- Sudden outburst and fluctuation of hormones inside the mother’s body
- Lack of sleep and rest during pregnancy
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Sinus congestion and allergies
- Stress and depression etcetera
Make sure before taking any medicine to target tension headaches, that it is safe for consumption during pregnancy. Applying a warm or cool compress to the forehead or the base of your skull also brings temporary relief. So does a warm shower or bath.
Migraine headaches are another common form of headaches that plague expecting mothers. They bring about severe throbbing pain, typically on one side of the head.
The migraine attack can last for any duration ranging from four to 72 hours and gets aggravated by physical activity. It is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and noise. Some migraine attacks give off symptoms that include visual changes such as bright flashing lights or blind spots, sensations of numbness or “pins and needles,” weakness, and speech disturbances, before the actual attack.
Migraine pain can get really unnerving and hard to bear if not treated timely. A doctor or neurologist must be visited to get a check-up done. During pregnancy, many medicines become off-limits due to potential risk of side-effects. Hence, before taking any medicine, mothers should make sure that it is safe for them and their baby.
Apart from that, some common triggers of migraine that are found in different food items can be avoided. They include:
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Nitrites and nitrates (found commonly in processed meats like hot dogs, salami, and bacon)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Certain beans and nuts
- Aged cheese and cultured dairy products (like buttermilk and sour cream)
- Certain fresh fruits (bananas, papayas, avocados, and citrus)
- Smoked fish
- Flickering lights, loud noises, excessive heat or cold, strong odours, and tobacco smoke
To give temporary and fast relief to someone suffering from a migraine attack, one can use a cold compress to soothe the pain. Also, splash cool water on the face, or if possible, advice the affected individuals to get cold water shower.
In most cases, headaches are normal occurrences and by-products of pregnancy, but in severe cases it can point out towards pre-eclampsia, changes in protein in the urine, vision changes, and liver and kidney abnormalities.
A doctor must be immediately consulted when a pregnant woman is experiencing a terrible headache for the first time, which may or may not be accompanied by visual changes, sharp upper abdominal pain or nausea, sudden weight gain, or swelling in the hands or face.
Or when the headache is accompanied by fever or a stiff neck, or when the headache is caused due to a result of falling down or any head injury.
Some common ways to avoid headache would be to regularly use cold or warm compresses, get head massages, take cold or warm baths, to avoid going thirsty and hungry for long durations, avoid fatigue and over-exertion strictly, and to try some relaxation technique like meditation or yoga.
Medicines, even if they are doctor prescribed and pregnancy-friendly, should be the next step.