While addressing the question what causes headaches during pregnancy, medics have made it clear that headaches are symptoms of migraines and while headaches might be mild, migraines can prove to be a nuisance. Thankfully, migraines are treatable and tend to disappear as the pregnancy progresses into the advanced stages. Migraines without aura are easy and fast to treat and they do not recur persistently.
Create Timetable to Counter What Causes Headaches during Pregnancy
The pertinent question however remains, what causes headaches during pregnancy? When the estrogen levels decrease, it can trigger a headache, which escalates into a migraine. As much as migraines tend to disappear as the pregnancy advances, many women are disappointed to learn that this is not the case always. That said, it is important to map out a fall back plan between your physician and yourself. According to the American Headache Society, this plan and guidelines can be mapped when you decide to get pregnant. This is a sure way of ensuring that fewer migraines are experienced during pregnancy.
The plan should include factors such as:
- How to counter acute migraines during the first trimester
- What action to take once the migraines seem to extend past the first trimester
- How to prevent migraines during pregnancy
- What pain relievers to take to relieve migraines
- What pain relievers to avoid when relieving migraines
- What home remedies to use to counter migraines
- Signs and symptoms of migraines
Pain relievers to avoid at all cost as a pregnant woman
When a headache strikes, the most natural thing to do is to reach out for pain relievers and counter the pain. This is great and commendable but pregnant women are advised not to reach out for just any pain reliever on the shelf. This can pose a risk to both the mother and the fetus.
The dangers might not be immediate but they might haunt you during childbirth or much later after childbirth. It is therefore important to talk to your doctor about the ideal painkillers. In addition, always ensure that you stick to the recommended dosage. No amount of throbbing should tempt you to overdose as this can pose a very risky situation to your fetus. In a bid to address what causes headaches in pregnant women, medics and experts have compiled a list of what expectant women should keep at bay when migraines and headaches strike. Below are a few of them:
- ACE inhibitors
- Migraine nasal sprays
These pain relievers have been associated with endangering the cleft palate as well as increasing high blood pressure. When migraines and headaches prove to be rife, medics involve a procedure known as an occipital nerve block. The procedure involves injection of anesthesia superficially on the scalp region of the nape. Alternatively, the physician may incorporate bipivacaine, which restores relief with immediate effect and can stop migraines for at least a month. It is however important to note that anesthesia is not injected directly into the system of the blood. Doing so can pose a risk to both the mother and the fetus.
Thankfully, many options can be used to cure migraines and headaches during pregnancy. These options include home therapies and bed rest. In addition, pregnant women can rely on techniques such as acupuncture, yoga exercises and biofeedback. These techniques have been known to lessen the dependency of pain relievers and other forms of medication. In addition, it is important for pregnant women to observe a healthy lifestyle as well as stay away from non-pharmacological treatment alternatives.
Recommended pain relievers for headaches during pregnancy
Medics understand that in order to tackle what causes headaches during pregnancy, it is important for women to be educated on the recommended pain relievers, alternative medications and the right dosages. Thankfully, there are tons of both medication and home remedies that can be used to treat and prevent headaches. As for treatment, the following medications are recommended;
- Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, should be taken with the doctor’s advice and according to the recommended dosage.
- Pregnant women who are already addicted to caffeine should not withdraw with immediate effect as this can trigger headaches and migraines. Withdrawal should be gradual.
- Intravenous fluids, Hydrocone, Butalbital, IV Cortisone and IV magnesium supplements are effective in relieving migraines and headaches.
- Zofran, Phenergen and Reglan have been known to relieve nausea bouts. Zofran is particularly effective for countering morning sickness.
- Triptans (Imitrex) should only be used strictly under the doctor’s instructions.
Preventative measures are as follows:
- Stress reduction exercises
- Balanced diet
- Regular exercises
- Avoid skipping meals
These are some of the preventative and curative measures that will can address and solve what causes headaches in pregnant women.