Headache In Pregnancy – How To Deal With It ?
Although we still do not entirely understand headaches one thing that we do know is that two of the commonest types of headache – tension and migraine headaches – are far more commonly seen in women, which suggests that hormones play an important part in the onset of headaches. So, since hormone levels fluctuate wildly during pregnancy, it is no surprise to find that women frequently suffer from headaches at this time.
Headaches are particular common during the early stages of pregnancy and tend to reduce during the second and third trimester as hormone levels begin to settle down. The good news however is that women do not simply have to put up with headaches while they are carrying and there is a lot which can be done to both prevent and treat them.
Stress is one thing which can trigger a headache and most women would probably agree that pregnancy is a stressful time. This can be eased considerably however with both gentle exercise and also with meditation.
Rest is also important because a lack of proper sleep contributes to both common and migraine headaches. A lack of proper sleep will not only increase your chances of getting a headache in the first place, but can also increase its severity. It should also be borne in mind that when we talk about sleep we are talking not just about the amount of sleep you are getting but also its regularity. This means that, while it is alright to take a nap during the day if you are feeling tired, do not overdo it so that you are then unable to sleep at night.
Alcohol can also often bring on a headache and, in addition, be harmful to your baby. Here however there is considerably controversy over the quantity of alcohol which can be safely consumed. We are certainly not going to get into that argument here but, if headaches do become a problem, then simply remember that alcohol may be a contributory factor. It is also worth noting that red wine can be a common trigger for headaches and that, even those people who are not normally sensitive to red wine, can find that they become sensitive to it when they are pregnant.
You should also cut down on your caffeine consumption during pregnancy (particularly in terms of both tea and coffee) and if you enjoy that double-strength latte to get you going in the morning then it would be a good idea to replace this with a small cup of ordinary coffee for a few months. You should also be aware of the fact that certain headache medicines (such as Excedrin) contain caffeine and, while a small amount in your diet can be helpful, it is an excess of caffeine which is a common trigger for headaches. So, do not eliminate caffeine entirely from your diet but cut in down gradually to a minimum level.
Finally, when you do get a headache be careful what you take for it. Aspirin and Ibuprofen for example are not recommended during pregnancy, although acetaminophen is generally considered to be safe. If you suffer from severe headaches, such as migraine, then you should consult your physician for an appropriate form of medication.