Q&A: Ways to Deal With Headaches During Pregnancy?

Why am I getting these headaches, and what can I do about them? 
ByPaula Kashtan
Jul 2018
woman walking in urban environment and touching her forehead
Photo: Getty Images

Headaches are very common during the first trimester, and stem from a variety of factors. Surging hormones, increased blood volume circulation, stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and caffeine withdrawal all can lead to a pounding head. Luckily, these headaches should recede during the second trimester as your body adjusts to the new hormone levels. If severe headaches do occur during the third trimester, talk to your doctor — this could be a sign of preeclampsia.

Avoid tension headaches by getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating healthy, and staying hydrated. If the pain does hit, try applying a warm compress to your face or a cold compress to the back of your neck, resting in a dark room or taking a warm shower. This is also the perfect time to let your spouse do his part in the pregnancy… meaning, a neck and shoulder massage for you! If these natural methods don’t relieve the pain, talk to your doctor about medication. It’s generally recommended for pregnant women to steer clear of meds like aspirin and ibuprofen, but never pop any pills or supplements without your doctor’s approval.


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