With the expanding of the belly, you may also experience certain aches and pains that tend to emerge in the neck that result in headaches, a common cause during pregnancy that only builds up and gets worse. But unfortunately, there are otherwise usual treatment options like the over-the-counter that are to be avoided even in migraine headaches. These headaches could also affect your sleep and appetite, which is why ignoring them isn’t an option either.
For this very reason, Parenthood has curated this article for pregnant women with other tactics, from diet tweaks to stress management, to help sweet relief from the recurrent headaches. Read in to know more!
When do migraine headaches begin during pregnancy and what causes headaches during pregnancy?
Headaches during pregnancy can cause lots of triggers. For instance, the sense of being exhausted, and queasy during the first trimester, and congested, urban-hormonal, overheated, and bloated during the third trimester. All of these could be the hindering point in your pregnancy.
The primary culprit of the headaches is the hormonal changes that are quite common while you are expecting. The other causes in many women according to health care may include headaches due to pregnancy fatigue, tension, increased hunger during pregnancy, physical or emotional stress, overeating, sinus congestion or allergies, or a combination of any or either.
However, the good news here is that there are some prone to migraines surging hormones that perhaps might make those less-than-pleasant headaches less frequent and severe.
How can you aid pregnancy headaches?
Here are a few brownie points to help pregnant moms aid the pregnancy headaches that are pregnancy-safe steps:
- In case of a tension headache or migraines: If you are having tension headaches, try spending a few minutes in a dark room that is also quiet. This is because the headaches can trigger due to sensitivity to light. However, if you are working, try shutting your eyes and place your feet up for about 15 minutes. Or, opt to place an ice pack on the back of your neck for about 20 minutes.
- In the case of sinus headaches: In case you are feeling stuffed up than usual, to avoid nausea vomiting try a steam inhalation or use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. This helps relieve congestion. You could also, as an alternative, apply hot and cold compresses alternating to the achy spot for 30 seconds for a total of 10 minutes, four times a day. Also, remember to drink plenty of fluids like hot herbal tea or broth that will keep the mucus flowing.
- For all kinds of headaches: Talk your doctor through for aspirin-like acetaminophen (Tylenol) to bring you relief as it is considered safe for pregnancy. However, make sure you consult your doctor before taking, to know the right dosage. Avoid pain medication even if it is over-the-counter.
Are pregnancy headaches preventable?
Listed below are a few steps to help prevent headaches while pregnant:
- Never stay hungry: Skipping meals could lead to low blood sugar levels that trigger the headache, as well as if you have had a lot of sweets. Always keep a grab a whole-grain cracker, a container of trail mix, or a granola bar and keep them in your bag, desk or glove compartment at your arm’s reach.
- Have enough rest: Especially in the first and third trimesters, not having enough rest or way too much rest leads to less poop that results in a headache.
- Maintain a food diary: Certain foods like chocolate, cheese, ice cream and processed meats could trigger headaches. This is why keeping track can help you navigate a pattern for you to discover what causes your headaches and cut those edibles out of your diet.
- Go slow with the caffeine withdrawal: Cutting off coffee faster can lead to headaches during pregnancy.
- You need to get some air: While pregnant, avoid hot, stuffy spaces with strong odors as you are more sensitive to them, and make it a point to dress in layers so you can start peeling them off when overheating as it could trigger the headache. Make it a point to have fresh air come in, or at least have the windows open.
- Switch between lightings: Staying in a fluorescent lighting space or a space that is windowless could trigger headaches, so try changing it or take frequent breaks when at work.
- Spend time in places that are peaceful and quiet: You must stay away from places that have too much noise to avoid headaches and in case you are sensitive to loud noises, it’s a given.
- Make sure you have a good posture: Avoid slouching, slumping, or bending over for long stretches of time.
- Make use of the extra classes: Try taking up prenatal yoga class, meditate or practice breathing exercises to help relax and avoid the aches. Or, try alternative medical treatments like acupuncture, acupressure, or prenatal massage.
When do headaches end and when must one contact the healthcare professional?
This depends on what causes the headaches in the first place. In cases of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy like stress, fatigue, surging hormones, congestion will end and provide fast relief after delivery.
There is nothing major that would be caused due to the headaches, but if they persist for more than four hours or you have symptoms like fever, visual disturbances, sudden dramatic weight gain, or puffiness on the face or hands, contact the practitioner immediately.
Also in cases of “secondary headaches” that are caused due to something else in your body, like hypertension or preeclampsia, it needs to be taken care of immediately.
That’s all the information on headaches during pregnancy. If at all you are also experiencing morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy, Parenthood has curated an article on it as well. Explore the article now!
Headaches during pregnancy aren’t something that happens in rare cases, but perhaps they are the most common symptom in pregnancy. However, in case they turn out to be unbearable you need to contact your healthcare provider immediately. Otherwise, in normal cases, there are pregnancy-friendly treatments that could be followed. Read the article above to know more!