Headaches In Early Pregnancy

7 min read

Written by Team Being The Parent

Team Being The Parent

We support parents through the journey of Pregnancy & Parenthood with our insightful and well curated content.

Headaches In Early Pregnancy.

Pregnancy is the time when the body of the woman goes through many changes, and even she faces a lot of health issues, headaches being one of them. Although headaches are not common to only pregnancy, one can have it occasionally as well. Still, headaches in pregnancy have a twist as no medicines can be prescribed for the same during pregnancy.

Usually, headaches can happen at any time in pregnancy. But it triggers majorly in the first trimester and the last one. Headaches cause a lot of discomfort, whether bubbling due to any stress, migraine, tension, etc., so there are a few pointers that one must be aware of being able to minimize or combat it.

In This Article

Are Headaches a Symptom of Early Pregnancy?

Headaches can happen occasionally or in the initial stages of pregnancy, but are majorly experienced in the later stages of pregnancy. It is around the 26th to 34th week, when it triggers the most as it is the advanced stage of pregnancy, nearing to delivery period, with too many hormonal and physical changes, high-stress levels, posture issues, etc. Headaches trigger due to a sudden increase in blood volume.

Causes of Headaches During Early Pregnancy

Causes of headache during early pregnacy.

Headaches are very common to happen to anybody, so the real cause behind them is not very clear. It can trigger due to an upsurge of blood levels or hormonal changes, stress, tiredness, vision, hunger, low blood sugar, etc. Some women experience due to nasal congestion, while others, due to dehydration or nausea as well.

A few other reasons that can lead to headaches or trigger them further are undermentioned:

  • Improper Sleep
  • Stress and tension
  • Withdrawal of Caffeine
  • Low levels of blood sugar
  • Dehydration and Nausea
  • Changes in body weight
  • Improper nutrition
  • Less physically active
  • Sensitive to Light
  • Muscle strains
  • Food allergies

Some types of headaches that are experienced in the later stages of pregnancy are due to high tension, which is the result of the additional weight of the body, worrying much about the baby, poor postures, Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure.

Extremely painful migraine headaches can be felt only on one side. It is due to the expanding blood vessels of the brain. And this can lead to vomiting and nausea, additionally faced by problems like light sensitivity, tingling sensations, etc.

How Can I Get Rid of a Headache While Pregnant?

How Can I Get Rid of a Headache While Pregnant_.

Headaches during pregnancy can generally be treated at home, and most of the time, do not need a medical intervention unless they are very intense and are accompanied by another symptom. A few ways by which one get rid of headaches during pregnancy are as follows:

  • Ample rest
  • Scalp or neck massage
  • Cold or hot packs Adequate sleep
  • Proper diet
  • Physically active
  • Good posture to be practiced in the third trimester
  • Drugs like Tylenol, aspirin, paracetamol, etc.

[Read: Aspirin During Pregnancy]

Can I Take Ibuprofen For a Headache While Pregnant?

Can I Take Ibuprofen For a Headache While Pregnant_

Pregnancy is a time when not many drugs are advisable. Even then, they are advised to take Ibuprofen, though the intake of paracetamol is much better.

Certain facts should be borne in mind concerning  Ibuprofen, and they are listed as under:

  • It is not advisable to be taken at 30 weeks or later, unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.
  • Ibuprofen, if taken after 30 weeks or more, can lead to heart ailments for the baby, less amniotic fluid as well as many other complications.
  • The consumption at later stages can even lead to a miscarriage.

Home Remedies For Headaches in Early Pregnancy

Home Remedies For Headaches in Early Pregnancy.

At any time, people prefer home remedies to other medications as it has no side effects and is safe and natural. Moreover, medicines should strictly be taken under medical consultation only as taking on-the-counter medicines can sometimes have a few side effects on the baby that one should be aware of.

So, it is advisable to try home remedies to able to get rid of headaches during pregnancy, and some of the home remedies are given as under:

  • In case experiencing a sinus headache, it is best to use a warm compress near your nose and eyes.
  • In case of headaches due to tension, applying a cold pack on the neck may help.
  • Massaging the neck and shoulders is yet another effective way of getting rid of the pain.
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels by having little but meals frequently.
  • Massaging the neck and shoulders is yet another effective way of getting rid of the pain.
  • Take a rest in a room with few lights or one which is dark.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Try and take a bath or a hot shower.

