How Is Headache Associated With Preeclampsia
If you get frequent and severe headaches during thesecond or third trimester, it could indicate preeclampsia, or PIH . Preeclampsia affects 5 to 10% of pregnancies. The headache that you may experience during this condition can be continuous and palpitating.
The headaches due to preeclampsia could be dull or severe, and throbbing, and similar to those of a migraine.
See a doctor immediately if:
- the headache is severe
- associated with a vision change, nausea vomiting, heartburn, swelling
- you have light sensitivity
Other Natural Ways To Relieve Headaches In Pregnancy
Women are often more sensitive during pregnancy, and things that didnt cause an issue before can cause headaches in pregnancy.
If youre struggling with headaches in pregnancy and the above strategies dont help, you may find relief by avoiding:;
- Bright lights .
- Salty foods:;In one study, people who ate more sodium had one-third more headaches than those who ingested less sodium.
- High histamine foods : In one study, instances of chronic headaches subsided in 73 percent of participants when they followed a low-histamine diet.
- Common food sensitivities and allergens, like peanuts, gluten, dairy, soy and other potentially inflammatory or allergenic foods.
- Strong odors:;Avoid scented laundry detergent, dryer sheets, perfume anything with an artificial scent. These fragrances are actually toxins, and some mamas are especially sensitive to them during pregnancy. Stick to natural scents like fresh lavender, a bouquet of flowers on the table, or a small amount of essential oil. But be aware that some sensitive mamas can even have issues with these natural scents!
If youre still struggling with headaches in pregnancy, you can also try:
- Applying a warm or cold compress, whichever feels better.
- Exercise .
- Chiropractic care .
- Warm shower or bath .
- Acupuncture: Find;a licensed acupuncturist , or try acupressure, which you can administer yourself by exerting gentle pressure on a particular meridian point.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Migraine Headaches
About 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women have migraines. Over half of women find that their migraines occur less often in the last few months of pregnancy. However, migraines may worsen after delivery, during the postpartum period. Although migraine headaches may cause severe pain for the mother, there are no dangers for the developing fetus.
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Does Migraine Affect Baby During Pregnancy
Many pregnant women have migraine headaches. Over half of women find that their migraines happen less often in the last few months of pregnancy. But migraines may get worse after birth, during the postpartum period. Although migraine headaches may cause you severe pain, they do not harm your developing baby .
What Causes Migraines During Pregnancy
If you experienced migraines prior to your pregnancy, you are more likely to experience them while pregnant. Even if youve never had a migraine, your chances are higher due to the changing of your hormones during pregnancy.
But your changing hormones arent the only thing responsible for this. There are plenty of other triggers that can contribute to migraines, including but not limited to:
- Blood sugar drops
- Higher body temperatures
- Nasal congestion
Any combination of these triggers can result in a migraine. But for women who experienced migraines in tandem with their menstrual cycle prior to pregnancy, we actually have good news!
Your migraines may decrease in intensity and frequency as your pregnancy progresses. Since estrogen will be at a high level throughout your 9 months, this trigger wont affect you as much.
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Try A Prenatal Massage
Go to a prenatal massage therapist to relieve the stress from shoulders, neck, and back. If going out to the therapist doesnt work for you, then there are certain massages that can be done at home. Try rubbing your shoulders at the base of your skull and below your wrists. Be aware of trigger points that can induce contractions such as the point between the thumb and index finger, and avoid them.
Second And Third Trimesters
In the second and third trimesters, a woman may be less likely to experience headaches due to hormonal changes, as the body has usually adjusted to these changes by this stage of pregnancy.
However, some women continue to experience tension headaches from hormonal changes throughout their pregnancy.
In the later stages of pregnancy, symptoms such as headaches are more likely to be due to:
- excess weight
- poor diet
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Migraine Triggers During Pregnancy
Hormonal change is a common trigger for women with migraine.;During pregnancy, oestrogen levels increase sharply, while progesterone levels decrease and rise again towards the end of the pregnancy.
Overall migraine improves during pregnancy especially during the second and third trimesters. This improvement may be due to the increased oestrogen levels and increased levels of natural pain-killing hormones .
These hormones are several times higher during pregnancy, and though the relief from migraine attacks they provide might last the whole pregnancy, the levels settle back down after delivery, normally allowing migraine attacks to return.
However, not everyone will see an improvement in their migraine, especially in the early weeks of pregnancy. For some women, their migraine is unaffected. Some women experience worsening migraine during pregnancy although this is rare.
During breastfeeding, stable oestrogen levels continue to be protective against having headache again after pregnancy.
However you are affected, it can help to identify any migraine attack triggers that you have, such as lack of sleep, stress, missed meals and dehydration. Keeping a headache diary may help pinpoint your triggers so you can avoid those things. Log when the headache happened, what triggered it, and how long it lasted. Common triggers include but are not limited to:
Is A Headache During Pregnancy Something To Worry About
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing to be celebrated, but few people fill you in on the not-so-great symptoms that may occur during the journey. Namely, heartburn, gas, constipation and, for some pregnant mamas, headaches.
