What Can You Take For A Headache While Pregnant?
Today headache is a very common medical problem in the world. Not only in adults but a headache is also found in children. But if we see the variation between men and women in a headache than we find that womenâ€™s are more suffer. Pregnant womenâ€™s during their pregnancy time also suffer from a headache. But the cause of a headache is slightly different from normal, as pregnant womenâ€™s have many hormonal changes in them during their pregnancy.
Even some womenâ€™s have daily headaches while in their pregnancy, but the cause here is different. And some womenâ€™ experience headache in the second trimester of their pregnancy which is quiet, not common. As hormonal changes in the first trimester and in the third trimester is more than the second trimester, so as the symptoms vary in each trimester. But pregnant womenâ€™s if have a daily headache with intense pain and have any associated symptoms then it can be a sign of worry.
What Is A Headache?
While defining headache, every physician define a headache according to the cause. A headache is a pain which the patient felt in the region of any part or in the whole of the head with radiating pain which can be at eyes, ears, behind the head in occipital to the nape of the neck or the upper neck. It all depends upon the cause due to which a headache occurs.
But the pregnant women who are suffering from a headache daily in the second trimester, one can think of pre-eclampsia and if it is not treated than patient condition will be more complicated during delivery.
Causes Of Headache In Pregnant Womenâ€™s
The most common type of headache which the pregnant womenâ€™s experience is a tension headache. Now it comes in mind that what is a tension headache? It is a pain or discomfort which is felt in head, scalp, or neck with tightness felt around this area. A patient feels like the parts are surrounded by a tight band and it feels like a contract. It mostly occurs when the womenâ€™s take more stress in their day to day life.
With this there are many more reasons for a headache in pregnant womenâ€™s:-
- Due to hormonal changes in the body.
- Due to lack of sleep.
- Decrease amount of water intake.
- Due to excess intake of caffeine
- Due to low blood pressure.
- Due to stress and anxiety
- Depression and over thinking
- The wrong posture while sitting and lying, as the duration of pregnancy, exceeds the growth of fetus also increases in which the pregnant womenâ€™s are advised to have correct posture which not harm to her as well as to her baby.
One can also be diagnosed with a migraine if she has a one-sided headache associated with nausea and vomiting and the headache is relieved by darkness and pressure
What Is Pre-eclampsia?
It is a multisystem disorder whose cause is still unknown (unknown etiology) which is characterized by development of increase in blood pressure to the extent of 140/90 mm Hg or even more with protein content in urine which is induced by pregnancy after the 20th week in a previously normal pregnant women with normal blood pressure and no protein content in urine.
This pre-eclamptic feature even can appear before the 20th week in cases of hydatidiform mole and in cases of acute polyhydramnios.It mostly found in second trimester of pregnancy.
This Condition Is Mostly Found In
- An elderly and young womanâ€™s who conceived first time.
- Family history found in case of pre-eclampsia, eclampsia or hypertension.
- Poor people who mostly neglect antenatal care and nutrition during pregnancy
- Complicated pregnancy
- Any medical problems like hypertension, nephritis, diabetes
Symptoms Of Pre-Eclampsia
- Rise of blood pressure of at least 140/90 mm Hg.
- Swelling (pitting edema) over the ankles
- Albumin, protein leakage in urine.
These are Three Major Symptoms.
- Acute or sudden onset
- A headache which is mostly located over an occipital or frontal region.
- Disturbed sleep
- Less or diminished urine output.
- Pain in abdomen especially in epigastric region which can associate with vomiting.
- Eye symptoms include- blur vision or diminished vision. Or patient can have no vision. But this restores within 4-6 week after delivery.
Next condition which one has to worry if there is a daily headache in pregnant women is migraine. In this the headache intensity increases with the time duration with nausea and vomiting which can be severe, which makes the condition worse sometimes. She can even become irritable in nature and she is not able to do her day to day activity.
For above condition, it is mandatory to consult a doctor without any wastage of time and medication should be taken according to the doctorâ€™s prescription.
What Can You Take For A Headache while Pregnant?
As we all know pregnancy is very crucial time for every womanâ€™s. She has to take her care more as she going to give birth to the new life. Whenever she has any problem, it always comes in the mind whether to consult a doctor or should I take medicine by my own. Because now a days there are many medicine available in the market and even there are many TV ads available which helps in makeup of the mind that she can even do self-medication without knowing the harmful effects on the growing fetus inside her womb.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) - Still if she wants to take medicine for headache than she can take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) which is mostly recommended by doctors in pregnancy as it safe for pregnant womenâ€™s who have daily headache with proper dosage indication in pregnancy. Not all painkillers are recommended for pregnant womenâ€™s. Pain killers like ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin are strictly prohibited, as they can produce severe damage to the fetus growth.
