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Maria Kammerer
Certified Nurse-Midwife

Q&A: Headache Relief Without Medication?

I'm nervous about taking medication during pregnancy. Any ideas for treating a headache without meds?

Good thinking — I definitely recommend trying non-pharmacological pain relief methods first. These are also great techniques to try after pregnancy. (Though, if you do want to take medication, Tylenol is usually safe. Check with your provider before taking anything else, even something prescribed to you before pregnancy.)

[ ] Go to a room away from noise and dim the lights.

[ ] Try placing a cool compress on your forehead or over your eyes.

[ ] Eat small, frequent meals to make sure your blood sugar levels don’t drop.

[ ] Stay hydrated — keep a water bottle with you at all times.

[ ] Consider enrolling in prenatal yoga or stress management classes, if your headaches are caused by tension.

[ ] Take regular time for low-impact exercise — daily, if possible.

Most importantly, talk with your provider if you are experiencing frequent headaches, or the pain is not relieved by Tylenol and/or simple relief measures.  Headaches, particularly when combined with high blood pressure, can be a sign of a serious medical condition.

PHOTO: Getty Images
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