Headaches are fairly common during pregnancy. They tend to occur at any time during your pregnancy, but are commonest during the first and third trimesters.
Main causes of headache during pregnancy include:
- The chief causative factor for headaches is changes in the hormone profile during pregnancy. During the first trimester, the body encounters a rush of hormones as well as an increase in the volume of blood. These two alterations in the body are known to set off headaches.
- Another equally significant factor is pregnancy fatigue and exhaustion. Fatigue and weariness can give you a headache.
- Pregnancy related stress and tension trigger headaches as well.
- When you’re pregnant your hunger shoots up too; this could give you a headache in case you do not eat on time to quell the hunger.
- Getting overheated is another reason.
- Stress is a huge contributing factor – physical as well as mental.
- Poor posture and changes in your vision can also cause headaches during pregnancy. Poor posture, more so during the third trimester can be a rather important cause, given that you are carrying so much additional weight.
- Insufficient sleep can cause headaches too.
- Low blood sugar level is another very vital cause.
- Dehydration and caffeine withdrawal trigger headaches too.
- Headaches during the 3rd trimester may also be due to pre-eclampsia, i.e. hypertension during pregnancy. This is a relatively grave condition and must be treated promptly.
Home Remedies For Headaches During Pregnancy
First and foremost, you need to ascertain your specific triggering / causative factor; once you do that you need to steadfastly avoid it. Talk to your OB/GYN before embarking on to any medication / treatments.
- Make sure you always eat on time; have frequent small meals through the day. This keeps the blood sugar level from fluctuating too much. Never stay hungry.
- Practice good posture, particularly, during your 3rd
- Ensure that you get sufficient rest. Fatigue is the commonest reason that makes headache set in during pregnancy.
- If you feel an episode of headache is coming on, apply cold packs to your head. Applying a cold pack to the sides of your head, the eyes, or along the neck is an excellent way to assuage a headache.
- Pain relief medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen are not advisable during pregnancy; on the other hand, you could talk to your OB/GYN.
- Massage is an effective way to deal with as well as prevent headaches. Get a massage – massaging the neck and the shoulders is an effective way to deal with headaches. Certain essential oils have proved to be useful during pregnancy. Commonly used essential oils are – Ginger essential oil, Cardamom essential oil and Clove essential oil. However, make sure that you speak with a licensed masseuse and also discuss with your OB/GYN.
- Practice Pranayama and deep breathing. Make sure you learn from a licensed practitioner.
- Take a warm shower 2 to 3 times daily; it battles stress and weariness.
- Those who are susceptible to migraines can lessen the possibility of migraine headaches by steering clear of all the common triggers – chocolate, peanuts, cheese, yogurt, preserved meat and sour cream.