A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp or neck. It's one of the most common symptoms experienced during pregnancy. Headaches are typical in the first and third trimesters.
There are many different types of headaches, including migraines, tension headaches and others that aren't well defined. Knowing the type of headache you have can help with treatment.
The reasons for headaches during pregnancy are unclear, but may include hormones, as well as fatigue, lack of sleep, nasal congestion, hunger, dehydration, allergies, caffeine withdrawal, poor posture or changes in posture, stress and depression.
If you suffer a headache during the third trimester that doesn't respond to the relief suggestions below, you should notify your healthcare provider to be evaluated for possible preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy condition associated with high blood pressure.
Talk to your doctor about taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for your headaches. Acetaminophen is considered safe in pregnancy when taken as directed.
If you suffer from migraine headaches, avoid these common food triggers: aged cheese and cultured dairy products, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, fermented or pickled foods, nitrates, sulfites, MSG, and certain nuts, fruits and beans.
Avoid these common environmental triggers: bright or flickering lights, extreme heat or cold, loud noises and strong smells, such as tobacco.
Take a shower.
Apply a warm or cool compress to your forehead or base of your skull.
Maintain your blood sugar level. Don't let it go too low or spike. Eat small meals often rather than three large ones.
Drink lots of water.
Get some exercise.
Try relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.
Get a massage.
Sleep and rest.
If you suffer from migraines, certain prescription medications may help.
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