12 Tips To Manage Pregnancy Headaches
Along with many other things happen throughout the nine, long months of pregnancy, a woman’s body also has to deal with headaches. Headaches are common ailments that happen on a regular basis in everyday life.
Even women who don’t tend to suffer from headaches regularly are likely to experience them during pregnancy. This is because there are a range of hormones changing during pregnancy and there is additional pressure on certain parts of the body.
Headaches during pregnancy are common and not too much to worry about. They are frustrating and upsetting for pregnant women who already have a lot on their plate. Fortunately, pregnancy headaches are easy enough to manage with the right strategies in place.
Here is some more information on the types of headaches that pregnant women are likely to experience and some ideas on what to do if they occur.
Types of headaches
#1 Tension headache
A tension headache can happen at any time, any place. They are more common in pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that are taking place.
A tension headache can feel like there is pressure on both sides of the head, around the temple region, and that the pressure is squeezing. These types of headaches are common during the first trimester of pregnancy.
#2 Migraine headache
A migraine is a headache with a high level of intensity. Some people suffer from migraines on a regular basis and they can be quite debilitating. Migraines are best described as intense pain on one side of the head that lasts for a long period of time.
Some women experience migraines in the first trimester of pregnancy as the body gets used to the changes. They can also come about in the final trimester of pregnancy which can add to the physical toll of the body and be quite frustrating to manage.
#3 Preeclampsia headache
This type of pregnancy headache is the most severe. Fortunately, it is also the least common. Not many women are affected by this one, but it can be persistent and consistent pain when it strikes. It is most likely to happen in the final trimester of pregnancy.
What are the causes of these headaches?
Since headaches are a very broad thing to deal with, there are many things that can cause it. There is not one singular cause of pregnancy headache and it varies from person to person. Here are some of the factors that can come into place during pregnancy and cause a headache.
· Posture of the body due to pregnancy weight gain and water retention
· Tension in the joints and muscles as the hormonal levels change
· Irregular sleeping patterns
· Additional stress in everyday life
· Caffeine or alcohol withdrawal
· Changes to the blood sugar levels as pregnancy continues
· Higher blood pressure which commonly happens with pregnancy
· Changes to the diet and nutritional intake to accommodate a growing baby
· Medical conditions such as preeclampsia, which can occur in the last trimester
12 Tips to manage pregnancy headaches
Naturally, the most important thing with pregnancy is self-care. You need to take care of yourself in order to have a happy and healthy baby develop. Therefore, when headaches strike during pregnancy, you should give yourself the time and space to care for them and relieve the pain and tension they cause.
There are many things you can do to relieve the pressure of a headache.
Obviously, some things will work differently for different people, depending on their personal lifestyle and other daily factors. It is important to find something that works for you specifically.
Here are 12 tips on how you can try to get rid of an uncomfortable headache during pregnancy.
Tip #1: Get plenty of rest and take some active recovery time.
Tip #2: Try drinking herbal tea before bed to calm yourself down and ensure you get a good night sleep.
Tip #3: Incorporate plenty of fruit and vegetable into your diet, especially leafy greens which are full of vitamins and minerals.
Tip #4: Drink plenty of water and remain hydrated all day, ideally by carrying a reusable drink bottle with you.
Tip #5: If headaches become consistent and difficult to manage, talk to your workplace about altering your schedule or taking more regular breaks to alleviate the pressure. Hopefully they will be understanding given you are pregnant!
Tip #6: Schedule some ‘me time’ when you are able to – this might be an indulging bath, a movie night in, or a morning out for a coffee.
Tip #7: Exercise lightly and regularly. You don’t want to strain your muscles during pregnancy, but staying fit and active with regular walks, jogs, or swims will help a lot.
Tip #8: Avoid caffeine (as much as you can during pregnancy) as this can have a negative effect with the hormonal changes.
Tip #9: Make sure you have someone to talk to about how you’re feeling and to help deal with the emotional stresses of pregnancy.
Tip #10: See a doctor if headaches get too persistent and painful. Chat with your doctor or prenatal specialist about if and what paracetamols are appropriate to take during pregnancy.
Tip #11: Have regular prenatal checkups to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Tip #12: Be aware of your family history to know if you are prone to preeclampsia and be aware of this as pregnancy continues.
Managing pregnancy headaches can be done in the same way that you’ll deal with your overall health during pregnancy. Remember, this is a unique time in your life where your body is literally responsible for growing another body. Therefore, holistic care and self-management should be done.
By having a healthy routine, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and staying hydrated throughout the day, you will hopefully be able to avoid pregnancy headaches. Having a support network and giving yourself time to rest is also important.
Don’t forget, be patient with yourself throughout your pregnancy and give yourself time to breathe when you need to. Now is the time to put yourself first so that your baby can be happy and healthy when he or she is ready to enter the world!