre-eclampsia which is caused by elevated blood pressure. Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that can affect the health of the mother and the baby.
Other causes of headaches during pregnancy include dehydration, stress, lack of sleep, low blood sugar, and sudden withdrawal from caffeine.
When headaches happen from time to time, a pregnant woman will try to reach for a remedy or what can a pregnant woman take for headache. During pregnancy though, over the counter drugs and prescription should be the last option to help avoid side effects that may harm the baby.
For instance, the wisely used ibuprofen and aspirin are not safe to take during pregnancy. So most health practitioners will encourage their patients to try natural remedies first before taking oral medicines or prescriptions .
Natural remedies for pregnancy-induced headaches include:
Not drinking enough water can lead to headaches. Health experts recommend that pregnant women drink at least 2.5 liters of water a day.
Taking a rest.
Pregnant women should listen to their bodies. They should rest when they can, and try to relax as much as possible. And if the headache resembles a migraine attack then a quiet and heavily darkened room can help relieve the headache.
Consciously aim for a good night’s sleep.
Not having enough sleep causes headaches on people whether they are pregnant or not. It is important that pregnant women get a full night’s sleep to help relax their mind and the body. Adults for instance should have at least seven hours of sleep at night in order to feel refreshed the next morning. A tired, pregnant woman will need all the energy it could get from sleep to function well and feel better the next morning.
Hot or Cold compresses.
If the pregnant woman is experiencing tension headache or one that emanates from the temples, the back of the head and even extends to the nape of the neck then a
Cold compress may work. Get an ice pack or a frozen soft cloth and press it against the nape of your neck or the back of your head. If the headache meanwhile is a sinus headache then a hot compress can be helpful. A sinus headache usually affects the middle of the forehead and the eyes. Grab a heating pack and put it against your forehead and temple to help relieve the pain.
Be conscious about your posture.
It is important to still be conscious about having straight body that is not hunched over. Poor posture in effect strains muscles including those at the back of the head. When these muscles get strained, a person gets a headache, so consciously try to straighten up your posture whether in a standing or sitting position to avoid headaches. Massages may be beneficial too — pre-natal massages are usually offered in most spa clinics, and you may want to inquire about that. Alternatively you can ask someone to massage your back and your head for relief.
Eat healthy balanced meals on time.
Eat small meals frequently to avoid drops in blood sugar which in turn causes headaches. Choose high-fiber meals that keep you feeling full longer, and at the same time healthier for the body. Hunger pangs may cause headaches so it will be helpful to have crackers or light snacks on your bag when you are out and about, to tame those hunger pangs.
Avoid things that trigger your headache. For instance a certain food, or a scent or even exposure to certain environments like that which is so humid or too sunny or too cold. Skipping meals may also trigger migraines to some so be aware of that too. Just be conscious of your triggers and avoid them to in turn prevent headaches.
Manage your stress.
Being pregnant is stressful enough because of the many preparations, as well as repercussions in life and changes that will surely take place once baby arrives. Anxiety over these concerns may cause headaches and so trying to manage it may help put things into better perspective organize a measurable and realistic to-do-list, and try your best to stick to it. Seeing tasks getting accomplished, and concerns addressed can greatly help in managing stress levels.
If all else fails then mention to your practitioner that the headaches are persistent. She may require additional checks or lab work, but for sure she will prescribe something to help alleviate the pain. As for the question “What can I take for a headache while pregnant?” the answer is there are head-ache medicines that can be safely taken, provided that your obstetrician prescribed you that. Acetaminophen for instance is the most commonly used headache medication for pregnant women. And though this information is already all over the internet it is still important to personally consult your doctor about it because it may have contraindications to your specific situation.
Even herbal medicines and teas may have contraindications to pregnancy so it is best to consult tour health practitioner before trying any type of treatment.