During pregnancy, there are lot of changes that a female body undergoes and there are multiple symptoms or changes that she experiences. One such common thing to happen are headaches. This is usually caused due to increased sinus congestion, interrupted sleep and dehydration during pregnancy.
In majority cases, pregnancy headaches are harmless. However, headaches that occur suddenly and start during the second half of the pregnancy, can be a sign of preeclampsia, which is a condition requiring proper medical intervention.
What is preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia is classified as a pregnancy-related complication, which can cause high blood pressure and can even damage organs in acute cases. It normally starts after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
If left unattended, it can lead to serious and may even have fatal complications. The best treatment to be given is the delivery of the baby, which can also be a problem if preeclampsia happens too soon during pregnancy.
What causes pregnancy headaches?
Headaches due to pregnancy are more frequent after nine weeks when the blood volume and hormones increase. However, headaches can start just anytime during pregnancy. This might feel like one you never experienced before.
Increased blood volume that happens during pregnancy can increase the pressure on the sinuses.
Not getting enough sleep or not sleeping for enough hours increases your chances of getting a headache.
Normally, pregnancy-related nausea can keep people from drinking enough water, which in turn increases the risk of dehydration related headaches.
As you eat some thing with more calories, you may feel a little bit more hungry and low blood sugar that can trigger headaches.
Hormonal fluctuations are bound to happen and this can also trigger migraine pain during pregnancy.
Gaining weight and some other body changes increases the pressure on the shoulder and neck, leading to headaches due to tension.
Many women stop caffeine intake completely during pregnancy. This can also lead to withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure if related to preeclampsia can cause headaches too. This mostly happens after 22 weeks. One must always check with their doctor immediately if they experience a sudden headache during this period.
How to get relief from a headache
First, try to identify the root cause of the headache. It may take a little longer than usual, but find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Have a tall glass of water immediately whenever you feel a headache. This can give you some relief from headaches caused by dehydration.
Rest in a dark and quiet room
Giving ample rest to your body can reduce tension and interrupt headaches. While resting, try and avoid looking at any screen.
Tylenol and other medication
It is known that pregnant women can’t take consume NSAID pain relievers. However, Tylenol is an absolutely safe medicine to be consumed during pregnancy.
Hot and cold compress
Using the good old heat and cold compress can relax muscles in the head and neck area.
Scalp and neck massage
Massage is always a great option to relieve such aches and stress. It can help relieve pain from a tension headache and improve blood circulation.