Handy Facts about Headaches during Early Pregnancy

Headaches during Early Pregnancy

Besides your belly expanding, there are several aches and pains that you are bound to experience, particularly in the first trimester. Headaches during early pregnancy are common symptoms of conception in most women. You will have to deal with throbbing headaches every now and then. Sometimes, they will go away before you enter your second trimester but in some women they will go all the way to the third trimester. The most popular culprit for these migraines is the sudden hormonal surge that comes immediately after conception. Usually your body will have problems as it tries to adjust to progesterone and HCG hormones.

There are also other causes such as fatigue, hunger, tension and lack of adequate body fluids. Understanding what the real cause of the headaches is will enable you to either prevent or treat them.

What you need to know about headaches during early pregnancy?

Even for those women who have never experienced a headache, they will on the first weeks of the pregnancy. For people who have occasional headaches their headaches might reduce or increase all the same. There are two types of pregnancy headaches namely;

Tension headaches

These are the most common in expectant women while they are on their first weeks of pregnancy. They are usually described as squeezing pain on the sides of the head. Often, they are attributed to depression, lack of sleep or caffeine withdrawal. Pregnancy hormones have also been known by the health experts to cause tension headaches during early pregnancy. To prevent such pains on the head, be sure to relax adequately. Also, exercise regularly and have enough sleep. This will reduce or prevent their occurrence. However, if they occur treat them with a massage on the neck and shoulders. You can also place a warm piece of cloth on your face. As a last resort, if the remedies above do not help much, you can take Tylenol but only under the prescription of your health care provider.


According to research three out of four sufferers of migraines are women.  Hence, they are popular with pregnant mums and in particular during the early stages of pregnancy. Migraine headaches cause a severe pain on one or both sides of the head. The gurus in the medical world are yet to find the main cause. However, they are thought to result from changes in blood flow in the brain system. Migraines can be accompanied by sensitivity to loud noises or light and nausea. Most people complain of experiencing an aura just before the onset of a migraine. During this period the patient is unable to see clearly, some may have speech problems or tingling feeling on their face or hands.

Migraine headaches are more frequent during early pregnancy but they subside in the later trimesters. For some women their migraines stay the same throughout the period while in others they persist. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce their frequency by avoiding the main triggers migraine headaches during early pregnancy and relaxing. If they are severe, you might consider getting some medication but ensure to liaise with your health specialist. This is because some drugs prescribed for migraines are not allowed when one is expectant.

How to track migraine triggers?

Treating migraines is only possible when you have established the main cause of the headaches. Usually, they will come when there are notable changes in neural-chemicals, nerve pathways and blood flow in the brain. Estrogen in pregnant mothers also causes these throbbing head pains. Besides, these causes stress, lack of sleep and skipped meals can cause you to experience a migraine.

A headache diary can enable you to monitor your specific triggers. This kind of information will be an asset to your health care provider as they attempt to get the best treatment suitable for your symptoms. You can also use it to prevent future headaches during pregnancy. This is how to go about it. Every time you encounter a headache, jot down the following;

  1. Distinct symptoms such as where you felt the pain, the level of pain and any other signs including sensitivity to light, smells or noise  and vomiting.
  2. The start and the end time of the headache.
  3. A list of foods and beverages that you had prior to the migraine.
  4. Any changes such as moving to a new place, sampling new types of foods and changes in weather.
  5. Any treatment you might have tried and the effect it had on you.

Although, each pregnant woman will have specific catalysts for headaches during early pregnancy, there are common culprits namely:

  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Foods that have been preserved with monosodium glutamate or nitrates

Having a diary for headaches during early pregnancy is vital even if some women will find it troublesome. Doctors will solely rely on it and your family medical history so as to tailor a treatment plan that suits you. CT scans and radiology are never allowed during pregnancy, since they can destroy the growing fetus.

Continue reading Types of Treatments for Headaches during Early Pregnancy