Are headaches getting the best of you now that you have a baby on the way? You’re not the only one. Headaches are one of the most common pregnancy-related symptoms, usually flaring up during the first and third trimesters.
What’s to blame? While your body is busy growing and developing your little one, you experience a surge in hormones and blood volume. This, coupled with stress, sleep deprivation, and even poor eating can usher in a wave of headaches that seem hard to beat.
While some pain relieving medications are safe for moms-to-be, before popping a pill, be sure to consult with your health care provider. If natural remedies are what you’re after, look no further than these simple tips for beating pregnancy headaches for good:
For anyone, dehydration may lead to headaches – but for expectant mothers, it’s especially important to keep up your water intake. During pregnancy, your body is working overtime to make room for your baby. To ensure everything runs smoothly, you’ll need to stay well hydrated. Doing so can prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and – you guessed it – headaches.
Keep hunger at bay
Not only will small, well-balanced meals keep morning sickness away, they’ll also help fight off headaches. Eating protein, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and veggies will help maintain your blood sugar and may prevent aches and pains later on in the day.
Get some shuteye
As if we needed to give you another reason to rest up while you can, sleep deprivation may lead to an uptick in all sorts of discomforts – headaches included. Take regular naps if you need them and be sure to clock 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
Jot it down
Keep a food diary for two weeks and log each and every item you eat. Also note when you’ve suffered from headaches and see if you can find a correlation between the two. You may discover that something that’s never bothered you before, such as chocolate, is a trigger food now that you’re expecting. Nix that food till baby arrives and voila, your headache situation is solved.
When a headache strikes, reach for a cool washcloth before heading for the medicine cabinet. Lying down in a cool, dark room with a chilled cloth over your forehead may be just the soothing comfort you need.
By and large, headaches during pregnancy are nothing to worry about. But if you have persistent pain accompanied by symptoms such as a fever or blurred vision, consult with your doctor or midwife right away. This could be a sign of a complication your health care provider will want to know about.