Headaches can become more frequent during certain stages of pregnancy. If you are a pregnant woman dealing with this problem, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it. After all, many of the conventional solutions might be off limits until your baby is born. In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why headaches might become more frequent during pregnancy as well as some helpful tips on how to get rid of a headache while pregnant.
Pregnancy and Headaches
The hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy can make many women more susceptible to headaches. This is especially the case in the first and sometimes the third trimester. You should be aware, however, that severe or more frequent headaches in the third trimester can be a sign of potentially dangerous conditions such as preeclampsia and toxemia. This requires immediate medical attention. You must make certain to consult with your doctor about headaches during pregnancy, especially if they occur later on.
You should also be aware that headaches could be a sign of high blood pressure. This is something that you need to talk to your doctor about right away, as it can put you and your pregnancy at risk.
It is possible that the fatigue that is common with pregnancy could be causing your headaches. Many pregnant women have trouble sleeping and have difficulty dealing with the stress that always comes along with expecting a baby.
Also, if you had a heavy daily coffee habit before becoming pregnant, withdrawal can cause headaches for a short amount of time. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms should disappear within a week or two at the very most. Other factors that tend to cause headaches in pregnant women include increased blood volume; a food sensitivity or a nutritional deficiency in the diet; changes in posture and ligaments that happen during pregnancy; inadequate intake of protein; constipation; lack of sleep; tension and stress; and dehydration.
If you experience any of the symptoms in the list below, make sure to see your doctor immediately:
- Your headaches worsen.
- You are having severe headaches that began after the beginning of your sixth month of pregnancy.
- In addition to your headaches, you are suffering other symptoms such as pain in your upper right abdomen, sudden weight gain, blurry vision, or anything else that worries you.
- You are having a type of headache that you never experienced before pregnancy (for example, a woman who never had migraines starts having them during pregnancy).
How To Get Rid Of A Headache While Pregnant
Talk to your doctor if you are having headaches during pregnancy. It is possible your doctor may be able to give you a prescription that they deem safe. Below are also some home remedies you can use to deal with the pain and discomfort of your headaches:
Honey and cinnamon in warm milk
Mix some honey and cinnamon into a glass or mug of warm milk. This should help to calm your nerves and soothe your headache.
Epsom salts bath
Prepare a warm bath with one or two cups of Epsom salts. You should soak in this for at least 15 minutes. It will help to soothe your body and could ease your headache.
A shoulder and neck massage is likely to help with your headache. Think about going to a massage therapist who is experienced in massaging pregnant women.
Low or unstable blood sugar cause headaches for some pregnant women. Make sure to eat several times during the day, even if you can only manage small amounts. Ensure that you eat enough protein. This is especially important. Try to incorporate it into every meal.
Think about acupuncture
Acupuncture might help with your headaches. Make sure to go to a qualified professional who has substantial experience in working with pregnant women. Ensure that you talk to your doctor or midwife before trying this.
Make sure you’re getting enough iron
Increase your intake of iron-rich foods. Medical professionals usually recommend that pregnant women take iron supplements. Talk to your doctor about this if you’re not already on one.
Increase your intake or calcium and magnesium
Increase your intake of foods that offer calcium and magnesium. Ask your doctor whether you should take calcium and magnesium supplements. Your daily intake of magnesium should be between 500 and 800 mg, and your intake of calcium should be between 1,000 and 1,500 mg.
Think about going to a chiropractor
Some pregnant women find that body strain caused by the weight of the baby can lead to headaches. Go to a chiropractor who has a large amount of experience working with pregnant women, and make sure to talk to your doctor first.
Practice deep breathing
Take time every day to breathe deeply and slowly while listening to relaxing music. This will help you more effectively deal with the stress that might be contributing to your headaches. Try deep breathing for the period before you go to bed at night, as well as at intervals during the day. You might not even realize how stressed out you really are until you try deep breathing and really begin to calm down.
Hold a cool, damp cloth to your forehead while lying down. Immerse the cloth in cold water again once it warms up from the heat of your body. Give the cold cloth enough chance to work while letting your body and mind relax.
Almonds contain nutrients that might help with your headaches. They are also good for your general health.
Sipping chamomile tea will help you relax and is likely to soothe your headache. Don’t have too much during your first trimester. Limiting yourself to one cup a day is best.
Meditation will help you better deal with the stress that is probably contributing to your headaches. Guided visualizations will also probably help. Reducing your level of stress will help to boost your overall health and make it easier for your body and mind to deal with the physical and emotional stress of pregnancy. If you wish, you can enroll in a yoga class specifically for pregnant women.
Drink more water
It is easy to become dehydrated during pregnancy, and that not only causes headaches but is also bad for you and your baby’s health and well-being. Make sure to stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Ask your doctor or midwife if you can have other drinks useful for preventing dehydration, such as coconut water.
Eat a generally healthier diet
Getting better nutrition and avoiding processed foods could make your headaches less frequent and/or troublesome. Processed foods often contain chemicals that can make headaches more likely to occur in pregnant women.
Make sure your head isn’t excessively elevated
Ensure that your head isn’t excessively elevated while lying down and/or sleeping. Using too many pillows can lead to a crick in the neck that can cause a headache.
Take a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer and hold it to your head while lying down and relaxing. The cold should help to relieve your headache. If you do not have frozen peas, a bag of a similar frozen vegetable or other food should work just as well.
Add a few drops of lavender oil or peppermint oil on a tissue and hold it near your nose to breathe in the fragrance. If you wish, you can also massage a small amount of one of these oils on the sides of your forehead (temples). Ask your doctor or midwife if there’s anything you should know about what to look for and avoid in aromatherapy treatment.
Take a cool, refreshing shower
Taking a cool (or even cold) shower might help with your headache. This is because the cool or cold water may help to constrict the blood vessels. It can also help to massage your head while you’re in the shower. Give yourself time to relax in the shower before getting out.
Try to reduce your stress level
Think about the factors that might be causing extra stress in your life and how you may reduce their effect. Reducing your general level of stress as much as possible will probably be helpful in reducing the frequency of your headaches. Think about going for a leisurely stroll outside every day, and enjoy looking at the scenery and breathing in the fresh air.
Try to improve your sleep
Trouble getting and staying asleep can make headaches more likely to occur in pregnant women. Try to spend more time specifically relaxing before bedtime to make it easier and faster to fall asleep. Stay away from computer, television, and device screens for as long as you can before you go to bed, preferably for at least two or three hours.
You can also have up to about one cup of chamomile tea per day. Make sure to ask your doctor or midwife about which stages of pregnancy it is acceptable to drink chamomile tea in. Many people also find it helpful to put a few drops of lavender essential oil on their pillow, as it can help to relax you and make you more likely to fall to sleep easily.
Watch your posture
Maintain good posture as well as you can during your pregnancy. This is important because bad posture can make headaches more likely to occur and more severe when they do. If you are having a lot of trouble doing this, talk to your doctor or midwife and ask for advice.
Avoid foods that commonly trigger migraines
Avoiding foods that tend to trigger migraines in some people could help you avoid having to deal with the problem. Examples of these foods include chocolate, sour cream, peanuts, preserved meats, aged cheese, yogurt, and breads that contain fresh yeast.
Get daily exercise
Try to exercise your body gently every day as much as possible. Gentle walks are generally recommended for pregnant women. You should also be able to find exercise classes specifically for pregnant women at your local community center or gym. Appropriate exercise will help to relax your body and mind as well as improve circulation and general functioning of the body.
Spend time in a dark room
Many people find light to aggravate their headaches (especially if they suffer from migraines). Take time to lie down quietly in a dark room while you let your headache subside. As mentioned earlier, it will also be helpful to hold a cold or warm cloth to your forehead and/or temples.
Spinach is rich in magnesium that should help with the headaches you experience during pregnancy. There are 157 milligrams of magnesium in a single cup of spinach, making this serving of spinach contain almost half of the 400 milligrams required each day for women who are pregnant. You can simply eat spinach on its own or with a bit of margarine on top.
If you aren’t a fan of the taste of this vegetable, consider mixing it with vanilla ice cream. This is how you can do that. First, boil one cup of spinach leaves in water for five minutes. After that put the spinach leaves in a blender, in addition to two scoops of ice cream. Blending this mixture for a few minutes will make a smoothie rich in magnesium.
Omega-3 in Fish Oil
Take a fish oil supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consult with your doctor or midwife as to which specific kind is best. The omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil should help to reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches. You’ll also be happy to hear that it is shown to reduce inflammation and improve intestinal health, as well as provide many benefits for your developing baby.
