Pregnancy and Headaches – Are You at Risk

Female hormones change rapidly during pregnancy and headaches are a common occurrence during this time. What can the pregnant woman do about them

What can you do about headaches during pregnancy?

The causes of headaches aren’t known with any degree of certainty, but given that migraines and tension headaches, (by far the most common types), occur much more frequently in women, it’s reasonable to suppose that hormones play a role in any connection between pregnancy and headaches.

Female hormones undergo rapid change in a pregnant woman so it isn’t surprising that headaches are a common occurrence during this time.

Female Hormone Stress, Preganancy and Headaches
As those hormonal changes smooth out during the second and third trimesters, your body adjusts to pregnancy and headaches typically become less frequent and intense. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary to passively accept headache pain at any time.

There are things that expectant mothers can do and avoid during the entire pregnancy to minimize discomfort.

Stress is a common contributor or trigger for headaches

And pregnancy can certainly be stressful. Large-scale, long-term lifestyle changes are happening and the future will hold even more.

Meditation techniques and gentle exercise can help reduce the odds of getting stressed, and minimize the severity when it happens.

Proper rest is essential

One common trigger for both migraines and ordinary headaches is lack of sleep. Pregnancy and headaches cause fatigue and fatique ups the odds of getting a headache and increases its intensity when it starts. But not only the amount is important, regularity is equally healthy. If your body naturally feels drowsy in the afternoon, take a short nap. But take care not to sleep so long during the day that a good night’s sleep becomes difficult to maintain.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy

Alcohol can cause damage to the fetus, though controversy remains about the amount.

As with any chemical, dosage is important and alcohol is no different. However, it’s unclear how much is too much – and the amount varies from person to person, of course.

Pregnancy and Headaches - drinking red Wine can cause headaches
Red wine in particular is a common trigger for headaches for those who are sensitive, and the degree of sensitivity can change during pregnancy. It isn’t necessary to have a hangover to produce an alcohol-related headache. Each individual will have to set his or her own limit, but doing without is probably the safest bet during pregnancy if you are suffering with headaches.

Caffeine consumption, both tea and coffee, should be curtailed

Many women find that a double-strength latte in the morning, is the perfect pick-me-up at the start of a busy day.

But it’s easy to overdose and excess caffeine is a common trigger for headaches. Instantly eliminating all caffeine can also be problematic, however. Pregnant women should taper off gently and try to order just a regular coffee for the first month or so, if you want to avoid mixing pregnancy and headaches.

Pregnancy and Headache Medication …

Ironically, certain headache medications (Excedrin, for example) contain caffeine. A small amount may actually be helpful. But read the label on any medications taken.

Acetaminophen is generally considered safe for pregnant women. But aspirin and ibuprofen are to be avoided. Any medication you consider should be discussed with your physician, particularly if you suffer from migraines.

Cold or hot compresses on the head and neck, a quiet room, a gentle massage and other non-drug treatments can help substitute for pharmacological approaches.

When to consult your doctor?

Dealing with Pregnancy and headaches is something best avoided. Doing your best to eliminate the causes of headaches during your pregnancy is far better than using headache medicines to alleviate headache pain

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