Sleep - If there intensity of pain is more than she has to consult a doctor and at the same time for the medicine. The doctor can prescribe her slight stronger dose for her relieving in a headache with acetaminophen along with mild sedative, this mild sedative helps her for taking rest by sleeping which than reduces a headache or a headache may go. But it should be taken under the consultation of doctor otherwise there can be some harmful effects which may come.
Regular Checkup - Mostly this headache which occurs in pregnancy of the first trimester reduces as the time increases as she moves to second and third trimester, but if a headache still continues with other symptoms than it can be a sign of pre eclampsia. For this condition doctor consultation is must required with regular checkup. Doctor than has to give medicine which can stabilize the patient physiology can prevent the complications can prevent the eclampsia, and can deliver a healthy baby at full time pregnancy.
High Protein Diet and Mild Sedatives - For pre eclampsia patientâ€™s high protein diet and mild sedatives are advised to take during bedtime and regular checkup in one week or can be earlier. Diet should contain an adequate amount of protein about 100 gm. Salt is as such not restricted only there is a restriction in taking salty food and extra salt.
Consult the Doctor - Medicines which are mostly recommended in a migraine cannot be given to the pregnant womenâ€™s as they are harmful to the growth of the fetus and also for mother. For those who suffer from migraine attack, should consult the doctor before taking her regular medicine for a migraine. Doctor mostly changes the medicines for a relieving headache and associated symptoms.
For those who have migraine they should consult their doctor. They are advised to not to take the food items which act as the trigger factor for the migraine. It can be anything for them. For example, in some patients the trigger factors can be even chocolates, artificial sweets, any fruits, any dairy products, even can any medicines also.
All the womenâ€™s are advised to stop taking the following things or remain away as it can increase a daily headache during pregnancy and can even harm to the fetus:-
- Tobacco smoking
- Strong odors
- Loud noises
- Heat or cold in excess
- Excessive exercise
- Bright lights like movie screens
- Certain food items which produce a headache
To Prevent Headache The Pregnant Womenâ€™s Should
- Take proper balance diet.
- Drink plenty of water, she should not be dehydrated.
- Take proper sleep.
- She should not go hungry. Whenever she feels hungry should take small meals as empty stomach is one of the causes for the headache.
- Should take a proper exercise for which she should consult physiotherapist, they will teach a proper way of doing exercise so that it will not harmful to both mother and fetus. This exercise is helpful in reducing stress level and help in maintaining proper health. But for the migraine patient they are advice to have slower and lighter exercise.
- Should go for the bath. Mostly it is advised to take warm bath as it reduces tension headache. For the migraine suffer they are advised to cold bath as it reduces the pain and contraction in the head.
- Most of the pregnant womenâ€™s are advised to do yoga daily as it also helps in reducing stress and helps in maintaining of proper metabolic activities in the body.
- Take a proper head massage with oil. It will help in reducing the pain. Mostly lukewarm oil is advised for massage for proper absorption of oil.
When To Worry About Headaches During Pregnancy?
When a pregnant woman experiences a headache in her first and third trimester, the most common cause is hormonal changes as the body demands some changes which help in the creating favorable environment inside the womb of the mother for the fetus. This headache is mostly mild to moderate which vanishes by own or sometimes medicines can be required. Mostly in a second-trimester headache is less.
But when the headaches continue in the second trimester during pregnancy with intense pain, that it is the time for worry. The doctor should check the blood pressure of the pregnant women. Normal blood pressure in pregnant women is 120/80 mm Hg or it can vary with ( ,-) 10-20 in both systolic and diastolic. If the blood pressure remains high than the pregnant womenâ€™s will suffer from a headache with others symptoms too. And this can even lead to a worse condition which is called as pre-eclampsia.
For the pregnant womenâ€™s who have daily headache while pregnant can take medicines but the consultation of doctor is required. As every womanâ€™s in the world is differing from other so the symptoms during their pregnancy also vary. This headache mostly disappears as pregnancy time exceeds but still headache remains in the second trimester during pregnancy with others symptoms than it is an alarming symptom and one should consult to doctor as soon as possible.