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Headaches got you down?
Let's get to the bottom of pregnancy headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache.
They occur most often in the first trimester.
Tension headaches can feel like a squeezing pain or a steady dull ache.
Why does your head hurt?
Experts aren't exactly sure, but their best guess is that hormones are to blame.
Increased blood volume and circulation may also play a role.
Other possible culprits:
- caffeine withdrawal
- sinus congestion
What about migraines?
About 1 in 5 women has a migraine at some time in her life. Up to 16 percent of those women get migraines for the first time when pregnant.
Migraines may be aggravated by physical activity, so try taking it easy.
Ask your doctor what kind of pain medication you can take.
Acetaminophen is safe to take during pregnancy, but check with your doctor before taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and any prescription migraine drugs.
Investigate your migraine triggers.
Common ones include:
- nitrites and nitrates (in foods like hot dogs and bacon)
- artificial sweeteners
- certain fruits (bananas, papayas, avocados, and citrus)
- chocolate and carob
- fermented or pickled food
- use a compress
- take a shower
- eat and drink small amounts frequently
- practice relaxation techniques
- get a massage
Call your provider if:
- you're in your second or third trimester and have a bad headache – you'll need to make sure you don't have preeclampsia
- you have a fever and a stiff neck
- your headache gets worse or is unlike any you've ever experienced
Headaches aren't fun. Hang in there!