How to Deal With Headaches When You Are Pregnant

headaches and pregnant women
headaches and pregnant women

It’s not uncommon to have headaches when you are pregnant. There are many reasons why they occur. Some of them are simply a normal part of the all the changes that are occurring during pregnancy, and some can be a sign of more serious conditions. If you are concerned about your pregnancy headaches, then you'll want to read this article. Specifically we'll discuss some of the causes of headaches during pregnancy, what you can do to treat them without using drugs and some of the warning signs of more serious reasons for headaches. After reading this article, you should be able to find some relief from your headaches.
Some Causes of Headaches during Pregnancy

There are many reasons it is believed why women get headaches during pregnancy. First and foremost, the body is going through a tremendous number of changes in preparation for growing the baby and giving birth. In order to enact these changes, the body produces a number of different pregnancy hormones. It is thought that the combination of the physical changes and all the new chemicals in the system contribute to an increase in tension headaches. 

Another cause of headaches is the changes to the circulation system. Ordinarily when you change positions from upright to lying down or vice versa, your heart will compensate for that change by temporarily increasing the blood pressure slightly so that the brain’s flow of blood is maintained at the needed levels. During pregnancy, the boby’s priority is switched from the brain to the uterus. This means that it is not uncommon to experience dizziness and headache when changing positions especially when getting up or lying down.

Headaches when you are pregnant can also be hunger headaches due to dips in blood sugar levels. The body is expending a great deal of energy to create the new life. This means that you are going to be much hungrier than usual.

How to Treat Them When you Can’t Take Drugs

When you’re pregnant you aren’t going to be able to take most pain or other medications because of the risk of complications for the baby. Generally speaking, you’ll be able to take Tylenol when you need to. You might be able to take Ibuprofen. In both cases you’re going to want to check with your doctor to get his or her OK prior to taking them.

So what can you do when you can’t take drugs to help with your headaches? The following is a list of things that you might be able to do. As with pretty much everything you do when you’re pregnant, make sure to check with your doctor to make sure that there isn’t any reason in your particular instance why they would object to the activity you’re thinking about doing.

* Reduce your stress levels – However you can, by reducing your work levels, cutting down or out the caffeine, getting plenty of rest, taking lots of vitamins, working on any relationship issues that are going on. By working on these issues and cutting down your stress, you will help to reduce the amount of tension your body is under.
* Exercise at the appropriate levels – Exercise is known to help reduce your tension, anxiety and stress. Take the time to join a yoga class, or get some yoga videos to do at home. You’ll help reduce your number of headaches, and also get into shape for the birth.
* Eat small and frequent meals – Keep your blood sugar in balance by eating small meals 6 times a day. Keep snacks with you all the time, so that if you get caught out and about, and realize that you need something to eat you have it ready to go.
* Listen to relaxing music – Whatever your favorite music might be, if it helps to calm you down, it’s a good thing. And there are lots of studies about the benefits of playing music for your baby while in the womb.
* Get into a regular daily routine – Whatever your normal routine is, getting a set schedule will help to remove a lot of the unexpected which can cause anxiety and stress. And it’s also good practice for when the baby arrives, because babies crave routine.

The Warning Signs of Something More Serious

There are some serious conditions that you need to be aware of that have headaches as one of the main symptoms. The most frequently experienced one is pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH). PIH is a potentially dangerous raising of the blood pressure that usually occurs in the third trimester. One of the common initial symptoms is a persistent severe headache. When the headache happens at the same time as blurred vision, it’s time to see the doctor right away.


Now that you’ve taken a look at some of the common causes of headaches when you’re pregnant, you should be able to take steps to reduce or eliminate some of those causes from your daily routine to help minimize the number of headaches you get. And when you do get them, you’ll have a number of steps to try in order to reduce their severity and duration.

Comments 5 comments

Shaunelle Tansy profile image

Shaunelle Tansy 6 years ago from a galaxy far far away

Wow, this is a fantastic hub. I can personally vouch for the importance of minimizing stress during pregnancy. Not only for your headaches, but for the health of your baby, it is imperative that you are relaxed and comfortable, especially towards the end of your pregnancy...

Chad Damon profile image

Chad Damon 6 years ago from USA

Ouch!!! My wife had this problem when she was pregnant with our little girl. She did take some tylenol once after getting a REALLY bad headache on an airplane.

ConradM profile image

ConradM 6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

This would have been very useful a few months back before we had our second child. I will keep this bookmarked for later.

TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Excellent information. I wish I had this info when my wife was pregnant.

Bumpkin profile image

Bumpkin 6 years ago from Middle of Nowhere

This is some good stuff for me to know since I'm looking to have a little one in the near future.

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