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Headaches While Pregnant: Causes and Tips for Relief

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Headaches While Pregnant: Causes and Tips for Relief

Headaches while pregnant are something fairly common to many women. If you find yourself concerned with any of the following questions revolving around this issue, this article can help give some ideas on dealing with, and hopefully preventing, them. What can you take for headaches? Should you try to power through instead of taking medication? Will it affect your baby? What causes headaches?

Possible Causes

Much like headaches before pregnancy, there are a number of different potential causes. Pregnancy adds one more possibility to the lineup with the hormonal changes that take place within your body during this time. Unfortunately, those pesky hormone changes are going to have their way with you throughout the pregnancy.

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Although the hormone changes are a big possibility, they are not the only reason you could be experiencing the headaches. If you are dehydrated, this can cause some headaches. As previously stated, many of the things that caused your headaches prior to pregnancy will still cause you pain, but they may feel amplified because of everything else that’s going on. Examples of these causes include tension headaches, sinus headaches, and hunger headaches. Staring all day at your computer without breaks? That could be causing some headaches. Cutting out your caffeine? That definitely can cause some headaches early on.

How to Alleviate

Once you have a headache, you may want to start with the easiest solutions. Eat a small meal if you haven’t eaten for a while. Drink some water to try to stay hydrated. If you are able, lie down and rest in case you’re fatigued.

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If that doesn’t seem to help, then Tylenol is the typical over-the-counter pain medication most recommended by doctors. If you notice any concerning symptoms that go beyond a normal headache (problems seeing, balance changes, or anything scary like that) please call your doctor immediately.

How to Prevent

Preventing headaches is the goal if you are able to find the root cause. If you notice that you are getting headaches when you are hungry, maybe you can start keeping better track of your food intake. Set reminders on your calendar every so often to grab a handful of grapes or something to keep you from getting too hungry.

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If you notice that you are getting the headaches after being particularly dehydrated, set some reminders to drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you all day and refill as necessary. Sometimes, just having it with you will encourage you to drink more.

Are the headaches commonly happening at work? Experiment with lighting and see if a less bright room might help to ease your headache. Some people find relief in pregnancy by meeting with a chiropractor or acupuncturist. Possibly some alignment issues are working their way up the back into the neck. Getting “readjusted” helps some people. I would recommend checking with your doctor before going this way if you are concerned. My doctor suggested a chiropractor for some other issues I was having in pregnancy, so with my care plan, I knew that it was OK to proceed.

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Occasionally smells can be overpowering and cause headaches early in pregnancy. If you find that to be a problem, try avoiding wearing perfume for a day to see if that has any affect on your headache. If possible, open windows and air out your house while cleaning to make sure those smells aren’t causing undue suffering. Better yet, see if you can find someone else to clean.

Featured photo credit: Schwanger in der Therme via Flickr via flickr.com

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