Experiencing headache during pregnancy is not unusual. It is a common occurrence which persists mainly in the first and third trimesters. It rarely indicates any serious problem although it is one of the most common discomforts in pregnancy.
According to the experts, the possible cause of this headache is not certain. During the first trimester, it may be caused due to the hormonal change taking place in the body.
Progesterone hormone, which increases in the first few months of pregnancy, prepares the uterus for pregnancy. This hormone causes the blood vessels to relax and not spasm which is often a cause of headache during pregnancy.
This indicates that the severity of the headache is dependent on the sensitivity of the person towards the hormonal changes.
In the second trimester, the focus from hormonal changes shifts to posture and tension. By this time, the body is used to the various variations in the levels of hormone.
However, the shape of the body begins to change and there is an extra weight of carrying the baby as well. This irregularity in posture and the tension of carrying the baby may be considered as one of the reasons for headache during pregnancy. But this may or may not be experienced by all the pregnant women.
Headache may also be caused due to high blood pressure during pregnancy. This condition, called preeclampsia, is a serious one and needs instant medical help.
Besides the above mentioned causes, other factors acting as a catalyst in causing headache during pregnancy are fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, hunger, low blood sugar, caffeine withdrawal and dehydration or lack of fluids. Women having regular migraine problem may encounter fewer migraine headaches when pregnant.
But in some cases, they may experience the same number or even more migraine attacks. It is then important for them to consult their doctor. He can then prescribe proper medicines considering the migraine history of the pregnant women.
The best way to avoid this headache problem is to follow some precautions like doing a regular set of exercises, getting plenty of rest and relaxation, practising good postures and eating a healthy and balanced diet.
Practising yoga and meditating twice a day can be helpful as they help in keeping the mind and body cheerful. Even some stress management techniques can be tried to lessen the stress.
A light music or a light hearted novel or a comedy movie can also help in relieving the stress and tensions and help in preventing the headache during pregnancy.
If none of the above techniques work on you and you still has a headache, then there are ways by which you can help it go away.
To get relief from headache caused due to sinus, you can use a warm compress technique where you have to apply warm compresses to the sides of your face, around your eyes and nose as well. Similarly, to relieve a tension headache, a cold compress can be applied to the back of your neck.
In order to reduce stress so as to reduce the headache during pregnancy, the best you can do is avoid putting yourself in stressful situations.
It is advisable to do some light exercises as supported by the body. Relaxing in dark and quiet room can soothe the ache. Meditation and yoga can also bring you back to ease.
Eating smaller, frequent and healthy meals and drinking plenty of water is also important as they can help in keeping your blood sugar at normal level, which otherwise would have resulted in a headache. Maintaining a good posture throughout the pregnancy is also important.
It is also required to avoid the potential triggers of migraine headache during pregnancy. The common triggers include chocolates, aged cheese, alcohol, peanuts, sour cream, yogurt and preserved meats, etc. Keeping a note of what causes the headache to kick off and avoiding them is essential.
Even though most headaches are harmless but there could be a chance of some serious problem. If you experience migraine for the first time during pregnancy or you are feeling an ache which is new to you, then consulting the health care provider is a must.
Situations when you have headache along with fever and stiffness or with nasal congestion, pain and pressure under eyes or dental pain, then ask for medical help immediately.
Even if you have a headache and it worsens with drowsiness, numbness and slurred speech, then a medical check up is a must.
Although, it is a common problem to have headache during pregnancy it’s not of much harm if you have taken proper care and have prepared yourself for the arrival of your baby.