Friday, March 28, 2014

Headaches During Pregnancy

On a good day, not pregnant, headaches can be one of the most uncomfortable things.  During pregnancy having a headache is the cherry on top of the sundae.  Headaches during pregnancy are one of the most common complaints and can cause a great deal of discomfort.  They do seem to be most common during the first trimester and the third trimester and of course, due to hormonal changes.
Why am I getting headaches?
You may be experiencing headaches during your first trimester because of the change in your hormones and increase in the blood volume that circulates through your body.  There are some outside factors that will put you at greater risk for getting headaches during your pregnancy.
-No sleep
-Low blood sugar
-Poor posture
-Vision changes
-Changes in caffeine use
-History of headaches or migraines
If you are experiencing headaches associated with vision changes, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, swelling in your hands, feet, and/or face call your doctor or midwife immediately because this could be pregnancy induced hypertension. 
How can I deal with my headaches during pregnancy?
There are a few things you can do that will lower your chances of getting headaches during pregnancy.
-Have good posture
-Try your best to get comfortable and get sleep
-Drink plenty of water
If you are finding that you are getting headaches and you aren’t getting relief there are some natural things you can try first to relieve the headache.  I am one for trying a natural approach first before trying any pain medication for relief.

-Apply a warm compress around your eyes and nose.
-Apply a cold compress or ice pack at the back of your neck.
-Try eating smaller meals more frequently. This will help you maintain you blood sugar levels.
-Get a prenatal massage. Getting a massage will help you to relax a bit and relieve some stress.  Also, in rubbing the neck, temples, and shoulders will release endorphins and relieve some pain.
-Stay away from bright lights.
-Try to avoid eating chocolate.

If you aren’t getting any relief at all or start experiencing the symptoms associated with pregnancy induced hypertension contact your doctor or midwife immediately.

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