Severe headaches during pregnancy are not unusual. They happen to a large percentage of pregnant women. However, for a few women with a history of migraines, expecting a child is a relief. This is because their pain is minimized or it goes away completely. You can experience headaches at any time during pregnancy, but mostly they come in first and third trimesters. These discomforts are quite different from any other headache that you get at other times. They are more intense and will come frequently. It is believed that they are caused by hormonal imbalance and increased blood flow, especially a few weeks after conception. In the later stages, severe headaches during pregnancy can be attributed by wrong posture and tension from the weight of the belly.
Is there a solution for severe headaches during pregnancy?
Although, most headaches experienced during this time are benign, there is a need to treat or better still prevent them. Usually, they can be very intense at sometimes that they prevent you from doing anything. Some women also complain that the pains hardly let them catch sleep. Even if it is difficult to do away with hormone-related severe headaches during pregnancy,you can treat or avoid those that are from your lifestyle or environment. Here are some handy tips for dealing with headaches during pregnancy:
- Use warm or cold compresses – Some headaches such as those associated with sinus or tension, will bulge in on the mere application of cold or warm compress. For sinus use the compress to soothe the face, around the nose and eyes, whereas for tension headaches place it on the neck.
- Rest adequately – Pregnancy hormones tend to cause fatigue, which coupled with weariness from your daily chores or work can strain your head. Ensure you rest in a dark room particularly when you experience migraines. With time, they will cool off and your body will have relaxed to face another phase of activity.
- Sleep is not a choice while you are expecting. Most severe headaches during pregnancy are brought about by lack of sleep. It is therefore important to find time to take a nap during the day if it is becoming a struggle to get some sleep at night. Do not be tempted to take sleeping pills, as they might ruin your unborn child.
- Reduce stress. Pregnancy should be the most joyous time for any woman. It is a time when you should avoid stressful moments at all costs. Try to be at ease no matter what life brings along, that way you will ward off severe headaches during pregnancy. Moreover, stress is not good for the health of the growing fetus. It may cause you a miscarriage in the end.
- Eat well. You might be feeling a little bit bloated and especially in the later stages of pregnancy. The urge to eat might also have taken a back seat. Constipation could be another cause that is making you to skip meals. Nevertheless, you might be signing unending contract with headaches or migraines. To avoid these unwelcome discomforts, ensure that you eat balanced meals. More so, you can make a habit of carrying with you healthy snacks. This will maintain your blood sugar level at standard.
- Maintain the correct body posture. Severe headaches during pregnancy are believed to be caused by bad posture. It is crucial for you to ensure that you do not stay in one position for a long time. When you are pregnant, one tends to get fatigued faster, hence ensure to keep a correct posture.
- Relax your muscles with a massage. Tension headaches can be relieved by a massage by either a professional or your partner. A massage on your shoulders, neck or temples can help in reducing pain.
- Avoid headache triggers. Some foods or drinks can accelerate severe headaches during pregnancy. They include aged cheese, peanuts, cured meats and chocolate. A headache diary will come in handy. It will enable you to keep track of the activities, food and environments that tend to catalyze your migraine or tension headaches.
- Go slow on your caffeine withdrawal. Most women when they get a positive pregnancy test, they are fast to stop taking their usual caffeinated drinks. This abrupt change has been known to cause head pains. If possible, withdraw gradually.
Severe headaches during pregnancy might not be serious. However, even at that you still need to seek some relief from the pains. The above remedies have been used by many pregnant women in the past and most have reported positively. Nevertheless, if they do not work for you, consult a doctor for further medication. Other times when you need to seek the help of a health specialist are when the headaches become more severe and frequent, are accompanied with blurred vision or when you have high blood pressure.
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