Headache during Pregnancy — Causes, Tips and Remedies
You have your little one inside you, kicking and rolling around. Really something cherish able, you are going through. Sometimes, this awesomeness is accompanied by challenges too. Though you want to enjoy every moment, the tonnes of rollers on your head simply makes it terrific. Yes, the headaches is something most disturbing state of pregnancy which can even lead severe blood pressure related issues. So, whats the remedy? Obviously, a big NO to heavy doses of painkillers. In this post, causes, tips and remedies for headache during Pregnancy are discussed.
First, let us know the causes of headaches and how to prevent it during pregnancy.
Causes of Headache during Pregnancy:
1. Lack of sleep
Take proper sleep. If sleeping pattern of pregnant woman is not correct, then it may lead to Tension headaches (type of headaches). Tension headaches resemble a squeezing pain or a steady dull ache on both sides of the head or the back of the neck. Also, tiredness/fatigue can also lead to headaches.
Note: It’s normal to have tension headaches in first trimester of your pregnancy. However, in second trimester the headaches may get reduced or disappear once your body get used to of many changes happening due to pregnancy.
2. Low Blood Sugar
Low Blood sugar is the most common headache trigger during pregnancy. This mainly happens due to improper diet meals, as in pregnancy excess calories are required. So, it is advisable to have proper diet and also eat small meals frequently.
Due to loss of fluids from body, the blood volume decreases which results in heart overloading and thus the blood flow to the brain is compromised which can cause you headaches. So, good water intake is must in pregnancy.
4. High BP
High BP can cause you headaches. Due to raised BP over the limits resulting in placental insufficiency which leads to decreased blood flow to baby. Hence, it’s a matter of concern when BP is high. Consult your doctor immediately.
High BP in pregnancy can also lead to Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that develops in pregnant lady (normally diagnosed after week 20) when she has a combination of high blood pressure and the appearance of protein in her urine. It can happen in 5–10 % of pregnancies. In Preeclampsia headaches (type of headaches), common symptoms can be excessive swelling on hands, feet and face, vision changes, intense upper right abdomen pain, severe headache or sudden weight gain (in second or third trimester). Consult your doctor in such case because it can affect the placenta, kidneys, liver, brain and can lead to condition called eclampsia (causes major organ problems and also leads to death). So, this is a serious condition of headache during pregnancy and hence it is advised to immediately refer your doctor if you have high BP or any of the above mentioned symptoms.
5. Cold/ Congestion
If you are caught with cold or congestion plus you are having headache, then such kind of headaches is called Sinus headaches (type of headaches). In this headache you will have pain (or feel pressure) in your cheeks, around your eyes, and in your forehead.
Stress is another factor that can cause headache during pregnancy. Just stay calm and enjoy this beautiful phase.
7. The below mentioned Triggers can also cause headache:
- Smoked fish
- Loud noises
- Aged cheese and sour cream
- Strong odors
- Excessive heat/cold
- Fruits like banana, avocado and papaya
- Glaring lights
- Artificial sweetners
- Preserved meats
- Tobacco smoke
Nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and noise can cause Migraine Headaches (type of headaches) which happens usually on one side of head. This headache can cause moderate to severe throbbing pain which can lasts from 4 to 72 hours if not treated properly. It may be triggered more by some physical activity.
Note: Many women may suffer from migraine headache for the first time in their pregnancy (mostly in first trimester) itself. And in case if a lady is suffering from migraine headache before pregnancy, she may get relief from this when she is pregnant.
These were the factors/causes that can trigger headache during pregnancy. So, figuring out the factors and working on it can reduce headaches.
So, headache during pregnancy is not normal and hence when it happens it should be treated.
Well, it is said that “Prevention is better than cure”. So, let us know important tips that can prevent headache during Pregnancy.
Tips to prevent headache during Pregnancy:
1. Take proper rest
Not taking proper rest can also be the reason of headache. So, To-be Moms take proper rest. Sleep early in the night. When you have migraine, sleep in a quite dark room. Take small nap in afternoon so that the body can take rest. Don’t stress yourself so much. But it doesn’t mean that you are always on bed. Stay active in your pregnancy. Go for a walk daily. But if your doctor has prescribed you for a complete bed rest due to certain complications then please adhere to this advice.
2. Do regular exercise
Exercise regularly to keep you active. Regular Exercise is best for woman who has Tension Headache during pregnancy as it will reduce the stress that can cause this headaches. Also, best for woman suffering from Migraine headaches. Sign up for the prenatal yoga classes around you. They will keep you in shape and help in dilation when the time comes. In your third trimester, do squatting exercises and go for a walk regularly.
Note: If you are suffering from migraine headaches, it is advised to start exercise slowly as doing some physical activity, migraine could get aggravate. Don’t do exercise once migraine has started.
3. Having healthy diet
Take proper nutritious healthy diet. Eat five or six well-balanced meals each day. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink as much as you can. You must have at least one glass of water every hour you are awake. If proper diet is not maintained then it will lead to low blood sugar which can further cause headaches.
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To-be Moms, I advise you don’t go for painkillers if you have headache. Go for natural remedies that will definitely have a soothing effect. So, here are few tried and tested effective remedies for headache during pregnancy.
Remedies for Headache during Pregnancy:
1. Aroma Therapy
This is one of the best remedies for headache during pregnancy. The results are simply unbelievable.
- Just take a handful of rose petals.
- Boil in water for about five minutes.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
- Dip cotton balls in it.
- Now just relax and lie down in bed with a thin blanket for your comfort.
- Now take the cotton balls and put on your eyes.
- You will be able to smell the fragrance.
- Just think and imagine your little one with each deep fragrant breath.
- Take at least 25 soothing aromatic breaths.
Also, there are many books available for guiding To-be Mothers the best Aroma Therapy oils for a holistic pregnancy. You can check the book by clicking the link mentioned below.
2. Wash your eyes with cold water
If you have headache while pregnancy, wash your eyes with cold water. Continuously blink eyes in water. This will definitely help you.
3. Hot Coconut oil
This remedy is for cold weather. Use hot coconut oil (warm or lukewarm). Give your scalp a gentle massage using fingertips. You will b amazingly relaxed.
4. Head Bath or Shower/Bath
This remedy is for summer weather. Have head bath with cold water using some herbal shampoo. Avoid using strong smelling chemical shampoos. The cold head bath will definitely relax you in awesome way (best for migraine sufferers).
For tension headaches, a warm shower or bath can help you in relieving from it. And for migraine headaches, a cold shower can be useful.
5. Herbal Tea
Fifth one is an evergreen idea of having a cup of herbal tea. You can add ginger and Tulsi in winters whereas mint leaves works equally well during summers. This is one of the best effective remedies for headache during pregnancy.
So, these were the tried and tested remedies for headache during pregnancy and would definitely work.
So easy mantra to be free from headache during pregnancy- Stay happy, Sleep well, Eat well.
Do what you like. Meet people who make you feel good about yourself. Pamper yourself with an occasional foot massage or head massage.
And after trying one of these remedies, if you still have headache kindly consult your doctor before taking any medicines. Make sure from your doctor, the medicine you will be taking to relieve from headache is safe for you and your baby. Please never hesitate to take advise from your doctor if you are worried about the headache. And if you are suffering from any type of headaches before pregnancy, kindly take an advise from your doctor that what will be the best treatment if it happens during pregnancy.
Hope these ideas will work for you. Pregnancy is really a lifetime experience which is filled with both sweet and sours. But believe me when you have your little one born, you forget everything and it’s fresh start of new life.
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