It’s not unusual to get tension headaches when you’re pregnant, especially in the first trimester. Tension headaches – the most common kind of headache – can feel like a squeezing pain or a steady dull ache on both sides of the head or the back of the neck.
Acetaminophen is safe to take as directed on the label, but most other headache medications – such as aspirin and ibuprofen – aren’t recommended for pregnant women. Talk to your doctor about which medications you can take for headaches.
Here a few suggestions that may help you ward off a headache or get relief once you have one:
- Figure out what’s triggering the pain. Doctors recommend keeping a “headache diary” to help identify specific triggers. Write down anything you’ve eaten in the past 24 hours preceding the onset of a headache.
- Don’t go hungry or thirsty. To prevent low blood sugar (a common headache trigger), eat smaller, more frequent meals. If you’re on the go, keep some snacks (crackers, fruit, yogurt) within reach. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
- Use a compress. Apply a warm or cool compress to your forehead or the base of your skull.
- Take a shower. A warm shower or bath can be soothing for tension headaches.
- Avoid fatigue. Try to make time for naps in your day. If you have a headache, try to sleep it off in a quiet, dark room.
- Get some exercise. Regular exercise can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and reduce the stress that can cause them.
- Try relaxation techniques. Meditation and yoga are helpful in reducing stress and headaches in some sufferers.
- Try massage. A Massage can release tension in the muscles of your neck, shoulders and back.
You deserve a beautiful birth experience. Baptist Health Maternity Care has a passion for helping moms live out the positive labor and delivery experience they imagine. Across eight locations in Kentucky and southern Indiana, each of our facilities offers unique innovations that help the families in our care realize that reality. One thing stays the same no matter where you find yourself in Baptist Health: Our team is committed to providing a high level of patient-centered care before, during and after your baby is born.