The Expectant Woman’s Guide to Preventing Headaches
Considering the immense pain that may come with pregnancy headaches, many women will immediately be tempted to reach out for medicine for headaches just so they may alleviate the pain. The danger of this though is that taking even the mildest medication during their expectancy period may turn out to be harmful for the unborn baby. Besides that, you may discover that the previous medicine for headaches that would work like a charm to alleviate your pain may now completely fail you and refuse to work.
Of course, there are several explanations for this but did you know that you can steer clear of headaches altogether by practicing some preventive measures. They may not render you completely headache free but they will reduce the headache attacks as well as the need to take medicine for headaches.
What Causes Pregnancy Headaches
Prior to understanding how you can steer clear of medicine for headaches, it is important you first understand what can trigger headaches during pregnancy. There are various explanations behind the occurrence of these headaches. Sometimes, they are caused by the normal causes of headaches i.e.: noise, flashing lights, staring at a computer screen for too long… but during pregnancy, there are reasons that may exclusively aggravate headaches:
- Fluctuation in blood sugar levels
- Tension from the extra weight
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Vitamin deficiency (especially folic acid and magnesium)
- Lack of sufficient sleep
- Consuming food and drinks that are migraine triggers
- Hormonal changes
- Increased blood volumes in the body
All health care professional seem to agree though that there is no one conclusive finding which may have been arrived at attempting to explain the reason for constant headaches during pregnancy. Having this in mind, and considering that pregnant women are generally not encouraged to take any medication, it makes it harder to arrive at the best medicine for headaches for expectant mothers thus rendering prevention of the headaches a much preferred option.
Preventive Measures for Pregnancy Headaches
It is said that prevention is better that cure and as for the cluster headaches experienced during pregnancy, the same also applies. Rather than rely on medicine for headaches to ease the pain, it would be prudent to avoid the headache triggers all together. How?
- To keep your blood sugar levels fairly constant, form a habit of eating several small meals frequently throughout the day rather than restricting your diet to three full meals.
- To avoid stressful situations, practice relaxing techniques such as prenatal yoga, deep breathing, dancing, visualization, meditation, walking, aerobic exercises etc.
- Another way you could fully relax is by getting a neck and shoulder rub either from your spouse of from a professional. This is not only a preventive measure but also a curative measure in the event that you may already be suffering from a headache.
- The additional weight gained as well as the growing baby bump can very easily tamper with your posture and cause tension headaches. Avoid this by practicing good posture and exercise will also help you relieve your body of the tension.
- Caffeine is as harmful as medicine for headaches for an unborn baby and your physician might have told you to give up caffeine intake. However, do not withdraw all at once as this will trigger headaches resulting from the fact that your normal body functions were dependant on the stimulant. Instead, take small steps in withdrawing by slowly reducing your intake of coffee, tea or soda until eventually you are at a point whereby your body is no longer dependant on caffeine.
- Get enough sleep and try to keep your sleeping schedules fairly constant. It’s not all about getting 8 hours of sleep every night; but trying to keep your timings constant by sleeping and getting up at exactly the same time every day.
- Stay hydrated all day long. You should take fresh juices to keep your vitamins up, but also take plenty of plain fresh water to maintain your body’s electrolyte balance. After all, water is considered a curative alternative for medicine for headaches.
- Stay away from migraine triggers as shall be explained in the next segment
Understanding Migraine Triggers
Majority of the women will experience their first migraine during pregnancy; whereas for those who may have previously suffered from migraines may notice a reduction in the attacks during their pregnancy period reducing their need for medicine for headaches. In some cases their migraines may disappear altogether.
As explained before, it may not be absolutely certain why this happens, but one thing that is certain is the fact that there are certain foods and drinks deemed to be migraine triggers meaning they can easily result in a migraine when consumed, these are:
a) Aged cheese
b) Sour cream
f) Citrus fruits
h) Breads baked with fresh yeast
i) Preserved meats e.g. sausage, smoked fish
Staying away from such foods may turn out to be the only medicine for headaches you will need as this will prevent the attacks.
Continue reading understanding Pregnancy Migraines