Headaches During Pregnancy: Causes And Treatment

Pregnancy causes many women to suffer from headaches. There are a variety of reasons pregnancy can result in headaches — from hormonal changes to quitting coffee to not sleeping well. Moms and babies do not need to be concerned about headaches, even though they may hurt (or rather they could hurt in the head). Pregnancy headaches are caused by hormonal changes in the body, which can lead to headaches.

Headaches During Pregnancy: Causes

Headaches aren’t uncommon in pregnancy, so they shouldn’t surprise women. Several things can cause headaches while you’re pregnant, but there is no clear cause every time. The following are some causes (not an exhaustive list):

  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Hunger
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Dehydration
  • Decaffeination
  • Insomnia
  • Eye strain from changes in your vision, or too much time on the computer, or from an increase in weight
  • Stress or strain
  • Increased muscle strain from the weight you gain and the changes in your posture with the growing baby
  • Pregnant women who have high blood pressure

Headaches During Pregnancy: Treatment

Headaches During Pregnancy: Treatment

Until you were pregnant, you may have used pain medication to treat headaches. With an upcoming baby, you may instead want to consider natural ways to handle your pain, rather than turning to medicines as a last resort. You can use these alternative methods to deal with headaches while pregnant.

  • Rest in a darkroom: Try to sleep with the lights off, the TV low on volume, or shut it off completely.
  • Use hot and cold towels: Whenever your headaches, alternate heat and cold.
  • Take a bath: It is safe to take a bath if you do not experience any pregnancy complications. Consult your doctor before doing so.
  • Try natural health services: Depending on the type of headache, an alternative treatment option may help relieve it. If you have concerns about your pregnancy, seek the help of a physician and make sure you get natural health care from licensed professionals.
  • Make an appointment with your eye doctor: Dry eyes and altered vision are two side effects of pregnancy. A doctor of optometry can provide you with options for treating headaches caused by eye problems.
  • Ask for help: To get some rest, ask a friend or a relative to help you with other children. You can often count on loved ones to help out when you need it.
  • See your ob/GYN: See your obstetrician if you have persistent or worsening headaches.


It’s great if you can avoid pain medication if you occasionally suffer from a headache. However, chronic headaches or migraines can be too troublesome to handle sometimes. It doesn’t mean that suffering in pain while having a baby is necessary.

Despite that, you shouldn’t take migraine medications that you usually would or the over-the-counter drugs you use regularly. Due to your pregnancy, you need to use pain medications more carefully. You should consult your physician. If required, they will prescribe medication if your pain is too severe to be managed with over-the-counter medications. The following recommendations are general: [1]

  • While you’re pregnant, you can take Tylenol (acetaminophen) in low doses as needed. If necessary, however, it should never be taken when you’re not pregnant.
  • When you’re pregnant, taking aspirin and NSAIDs (Motrin, Aleve, or Advil) is not recommended, particularly after the 20th week.
  • Migraine headaches, nausea, and pain may be treated with prescription medications prescribed by your doctor.

After 20 weeks of pregnancy, NSAIDs are no longer recommended by the Food and Drug Administration. Several serious complications have been associated with these drugs, including heart and kidney problems, low levels of amniotic fluid, preterm birth, and miscarriage.

Caffeine Headaches During Pregnancy

There is a drug called caffeine. It can be addictive and can lead to dependency. During pregnancy, you may have problems with caffeine withdrawal if you love your coffee or soda and stop drinking them all of a sudden after learning you’re expecting. When you stop drinking coffee you might feel fatigued, irritable, shaky, and you may even get a headache.

Caffeine withdrawal is what causes you to get a headache after stopping drinking coffee. Here are a few tips to help you go through the adjustment period without caffeine.

  1. Slowly reduce your caffeine intake: Avoid giving up caffeine abruptly if possible. If you cut back gradually, your body will thank you. Caffeine may help reduce headaches, and there is no evidence to suggest that it could harm. Decaffeinated tea and coffee are also available to you.
  2. Boost your energy in other ways: If you switch to decaf coffee or caffeine-free soda, especially in the middle of the day, you may feel tired and lack energy. A healthy snack, fresh air, or a walk can give you a boost if you’re feeling sluggish.
  3. Stay hydrated: Just because you’re no longer taking a coffee break doesn’t mean you should skimp on your beverage break. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids, so grab a glass of water or a non-caffeinated beverage.
  4. Sleep early: Maintaining a high level of energy throughout the day can be achieved by getting enough rest at night.

Sinus Headaches

The forehead, around your eyes, and bridge of your nose may feel sore and painful as a result of allergies or a sinus infection. A runny nose or stuffy nose may accompany the cold.

Feeling sinus-related pain should get you to the doctor. Having a sinus infection may require that your doctor prescribes an antibiotic.

Related: Five Common Viral Infections During Pregnancy

In addition to these treatments, you can also use:

  • Avoiding things that might trigger your allergy
  • Nasal sprays and neti pots can help loosen mucus and ease congestion
  • Holding a humidifier, or a bowl of steaming water with the towel covered over your head will help you breathe easier
  • Maintaining a healthy fluid intake
  • Resting more

There are some over-the-counter medications for sinuses, allergies, and pain that you should not take during pregnancy. Thus, you should talk to your doctor if you think they’re going to prescribe an antihistamine or pain reliever for you to take.

