Pregnancy is a tough time. With multiple hormonal changes going on in the body, it becomes impossible to figure things out by yourself. And, because of such changes, different reactions go around in the body. From back pain to headaches – everything is very common when it comes to pregnancy. However, doctors prefer that you go for more natural remedies for headaches during pregnancy as certain painkillers might have an adverse effect on your body.  

While pills do work faster, natural remedies ensure that you and your baby both stay healthy during pregnancy.  

In this article, we shall discuss all the most popular home remedies that work best to kill a headache during pregnancy.  

What Is The Cause Behind Headaches During Pregnancy?  

The exact reason why you might get a headache during pregnancy is not clear still. However, we might take into account the numerous hormonal changes happening in the body to be one of the major reasons behind it.  

What Is The Cause Behind Headaches During Pregnancy

Especially in the first trimester, hormone fluctuations might play a major role. An overall, dull headache might come with fatigue, stress, and eyestrain. Sinus headaches might be a bit more common due to nasal congestion or runny nose that are way more common during early pregnancy.  

Low levels of blood sugar or hunger might also be a reason behind headaches during pregnancy.  

While we still do not know the exact reasons behind the occurrence of these headaches, here are some of the most common factors that we think are causing this distress.  

Hormonal Changes  

Fluctuations in hormonal levels, particularly progesterone and estrogen, during pregnancy are one of the major causes of headaches. Changes in your blood circulation, particularly due to increased blood volume, might also be a reason behind pregnancy headaches.  

Dehydration  

Dehydration is yet another common reason behind headaches – pregnant or not. So, if you have a baby growing inside of you, make sure to drink as much water as you can to keep your body well-hydrated. Try to go for at least eight glasses of water every day.  

Insufficient Sleep  

Bad quality of sleep or on and off sleeping might also result in headaches. So, make sure to get ample sleep for at least seven to nine hours every day.  

Low Blood Sugar  

Skipping out on meals or eating unhealthy food might lead to low blood sugar. This level of low sugar might be one of the reasons behind headaches. Following a proper diet plan and eating proper meals with healthy snacking might be one way to deal with it.  

Anxiety And Stress  

Personal anxiety and stress might be the biggest triggers of headaches during pregnancy. Using methods of relaxation like thinking calmly, deep breathing, or prenatal yoga might help in controlling the unnecessary headaches that you are dealing with during pregnancy.  

Caffeine Withdrawal  

Cutting down on your caffeine intake might be one of the reasons why you are experiencing headaches during pregnancy. Because it is not feasible to consume coffee while pregnant, some women tend to totally cut down on their everyday coffee intake, resulting in withdrawal symptoms like headaches. You do not have to cut down on your coffee intake totally during pregnancy. Moderation is the secret behind having coffee during pregnancy.  

Sinus Congestion  

Pregnancy might worsen the symptoms of sinus congestion, which might, in turn, cause headaches. So, if you think your headaches are happening because of sinus problems, you need to check with your doctor to look for better treatment options.  

How Do Pregnancy Headaches Differ From Regular Headaches?  

Before we move further with the solution to pregnancy headaches, it is important that you understand that usual headaches differ from the ones you get during pregnancy. Pregnancy headaches’ pattern and frequency might differ from the ones you get on a usual basis.  

How Do Pregnancy Headaches Differ From Regular Headaches

In simple terms, there are mainly two categories of headaches:  

Primary headaches: like the ones you get when you are worried, cluster headaches, migraines, etc., that are typically not related to any underlying medical condition. They usually happen due to hormonal changes, stress, or genetic factors.  

Secondary headaches: in comparison to the primary ones, secondary headaches are more like a symptoms of underlying issues like head injury, sinus infection, or in some cases, pregnancy.  

Understanding the difference between the primary and secondary headaches is important for doctors to proceed with their diagnosis and treatments, making sure that the underlying causes behind secondary headaches are addressed, while the primary ones are directly managed for symptom relief.  

Natural Remedies For Headaches During Pregnancy 

Preventing a headache from happening in the first place is the best solution when it comes to pregnancy headaches. This is particularly true for the ones who suffer from migraine. 

However, the good news is that many women tend to get relief from their migraine pain as soon as the second and third trimester arrives.  

Natural Remedies For Headaches During Pregnancy

Here are some natural remedies for headaches during pregnancy. Not only will these reduce the headaches you are enduring, but they will also prevent the headaches from occurring in the first place.  

Eat Regularly  

Skipping meals during pregnancy is one of the gravest mistakes a woman can make. Skipping out on meals might act as a trigger for headaches in some women. So, it is essential that you are eating healthy meals and snacks every day during pregnancy.  

Choose minimally processed, whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.  

Drink Plenty Of Fluids  

If you are pregnant, staying dehydrated is not an option. You need to drink as much water as possible. If you are experiencing chronic headaches during pregnancy, drinking other fluids along with water is necessary to follow. It is suggested to drink at least eight to twelve cups of water everyday to maintain the level of hydration in your body during pregnancy.  

Include Physical Activity Every Day  

Try swimming, walking, or any other moderate exercise that will keep your body moving and won’t put too much stress on the baby. Moderate amounts of exercise will ensure that you have enough muscle movement going on and improve your blood circulation.  

Get Regular Sleep  

Pregnancy is not an excuse to skip out on your well deserved sleep. Try to stick to a permanent sleep routine and maintain it throughout your pregnancy. Before going to sleep, make sure to turn off every electronic device. Make sure the room and calm and dark, and gives an atmosphere that is best for sleeping.  

Manage Your Stress  

Stress is one of the greatest reasons behind headaches during pregnancy. While it is understandable that pregnancy is stressful, the more you control the growing stress, the better it is for your health. you can try deep breathing, yoga, and other methods of relaxation to keep your stress levels in check.  

How Can Hormonal Changes Affect Your Pregnancy Headaches?  

How Can Hormonal Changes Affect Your Pregnancy Headaches

Female hormones, particularly progesterone and estrogen, play a major role in influencing the headaches you get during pregnancy. Further, the connection between headaches and hormones is complicated and might vary from one woman to the other. As pregnancy triggers other hormonal changes, it is necessary to take headaches during pregnancy seriously.  

Examples Of Hormone And Headache Connection  

Here are some examples that will further explain how female hormones are related to headaches:  

Examples Of Hormone And Headache Connection

Menstrual Migraines  

Many women tend to experience migraine that is very closely linked with their menstrual cycle. These are usually called “menstrual migraines” and usually occur a few days before, at the time, or after their menstruation. Fluctuations in their estrogen levels can be the reasons behind these migraines. When there is a drop in the estrogen level, the blood vessels in the brain dilate, triggering the migraine.  

Hormonal Contraceptives  

Some women might experience changes in their pattern of headaches if they are on hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills. These contraceptives stabilize the hormonal levels and potentially reduce the severity and frequency of hormonal migraines. However, for some women, they might worsen their headaches.  

Perimenopause And Menopause  

The hormonal changes that happen during perimenopause and menopause might also influence headaches in some women. A handful of women find that the migraines become less severe or frequent after they slip into menopause when there is a decrease in their estrogen levels.  

Hormone Replacement Therapy  

People going through hormone replacement therapy as a part of their menopausal treatment might go through changes in their pattern of headaches. These effects might vary, with some women getting relief and others experiencing an increase in their headaches.  

However, not every woman will experience hormonal changes in the same way. Some might have a very strong connection between their migraines and menstrual cycle, while others may not even notice a difference as such. Additional factors such as lifestyle, genetics, stress, may also influence their headache patterns.  

When Are Pregnancy Headaches The Worst During Pregnancy?  

When Are Pregnancy Headaches The Worst During Pregnancy

Primary headaches during pregnancy tend to be the worst at the time of the first trimester. However, with the continuation of the pregnancy, oestrogen levels increase steadily. With an increase in the oestrogen levels and reduced hormonal swings, the headaches tend to become more bearable as the pregnancy goes on.  

Secondary headaches during pregnancy are much less common. However, they tend to occur mainly around the second and third trimesters.  

What Are The Red Flags For Headaches When It Comes To Pregnancy?  

While pregnancy headaches are way more common, there are specific “red flags” that need immediate medical attention. These include sudden, severe onset headaches that are mainly accompanied by visual disturbances like swelling in the face and hands, high blood pressure, or continuous vomiting.  

What-Are-The-Red-Flags-For-Headaches-When-It-Comes-To-Pregnancy

Headaches that are associated with neuro symptoms like weakness, numbness, or speaking difficulty must also be taken seriously.  

Any headache that does not respond to usual treatments needs to be evaluated by a doctor as immediately as possible.  

List Of Red Flags To Look Out For  

Looking for red flags in a partner is not enough for a healthy life, you need to look out for the “red flags” associated with headaches occurring during pregnancy:  

  • Headaches that reach their peak in severity within five minutes of their initial occurrence.  
  • A new type of headache.  
  • A change in the pattern of the previously stable headache.  
  • Headache that keeps changing with your posture.  
  • A headache that wakes you up from sleep.  
  • Headache that happens from laughing, coughing, physical activity, or straining.  
  • Blood clotting disorders.  
  • Trauma  
  • Neurological signs or symptoms.  
  • Seizures.  
  • Fever.  
  • History of active infections or HIV.  
  • A history of malignancy.  
  • History of pituitary disorders.  
  • Elevated blood pressure.  

Should You Go To The ER For These Reasons?  

Absolutely! If you are pregnant and witness any of these symptoms while experiencing headaches, it is better to run to the ER as soon as possible. As there are multiple types of secondary headaches during pregnancy, and because most of these can be severe, it is always better to get immediate treatments before things get out of hand.  

Frequently Asked Questions 

What can I drink for headaches while pregnant? 

When you think about all the natural ways to get rid of headaches during pregnancy, the best way is to drink as much water as you can. Sometimes, a lack of fluid in your body might be the reason behind headaches during pregnancy.  

What is the main cause of headache during pregnancy? 

There is not a singular reason behind the occurrence of headache during pregnancy. It might happen due to multiple reasons which include dehydration, lack of sleep, stress, low blood sugar level, etc.  

Is it normal for a pregnant woman to have headaches everyday? 

Having mild headaches during the first trimester is normal for pregnant women to experience. However, if there are other symptoms too, you might need to get it checked from the doctors.  

Bottom Line 

Pregnancy always comes with its fair and unfair share of challenges – headaches being one of them. While headaches are common in every human being, the only proper cure concerns medication. But, pregnant women need to stay as far from these medicines as they might harm the fetus. Therefore, natural remedies for headaches during pregnancy remain the only feasible option for pregnant women. 

The natural remedies that can help with reducing pregnancy headaches are simple. They just include some lifestyle changes like proper sleep, healthy eating, exercising, and so on. While headaches themselves are nothing to be scared of, you need to keep an eye out for other red flags that might happen with headaches. If you experience any of those red flags, it is better to rush to the ER as soon as possible before things get out of hand.

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Shahnawaz Alam
Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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