Headache in pregnancy is a very common problem. Although they occur more often during the first trimester, in the remaining months they may also appear.
The main causes for headache in pregnancy are increased blood volume, decreased blood glucose and hormonal changes.
The increased blood flow, coupled with increased estrogen, leads to blood congestion, which causes headache.
Treatment is usually done with acetaminophen, a drug that pregnant women can take.
Treatment for headache in pregnancy
Because paracetamol does not influence fetal development, the pregnant woman can take this medicine. Either way, you should always consult your doctor before taking any medication.
Generally, paracetamol should be taken every 6 hours or every 8 hours. Sometimes, paracetamol is not enough, and the pregnant should be supplemented with a shower or cold compresses.
This is the usual treatment for headache in pregnancy. However, if headaches were frequent before getting pregnant, medications will probably not solve the problem.
Symptoms that should make you see your doctor
When the headache in pregnancy appears isolated, though unpleasant, it is quite harmless, and will eventually disappear.
However, when it comes with other symptoms, it may be a sign of something more serious. If the headache in pregnancy arises accompanied by one of the following symptoms, you should consult your obstetrician:
– sudden increase in weight, abdominal pain in the upper right area, spotted vision and swelling in the face or hands;
– sickness and vomiting;
– stiff neck and fever;
Difficulty in articulating sounds and distorted vision;
– sudden and violent headache;
– pressure in the area below the eyes (or toothache) and nasal congestion;
– persistent and frequent headache, even with treatment.
How to prevent headache in pregnancy
Given the most common causes of headache in pregnancy, there are several precautions you must take to prevent them from appearing.
Take the following suggestions, and reduce the chances of having fewer headaches during pregnancy:
– do not sleep on your stomach;
– eat frequently in order to prevent hypoglycemia;
– do not stand too long;
– avoid alcoholic beverages;
– exercise regularly (suitable for pregnant women);
– escape from stressful situations.