While headaches can be just another normal symptom of pregnancy, should they ever be a cause for concern?
Headaches are common in women both in and outside of pregnancy, said Kelley Saunders, MD, an OBGYN with Banner University Medicine Womens Institute. But whether they are normal or not should always be discussed with your doctor.
Here is some insight into what causes headaches during pregnancy, some remedies to treat them and why your doctor should be kept in the loop.
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Headache And High Blood Pressure
If you know you have been experiencing higher-than-normal blood pressure, you should take major headaches seriously. A headache associated with high blood pressure is a strong indicator of preeclampsia. This can put both you and your unborn baby at risk .
Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy and can be carefully controlled by your physician. Some tests can be conducted to confirm whether or not you have this complication.
Other symptoms of preeclampsia include blurred vision, blind spots, or dizziness. Any combination of these with headaches can be concerning.
How To Get Rid Of A Migraine When Pregnant
Migraines are a different animal altogether. While some things help , it may be best to consult your doctor. Often they can prescribe a mix of acetaminophen and perhaps a mild narcotic or sedative that they consider safe. Alternately, have you considered acupuncture as an alternative headache remedy during pregnancy? While it sounds scary, its actually quite effective and has been in use for a very, very long time. An acupuncturist knows various pressure points to assist with different ailments and it may be that they can cure your headache in minutes! Youll never know if you dont try.
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How To Get Rid Of A Migraine Fast With The Chill Method
You aren’t at your best when a Migraine attack hits. The beginning of an attack brings exhaustion, difficulty thinking, and anxiety. It can be tempting to panic and give in to the fear – especially if you don’t have your abortive meds in reach.
Panicking will make only make it worse – I know from experience. Your breathing becomes more shallow when you’re stressed, kicking your nervous system into fight-or-flight mode and depriving your brain of the oxygen it needs.
You don’t have to remember how to get rid of a Migraine fast, just remember to CHILL.
Hormones May Not Be To Blame
Even if you dont usually get headaches, you may develop lots of headaches during pregnancy. Migraines, tension headaches or other types of headaches can occur at any time during your pregnancy, but they are more frequent during the first and third trimesters, according to the American Pregnancy Association. And whether you have a headache on the left side of your head or a headache behind your right eye while pregnant, its unpleasant.
Some of the lifestyle changes that are recommended in pregnancy, such as reducing or eliminating your caffeine intake, may cause headaches. Also, both dehydration and missing meals can lead to headaches, says Brian M. Grosberg, MD, director of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute Headache Center in West Hartford, Conn.
When you are pregnant, you may not drink enough water and you may also skip meals because you are nauseated, Dr. Grosberg says. Plus, he says, your sleep gets disrupted during pregnancy, which also increases risk for headaches.
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Symptoms Of Headache Throughout Pregnancy:
Headache symptoms vary from person to person. The intensity of pain fluctuates. The kind of pain you experience might be dull, severe, sharp, throbbing, pulsating, either on one or both sides or behind one or both eyes. Headaches might likewise include blind spots, vomiting, queasiness, or seeing flashes of lights or lines.
What Causes Migraines
Migraines happen when blood vessels in the brain expand and become inflamed. Unfortunately, the exact causes of this are not clear. Migraines appear to be geneticif someone in your family has migraines, you are three times more likely to have migraines, too. If youre a woman, you are also three times more likely to have migraines. Around 18% of women experience migraines compared to just 6% of men.
There are many common causes of migraines, including:
- foods such as chocolate, aged cheeses, or some food additives like monosodium glutamate
- beverages including wine, dark beers, caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea, or diet drinks with artificial sweeteners
- sleep changes, whether its too little sleep or too much
- bright lights or glare from the sun
- changes in the weather
- strong smells such as tobacco smoke, perfume or chemicals
- physical causes such as intense exercise
- medications including hormonal treatments
- hormonal changes for women such as menstrual periods, pregnancy or menopause
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Have A Treatment Plan
A solid plan can give you the power to relieve a migraine before the pain becomes severe. This may be the most important weapon you have against future migraine attacks.
Your plan will likely include taking medications when you feel a migraine coming on. Knowing which medication to take can lower your stress level because it removes some of the guesswork of what you should do. Your plan may include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, or some combination of the two. You should work with your doctor to develop a migraine treatment plan thats right for you.
Headache During Pregnancy: Types Causes Treatment And Home Remedies
Headaches might occur in any trimester for different reasons. They may get worse and frequent with time, too. While some types of headaches occur due to hormonal changes, others could result from health issues of pregnancy. Whatever could be the reason, discussing with your doctor could only help in proper treatment and management.
This MomJunction post discusses all about headaches during pregnancy, and ways that may help to deal with them.
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Is Headache A Sign Of Pregnancy
Headache may not be considered a sign of pregnancy. It is usually a sign of other health problems during pregnancy.
Headaches are benign and do not affect your baby in any way. They might trouble you and disturb your routine. But the above-mentioned treatments and preventive methods could help provide relief from headaches during pregnancy. However, make sure to consult your doctor before starting any medications or herbal medicines.
Headaches are benign and do not affect your baby in any way. Yes, they will trouble you and disturb your routine. But the above-mentioned treatments and preventive methods can certainly help provide relief from headaches during pregnancy. However, make sure to consult your doctor before starting any medications or herbal medicines.
Try Hot Or Cold Therapy
If youve ever put an ice pack on an injury or a heating pad on a sore back, you know the power of temperature therapy. This can also help when you have a migraine. You may need to experiment to decide what feels best for you. Some people find that an ice pack applied to the head offers soothing, numbing relief. This is particularly helpful if sun or heat brought on your migraine.
Other people find a heating pad or hot shower to be therapeutic during an attack. Its worth trying hot or cold therapy when your next migraine hits. It can safely and effectively complement your medication.
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When Should I Worry About Migraines During Pregnancy
While they definitely suck, most migraines are not necessarily dangerous, even while youre pregnant.
But, migraines & headaches at key points of your pregnancy can be cause for concern, as they can indicate a serious underlying condition. After your first migraine you should check in with your doctor.
Research has shown that in rare cases, migraine throughout pregnancy can be an indication that you are at heightened risk of preeclampsia, hypertension, and other vascular disorders. Your doctor will help you assess other risk factors that can provide more insight into your degree of risk for developing these conditions.
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What Can I Take For A Migraine While Pregnant
And now for the meds. As we saw above, many conventional migraine medicines arent recommended while youre pregnant, including ergotamine.
Unfortunately, ibuprofen and other so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs arent advisable for use during pregnancy either. So, whats safe?
- Acetaminophen is really your best bet. This general painkiller is considered safe during pregnancy. Many pregnant women use it without any harmful side effects. But doctors advise that you should only use it when necessary.
- Sumatriptan is a dedicated medication for migraines and cluster headaches. Studies havent found evidence that sumatriptan, or other triptans, can negatively affect you or your baby while pregnant. But do tell your doctor if youre planning to take sumatriptan.
Talk to your doctor about what they recommend taking for migraines during pregnancy. Theyll be able to find the solution thats best for you.
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Additional Tips To Relieve Pregnancy Headaches
Here are some more tips that you can try to get relief from headaches in pregnancy
- Have small meals throughout the day and ensure that you are consuming enough proteins.
- Put Epsom salts in your bath water and take a warm bath to relax.
- Try acupuncture to relieve the stress points of your body.
- Exercise regularly but dont overdo.
- Avoid caffeine, as caffeine withdrawal can also trigger headaches.
- In the worst-case scenario, consider taking a paracetamol tablet if nothing else works.
Generally, these headaches are very much manageable at homes, but consult a doctor might be needed if:
- The pain becomes unbearable.
- If a headache is accompanied by a blurry vision or pain in the upper right abdomen and swelling in hands and face.
- A headache starts after six months of pregnancy, which might be a sign of toxaemia and preeclampsia.
A headache is something that everyone experiences from time to time. However, it can be a major source of inconvenience during pregnancy. Try the home remedies mentioned above; but if the pain becomes unbearable, consult a doctor. Have a healthy and safe pregnancy!
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Non-drug treatments certainly can be helpful, and massage, acupuncture, relaxation and biofeedback have been found to be useful by some. Some women also find applications of heat or cold to the head can be useful.
Many women also prefer to take complementary and alternative medicines such as homoeopathic and herbal remedies rather than traditional medicines whilst they are pregnant, considering them to be milder.
However, some complementary treatments can have an unwanted effect on your pregnancy just as conventional medicines can. For instance, some women find aromatherapy massage very helpful, and may be unaware that some essential oils need to be avoided.
Reflexology treatment is not always advisable during pregnancy, and all complementary medicines should be taken under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Feverfew should not be used during pregnancy.
The best advice is to take as few medicines as is realistically possible for you, and at the lowest effective dose, if needed. The use of any drugs or herbal remedy to treat your migraines during pregnancy and whilst breast feeding is a balance of risk and benefits, taken with medical advice. Any medication you do take should be recorded in your pregnancy notes.
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Frequency Of Migraines During Pregnancy
Many women have migraines for the first time when theyre expecting; others, including women with a history of migraines, get them more often.
Blame your out-of-whack pregnancy hormones, plus all those other pregnancy-related triggers you’re experiencing: fatigue,;tension, blood sugar drops, physical or emotional stress, nasal congestion;and;overheating or a combination of all of these.
That said, some women who have a history of migraines related to their menstrual cycle actually end up getting these headaches less often when theyre expecting, particularly during the second and third trimesters.
Thats because their migraines are likely caused by the “withdrawal” of estrogen that occurs just before menstruation; during pregnancy, estrogen levels remain consistently high.