Headaches are an inevitable part of the first three months of pregnancy. Sometimes women can also get headaches during the third trimester as well. It occurs primarily because the body is undergoing massive changes in preparation for the baby growing inside you. Your hormone levels are surging during this time and the blood volume also increases. In most cases these two reasons which cause the headaches. This is often aggravated by vision changes, stress, and poor posture. However, there may be additional reasons for such headaches which include a drop-in blood sugar, sleep deprivation, caffeine withdrawal, and dehydration.
If you are in the third trimester then often the reason for the headache is posture related because you weigh a lot more now with the additional weight of the baby. Sometimes if you have high blood pressure then that can also result in headaches. The condition is known as preeclampsia.
Treating pregnancy headaches
During pregnancy it is best to avoid medicines altogether because excess exposure to these is bad for the baby. In order to keep tension headaches at bay you need to maintain a good posture particularly in the last three months of your pregnancy. Try light exercises throughout the months to keep yourself fit and drop the extra weight after the baby is born. The long-nine months can be immensely stressful so try to relax and get adequate rest. Eating a balanced meal is also necessary for preventing headaches. Frequent consumption of food helps to keep the blood sugar under control and prevents headaches. Drinking a lot of water is normally required when you are pregnant but more so when you are dealing with a headache while pregnant. In case you get a headache opt for hot or cold packs on your head or neck rather than medicines.
In case of sinus headaches, a warm compress around the nose and eyes often relieves the pain. You can also get a massage on the neck and shoulders for controlling the pain. Alternatively, try resting in a dark room or even deep breathing.
Some women tend to get migraine attacks during pregnancy. In such cases the easiest thing to do is cut off the food and beverages that trigger a migraine attack. These include:
- Aged cheese
- Breads that contain fresh yeast
- Sour cream
- Preserved meats
But then the reason for the migraine attack may not be the same every day. Usually, it is also a combination of reasons like skipped meals, stress, and also sleep deprivation. How long the headache during pregnancy will last also is not predictable. So, if one day it lasts for two hours, another day it could last for two days. Again, you might not suffer from migraine throughout your pregnancy at all. The best way to prevent migraines is taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy lifestyle which you should do anyway because you are pregnant.
Some of the best ways of managing migraines and headache during this time includes the following:
- Avoid known food items that start a headache
- Maintain a fixed timetable for eating
- Drink sufficient water
- Take rest
- Try to relax
- Use ice packs, resting and massage when you have a headache