In case one needs to get rid of the pain due to a headache application of hot and cold compress at the back of the neck, sides of the head, around the eyes, etc., works wonders. The hot and warm compress is available in varied sizes and shapes, but it needs to be heated in a microwave or frozen in a refrigerator before it can be applied. Even though very effective, the heat and cold subside soon.

Can I Prevent My Pregnancy Headaches?

Can I Prevent My Pregnancy Headaches_.

Headaches are not something that can be escaped, yet measures can be taken to avoid them later. Some of the steps have been vividly explained to get a better and larger picture, and they are:

1. Eating is the Mantra

Headaches get triggered when one skips meals. So it is best to keep something handy and nutritious and keep eating it at frequent intervals.

2. Ample Rest is a Must

The first and the thirst trimester of pregnancy are crucial. So it is important to rest well but, at the same time, never overdo it as even that leads to headaches.

3. Maintain a Diary For the Eateries

Some foods are known to trigger headaches, so it is best to know what suits your body and what hits you. It is a known fact that all bodies accept not all foods, so it is best to track down the list of foods that led to a headache and avoid them in pregnancy or have it in a regulated manner.

[Read: Is it Safe to Take A Caffeine During Pregnancy?]

4. Gradually Give Up Caffeine

If one has the habit of consuming caffeine and wants to stop at the onset of pregnancy, it is best to go slowly as leaving instantly can even lead to headaches. Try cutting down gradually so that the body can get accustomed to the new change else the withdrawal becomes a painful one.

5. Fresh Air is a Must

Fresh air.

During pregnancy, one should get a lot of exposure to fresh air and not keep yourself indoors. It can get suffocating. Try to stay away from the strong smell and don’t be overdressed or underdressed, as that can also be a sign of headaches.

6. Shift the Lighting

Too much bright light also tends to trigger headaches and offices where there are no windows, or few windows are also not too favorable at the time of pregnancy. One should try and be as close to nature as one can.

7. Maintain Peace

Noise and high volume are other reasons that trigger headaches. So in case not too comfortable or sensitive to high sounds, try and move away.

8. Check Your Posture

Posture plays a very important role, so one should not bend or hunch too much for a longer duration, as that can lead to pains and ailments.

[Read: Watch Your Posture During Pregnancy]

9. Look For Alternatives


For the prevention of stress levels leading to headaches, one should resort to yoga, meditation, deep breathing, massages, acupuncture, low-fitness training, etc.

Thus, it is true that headaches are not something to be too worried about and can easily be controlled by home remedies. Still, if natural means do not work, it is best to seek medical intervention as pregnancy is not a time when one should put life at stake and take risks.

It is best to inform the doctor in case it is too severe as headaches can even be due to other issues, which could be dangerous. So, let us make pregnancy a healthy and happy phase, and let us all make the mother comfortable and stress-free so that a happy and healthy baby comes to life.

Read Also: Nipples During Early Pregnancy


1. What Do Early Pregnancy Headaches Feel Like?

It is determined by the sort of headache experienced by the pregnant woman. It may range from acute pain that feels like throbbing, hammering, or pulsing to dull, aching head discomfort. Tightness or pressure may also be felt throughout the forehead, as well as on the sides and back of the head.

2. When Should I Be Worried About Headaches During Pregnancy?

Headaches in pregnancy might occasionally be linked to blood pressure issues. Inform your doctor if they are persistent or severe and occur beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy. Strokes in pregnant women are uncommon. Still, women who suffer from migraines are more likely to suffer from one. Thus, headaches that are not going must be taken to the notice of your doctor.

3. Is Headache A Symptom Of Miscarriage?

When a pregnancy is lost, some women claim that they suddenly have a strong migraine-like headache (similar to a premenstrual migraine) as a result of a fast decline in pregnancy hormones, notably estrogen. This is particularly valid when it occurs in a woman who doesn’t often get headaches.

Team Being The Parent,

We support parents through the journey of Pregnancy & Parenthood with our insightful and well curated content.Read more.

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