Pregnancy is exciting, but like most good things, it has its challenges. One of the physiological changes that can occur is headaches. Pregnancy related headaches can be caused by fluctuating hormone and blood sugar levels, caffeine withdrawal, lack of sleep and dehydration. Many headache medications and herbal remedies should be avoided during pregnancy; it’s not the time for experimentation. In general, use non-medicinal approaches before you resort to medications. Here are some worth trying:
- Monitor triggers: Foods such as chocolate, aged cheese, preserved eats and peanuts can bring on headaches.
- Take care of yourself: Exercise, maintain good posture (especially important in the last trimester), and don’t skip meals.
- Use warm or cold clothes. Put a warm washcloth over your eyes and nose for sinus headaches. For tension headaches, place a cold washcloth or gel pack at the base of your neck.
- Relax: Consider getting seated head/neck/shoulder massages for tension headaches.
If your headaches do require medication, acetaminophen is the usual choice, but ask your doctor first if it is right for you.