People who are prone to headaches usually have over-the-counter pain medication handy just in case they need them. Unfortunately for pregnant women, taking these medications may be harmful to them and their unborn child. This already poses a huge problem, but what’s worse is that women who don’t have headaches before pregnancy may start experiencing them when they’re pregnant and those who are already prone to headaches may feel an increase in headache attacks during pregnancy.
Dealing with Headaches during Pregnancy
Not being able to reach for the usual pain-relieving pills to deal with a pounding headache during pregnancy puts pregnant women in a tough spot. What can a pregnant woman do when the headaches attack? Here are some of ways to relieve headaches during pregnancy.
- Avoid headache triggers. This piece of advice is applicable to everyone who is prone to headaches. By avoiding the things that cause the headaches like certain foods, chemicals, or activities, one can avoid having to deal with painful headaches.
- Take a hot or cold shower. Tension headaches are very common in pregnant women due to the physical and emotional stress that the hormonal and physiological changes pregnancy brings. One way to ease the tension in the body and relieve the headache is to take a warm shower; however, if the headache is caused by dilated blood vessels in the brain, a cold shower is much better. If taking a shower isn’t possible at the time of the headache attack, applying hot or cold compress to the affected areas is also a good alternative.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration causes headaches and drinking lots of liquids is the key to avoiding them. Pregnant women, especially those in the later stages tend to shy away from drinking too much water because they need to go to the bathroom more often than normal during this time. This is all the more reason for them to re-hydrate more often.
- Sleep normally. Pregnant women have a hard time sleeping and more often than not, their sleep schedule is disrupted. Lack of sleep and fatigue can be the cause of headaches. Finding the perfect sleeping position may be difficult, but it can help induce and regulate sleep without having to resort to taking sleep medications.
- Eat smaller food portions more often. Low blood sugar is also common during pregnancy and this also causes headaches. To keep this from happening, pregnant women should eat more often than just the three basic meals a day. By eating smaller portions more often, blood sugar levels are regulated without over eating.
- Relax. Stress is bad enough when one isn’t pregnant, but stress during pregnancy can cause complications worse than headaches. Attending special yoga classes for pregnant women or meditating regularly can help with relaxation, stress relief, and headache prevention.
Dealing with headaches is bad enough, but experiencing them when one’s hormones are going haywire can ruin the beauty and happiness that pregnancy brings. Avoiding headaches is an effective way to deal with these painful episodes during this period.