Headaches are common during pregnancy.
Many women who are prone to headaches before pregnancy are likely to see an increase in the number of headaches they have during pregnancy.
The good news is that some women who had headaches before pregnancy find that they have fewer headaches during pregnancy, and even afterward.
The main culprit in pregnancy headaches is hormones, pure and simple. Estrogen is the main actor in pregnancy, and during pregnancy, there will be huge changes in the estrogen levels your body produces.
This alone may trigger the onset of headaches. In fact, women with no history of migraines, sometimes have their first during pregnancy.
It has been shown that one to two percent of all migraine sufferers have their first attack during pregnancy. The good news is that many women see a sharp drop in headaches by the second or third trimester.
Hormones are not the only reason you may have a headache. Headaches also may be due to poor posture, particularly late in the pregnancy. Stress is another factor, as is fatigue and/or lack of sleep.
Do not discount caffeine withdrawal, especially if you were a heavy coffee drinker who stopped suddenly once you were pregnant. The usual things like dehydration, sinus congestion, allergies or hunger can also cause headaches.
Follow your doctor’s advice as to how to treat the headache. When you are pregnant, it is not safe to just pop an aspirin or another over the counter pain reliever to treat headaches.
Over the counter preparations should be viewed with the same seriousness as prescription drugs.
And there are some herbal remedies that are strongly contraindicated in pregnancy, especially feverfew which is often recommended for headaches. Do not use any herbal medications during pregnancy without checking with your doctor first.
In order to help relieve headaches, or in some cases prevent them, you should try the following: put a warm compress (like a hot towel) to your face. Be sure to cover your eyes and temples, especially if you are prone to sinus headaches.
For tension headaches, a cold compress on the back of the neck is a wonderful remedy. If you haven’t already, learn your headache triggers and avoid them. Keep a meal diary to see if there are any trigger foods.
Low impact exercises have been shown to keep headaches away. And they are a good idea for general health, too. Watch your sleep schedule. A regular sleep time will help keep those headaches at bay.
Try a massage, either from your partner or from a professional. Many headaches come from muscle tension and the manipulation of those muscles will help with the tension and relieve some of those problems.