Headaches When You’re Pregnant

There are a lot of problems you may encounter when you are pregnant, including swelling in different parts of your body, as well as pain in different areas. One such area that may bother you is your head. You may experience headaches while pregnant, which can be a real nightmare, considering you probably have a lot to get done and you don’t have time to just lie around and wait for your pain to subside. You’ll also need to know how to treat these headaches, since there are a lot of substances you have to stay away from when you’re pregnant. Keep reading for information on headaches and how to combat them safely and effectively.

Are headaches common during pregnancy?

There are women that get headaches during their pregnancy that have never had headaches in the past. On the flip side, there are women that have chronic migraines that do not have any headaches while there are pregnant. It is not necessarily indicative of a larger problem if you have headaches while you’re pregnant, but it is something that lets you know that you may need to step back from the situation and adjust your routine or schedule.

What are the possible causes?

There are a lot of reasons why you may get a headache when you are pregnant, but the good news is that most of these reasons can be fixed very easily. Here are some of the most common possible causes.

Hormones

Hormones can really make you feel as if you’re going crazy and when you’re going to have a baby, you’ll undoubtedly have many hormones present in your body. They may be giving you headaches. If this happens, let your doctor know, so they can be sure there isn’t a bigger problem.

Stress

No one lives a stress free life, but you have to stop and evaluate things from time to time. That means just sit back, relax, and remember everything will be all right. You don’t want to hurt yourself or the baby, so you need to cut out most of your major stressors when you can.

Hunger

Since your body is trying to do so many different things, you may not be able to tell when you’re hungry. This can cause you to have a headache, but this one is easy to fix. Simply stop and eat a healthy snack or meal, which can level out your blood sugar and help you feel better.

Thirst

Just like the hunger, you may not know you’re thirsty. That’s why it’s important to keep a bottle of water near you and make sure that you stay hydrated. If you don’t like water, you can always flavor it with some fruit or drink another healthy beverage like green tea, as long as it’s caffeine free.

Lack of sleep

Although it may be hard to sleep at night, especially since you may have other kids and many responsibilities to take care of, you still have to do what you can to get enough sleep at night. If you can’t find the time at night, clear some time out of your schedule each day to take a quick nap, or at least rest your body for a while.

High blood pressure

In some cases, a headache is a sign of high blood pressure. This can be due to a number of different things, some of which can be really serious. If you have a history of high blood pressure or think that’s what you’re suffering from, talk to a professional so that they can make sure you don’t have an ailment due to your pregnancy or a previously undiagnosed condition.

Other health problems

There are a number of other health problems that can give you a headache as well, such as gestational diabetes. You may be susceptible to different ailments that are common during pregnancy and not know it. This is another case where you’d want to speak with a doctor to find out what you’re options are.

What should I do about headaches?

If you start to have headaches, you’ll need to make sure that you rule out basic causes first, to see if the problem can be handled at home or not. For instance, you should make sure you’re getting the recommended number of calories each day, drink the proper amount of water, and get adequate sleep and exercise. You can also make sure that you aren’t stressing yourself out and ask for help when you need it. If these things do not solve the problem, you need to speak with your doctor to find out more. He can tell you what medications are safe to take and what isn’t.

Another thing that you can do if you have a headache is to use a cold compress on your head and lay in a dark room. This can not only relax you, but it can take you out of the stressful situation that you may have been in and force you to reevaluate what is going on. Additionally, it may be able to help you get some rest, which is always something in short supply when it comes to a pregnant woman, since there is so much to do to prepare for the baby.

Alternatively, you may want to take a hot or warm bath, just make sure that you have someone else in the house that can help you get out of the bathtub if you need them to. This will also be able to help you relax, which can soothe your headache if it is caused by stress or tension.

What else can I do?

There is also information that suggests that some foods can cause headaches in pregnant women. Most of these foods are things that you should stay away from during pregnancy anyway, but others are not so obvious. Some of the most common trigger foods are chocolate, peanuts, sour cream, and fresh bread. There is a lot of information online to check out if you need more information or want to look into the causes and treatments for yourself.

Most treatments don’t require a doctor visit or medication, but if you are concerned about how you’re feeling, there’s no reason to hesitate. You need to ensure your safety as well as your child’s so if you feel like you need to go to the doctor, there’s no reason not to. You should never ignore a symptom that keeps happening either. If you are having headaches frequently, this is not necessarily normal and it needs to be looked into.

Conclusion

It is normal to have headaches during pregnancy, but everyone won’t experience them. They may be caused by a variety of factors, and many of them are no cause for concern. At the same time, you should always be aware of what you’re doing and what you’re taking in, so you can make responsible choices about your health. Be diligent and record your headaches, so you’ll be able to tell the doctor about them if you need to. This will also help you see if there is a pattern and if they are happening quite frequently.

Sources:
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/headaches-pregnant.aspx
http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/headaches-and-pregnancy/