Lemon juice can help to reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches, as well as boost your immune system and make you less likely to experience stomach cramps. You can add lemon juice to water with ice to make a refreshing drink.
If you prefer the taste, you can also mix lemon with ginger. Use a hand grater to grate one inch of boiled ginger root. Mix the juice from two lemons to a glass of water, and then mix in the grated ginger root. Make sure to stir the mixture thoroughly. You should drink this two times a day.
Yogurt and almonds
As mentioned earlier, almonds contain a helpful amount of magnesium. Yogurt contains magnesium, as well. Process one cup of yogurt and one ounce of almonds in a blender for five minutes. If you wish, you can add five mint leaves as well as berries for taste. You should drink this smoothie every night before you go to bed.
Apply 10 drops of peppermint oil to the palms of your hands, and then rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Once you have done this, massage the oil into your temples and forehead for five minutes. You should do this before you go to bed each night, or whenever needed during the day.
Lavender oil will not only help with your headache but also improve your mood and help you relax. After washing and drying your hands, dilute the lavender oil with the carrier oil and apply it to the palms. Spend about 30 seconds rubbing your palms together. Once you have done that, use them to cover your nostrils and inhale the fragrance. You can do this up to 10 times to help deal with your headache.
Lemongrass essential oil can help with a variety of problems, including headaches, anxiety, stress, muscle pain, and toothache. Try to find an organic lemongrass oil. Dilute five drops of the oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the palms of your hands, and then rub your palms together for a minute. Once you have done this, gently massage the oil on your temples and forehead. You should do this for at least five minutes. You will also find it helpful to inhale the lemongrass oil directly from your hands. If you are in a hurry, you could even just inhale the scent of the oil while it’s still in the bottle.
Ginger root will help with your headache, as well as with nausea and upset stomach. There are many ways you can take ginger. One is to combine it with lemon and peppermint leaves. Use a hand grater to grate three one-inch ginger roots, and use the grated ginger and paste made from 10 peppermint leaves to two glasses of water. You will need to boil this mixture for about five minutes. Once you have done that, transfer it into a bowl and let it fully cool down to room temperature. After that, add two tablespoons of lemon juice. You should sip on the resulting liquid.
You might want to consider undergoing biofeedback. Biofeedback is a mind-body technique that helps you learn to exert control over significant functions of the body (examples include blood pressure, tension of the muscles, and heart rate) in such a way that your problem (in this case, headache) lessens in frequency and severity. You can get a referral to a biofeedback therapist from your doctor.
Steam inhalation will help to prevent and ease headaches that are caused by sinus inflammation and congestion. You could also add a few drops of peppermint oil or menthol rub to the water before inhaling the vapors.
Keeping a humidifier running in your house (especially in your bedroom at night) should be useful in helping to prevent headaches that are caused by congestion and inflammation of the sinuses.
Enjoy relaxing music
Sit back and lie down, close your eyes, and listen to music that helps to relax and soothe you.
Find a relaxing hobby
Find a hobby that helps to put your mind at ease and relax you. Certain types of gardening, knitting or crocheting, coloring, or even just reading might be something that you’d like. Perhaps you could join a hobby club of some kind.
Keep a food diary
If you think that a food might be triggering your headaches, keep a food diary to keep track of everything you ingest. The next time a headache begins, you can check your diary to see if any of the foods you have recently eaten might be the culprit. If you find that you have headaches on a few occasions soon after having a certain food, it’s possible that that food might be contributing to your headaches. You could try to eliminate that food to see if there is a difference in how you feel.
Get a head massage
A professional head massage might help with your headaches. Make sure to tell the practitioner that you are pregnant.
Professional reflexology massage might help to make your headaches less frequent and severe. Make sure that the practitioner you choose knows that you are pregnant, and has experience in treating pregnant women.
Lemon Balm tea
Lemon Balm tea has been recognized for its ability to soothe the nerves. In this way, it might assist in making your headaches less frequent and severe.
Think about adding a little lemon peel to a hot mug of calming chamomile tea. Lemon peel has a high level of vitamin C that will benefit your general health, as well as soothing properties that could help with your headache.
Peppermint herbal tea
Sip on a steaming mug of peppermint herbal tea. You could add in some lemon peel, if you wish. The peppermint tea will help to soothe your nerves and hopefully your headache, as well.
Do you have any other tips to share?
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