Tension Headaches During Pregnancy

Tension Headaches During Pregnancy

Anxiety or stress can lead to tension headaches. A feeling of tightness might be felt around your head, and you might also feel it in your neck or behind your head. Here are some ways to ease tension headaches:

  1. To relieve tension in the neck, place an ice pack on it or a cold towel on it.
  2. While working at the computer or a desk all day, take time to sit down and move around.
  3. You can reduce muscle tension in your neck and back by doing gentle yoga, stretching exercises, and breathing exercises.
  4. Shower or bathe in warm water.
  5. Sit back and relax.

Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

Unlike typical headaches, migraines can be very intense. There may also be other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, blurry vision, and sensitivity to light and sound along with the throbbing, pounding pain. There isn’t always a connection between migraines and pregnancy, although some may find that the condition improves during the pregnancy.

Certain things trigger migraine attacks and you should avoid them if you suffer from them, including:

Additionally, you can:

  • Spend some quiet time in a dark place
  • Relax by using relaxation techniques
  • Keep your head cool by applying ice packs
  • Acupuncture or massage are alternative treatments you can try
  • Talk to your doctor if you have severe migraines and require medication.
  • Your healthcare provider should be consulted if you awake from sleep with a severe, unrelenting headache.

Headache Prevention

We all suffer from headaches from time to time. Because they don’t always indicate where they came from, such as a cold, and you can get them from things you cannot control, by controlling them you can reduce their frequency. It is possible to keep them from attacking, however, if you take certain steps.

  1. Avoid triggers: If you can determine what foods, plants, or smells are causing your headaches, you can avoid them.
  2. Stay hydrated: Dehydration or not drinking enough water can give you a headache on a hot day or when you exercise. Be sure to stay hydrated to avoid headaches when it is hot or when you exercise.
  3. Don’t skip meals: Eat a balanced diet to avoid headaches caused by hunger and low blood sugar. Keep your blood sugar levels steady by eating three meals and a few healthy snacks a day. You shouldn’t have to go for long periods without eating by carrying a snack that contains protein and whole grains.
  4. Make sure you get enough sleep: Get a good night’s sleep and take naps now and then to keep fatigued at bay.
  5. Relax by using the following methods: Relaxing methods, such as yoga and listening to music, can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  6. Keep an eye on your stress levels: You should consult your physician if you are experiencing too much stress.
  7. Make sure you have a good posture: Keeping your shoulders back is so important when standing or sitting up straight. You can prevent muscle strain on your back and neck by maintaining good posture, especially during pregnancy, when you are carrying a baby.

The Right Time to See a Doctor

When you eat something or take a few minutes to rest, you will often find that a headache will go away.

You should call your doctor if you experience a persistent headache, or if it does not go away within a few hours or keeps coming back.

Inform your doctor as well:

  • Make sure your headache medication or herbal supplement is safe before taking it.
  • If your natural treatment is not working.
  • Symptoms of fever, eye pressure, or a stuffy nose.
  • High blood pressure can cause headaches if you have such a history.
  • After reaching 20 weeks pregnant, you may experience headaches.
  • In addition to pain, you may also experience nausea, blurry vision, abdominal pain, or swelling around the abdomen.
  • After falling and hitting your head, you may experience head pain.


What should I do if I experience headaches during pregnancy?

What are the causes for concern? You should contact your healthcare provider if you have a headache that doesn’t seem to be going away, if you are dizzy, or if you have blurred vision, or when your field of vision changes. High blood pressure during pregnancy can sometimes cause headaches.

Is it normal for pregnant women to have headaches every day?

Particularly during the first trimester of pregnancy, headaches are common. You may experience headaches daily if your hormone levels are skyrocketing. Dehydration, abrupt stops in your caffeine intake, and lack of sleep are also common causes.

When pregnant, does a headache mean a girl is on the way?

One of the most common symptoms of pregnancy is headaches, but with boys, this appears to be more common. A mother of a boy would probably be able to testify to this after birth – as for before, that’s debatable.

What is the duration of pregnancy headaches?

A throbbing headache that can range from mild to severe. Some symptoms last between four hours and three days, including heightened sensitivity to light, noise, or smells, as well as nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.

In second trimester pregnancy, why do women get headaches?

Preeclampsia, a serious condition caused by high blood pressure during pregnancy, is often accompanied by a headache in the second or third trimester. There may also be vision changes, liver and kidney abnormalities, and an unusually high level of protein in the urine as conditions associated with preeclampsia.

Do second-trimester headaches normally occur?

The body has usually adjusted to these hormonal changes by the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, therefore women are less likely to experience headaches during this time of pregnancy. The effects of hormonal changes on some women may not fade for the whole duration of the pregnancy.

15-week-pregnant women often experience headaches. Is this normal?

Additionally, at week 15, you may have bleeding or growing pains. There is a possibility of hormonal changes in pregnancy causing headaches. It’s a good idea to see your doctor if you have headaches that aren’t resolved by Tylenol, fluids, or rest. When you experience any visual changes, you should seek medical attention right away.

Is it normal to have headaches at 16 weeks pregnant?

Pregnancy is associated with headache pain. During the first trimester of pregnancy, you may experience tension headaches. There are many changes you are undergoing in a short period of time, which may cause this. Another reason for headache pain in your pregnancy can be other reasons other than the pregnancy itself.

A Word From Kids Rush

An annoying and painful headache can ruin your day. There are even more risks when you’re pregnant, and you must be cautious about taking medications. However, if you know what triggers headaches, you can try to prevent them. Should one arise, you will be prepared to deal with it more effectively.

You or your baby will not suffer any harm from most headaches during pregnancy. As long as they drink a little, eat a little, and relax a little, they will usually be fine. If you have other symptoms in addition to the headache, such as a fever, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor.