Gruelling headaches tend to happen in the early days of pregnancy thanks to the abundance of hormonal changes in the weeks after conception.
Headaches in early pregnancy
Isn't it ironic that women are more likely to suffer headaches at a time when they aren't supposed to take pain killers?
Headaches during the first 12 weeks of their pregnancy may be caused by hormonal changes, but they may also be due to the normal increase in blood volume circulating in the woman's system during pregnancy.
Adjusting to a new pregnancy can also be a stressful time for many women. Therefore, headaches caused by tension may also be experienced.
Occasionally, a woman who is prone to headaches or migraines can find she does not experience them as often during pregnancy, while others may find they are worse.
You can read more on this in headaches during pregnancy.
On weekends have a sleep, or put your feet up during the day. If you can, ask family or friends to take other children for a couple of hours (or perhaps overnight occasionally) so you can rest and 'sleep in' the next morning.
Remedies for headaches in early pregnancy
You may wish to read about stress and relaxation to make sure that anxiety and tension are not the culprits causing the pain.
Eye strain can be another cause of headaches that are entirely unrelated to pregnancy and hormone changes, so if you wear glasses (or think you need to), it might be worth scheduling an optometrist check up.
Other tips and tricks for dealing with headaches that won't have you running to a medicine cabinet and worrying about the effect of drugs on your unborn baby include: resting and eating well, avoiding crowds, loud music and hustle and bustle. You can also try to ease the pain by applying hot and cold packs to the head alternating 30 seconds of each for a total of 10 minutes four times a day. Sometimes ice applied to the back of the neck can also work.
Improve your posture and make sure you take gentle exercise to keep your muscles strong.
If headaches are accompanied by blurred vision or puffiness in your hands and face, it might be worth seeking medical advice in case it's a sign of something which needs treatment.
Read more about headaches and early pregnancy symptoms
Last revised: Friday, 28 February 2014
This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional.