How to Deal With Headaches During Pregnancy
by: Jackie G. Maxwell
Headaches are one of the more unpleasant “side effects” that come with pregnancy. All
women will have some, but most will experience them in the first and last trimesters. In
the first three months, this is thought to be primarily due to such factors as increased
blood volume, the initial stresses, and hormonal changes. In the final three months, the
causes are more likely to be poor posture, which can result in pressure on parts of your
body that communicate their discomfort to the brain, and also from the discomforts of
carrying extra weight.

Oddly enough, women who experience migraine headaches, may have fewer during a
pregnancy, while a small percentage of sufferers will have more. These patients should
discuss relief for the migraines with their doctor, as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed, if
not beforehand while they are planning to start a family.

The best idea for dealing with headaches during pregnancy, is to avoid the “known”
triggers, or those that are most likely responsible. The food preservative MSG, cheeses,
spicy foods, caffeine, chocolate, and other elements of our normal diet, are best
eliminated while expecting a baby.

A healthy, balanced diet, eaten in several small meals a day if necessary, with plenty of
fluids, and lots of rest, is your first line of defense against headaches. Being tired,
dehydrated, and unable to eat “normally”, can all work together to start your head

When you do get a headache, try and identify the cause and deal with it accordingly. If
the headache is from your sinuses, a warm compress around your nose and above your
eyebrows may relieve some of the pressure. Stress or tension headaches can benefit
from cold compresses to the back of the neck. Using these while lying down in a
darkened room, will help to alleviate some of the tension that builds up from the pain,
and makes the headache worse. Depending on your preferences, some women may also
benefit from using aroma therapy and sound therapy techniques at the same time.

While most pregnancy headaches are from “benign” causes, you should call your doctor
if they get worse, become more frequent, are debilitating, or are accompanied by
swelling of the hands, feet or face.

About The Author

Jackie G. Maxwell

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This article was posted on August 10, 2005

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The
content on this website is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.
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