Headaches occur for a variety of reasons whether or not you are pregnant. If you get a recurrent headaches, run through the following checklist to see if it is possible to identify a cause:
eyesight, which may deteriorate during pregnancy. Have your eyes checked, or your prescription checked if you already wear glasses.
- posture, which will change as your pregnancy evolves - are you inadvertently overcompensating, causing musculo-skeletal strain?
- eating regular meals: during pregnancy your metabolism changes and you may have to adjust your eating patterns accordingly. If you are suffering from early pregnancy nausea and vomiting, don't let this make you more susceptible to headaches. Also, avoid caffeine (in tea, coffee, chocolate, cola, etc.).
- rest and relaxation: are you getting enough gentle exercise and adequate sleep?
Headaches are actually quite common during early pregnancy, because the hormone progesterone affects the cerebral blood vessels, causing them to dilate. Taking paracetamol (within the limits of its dosage) is thought to be safe, but you may wish to try some alternative approach to ease or prevent your headaches. Make sure your fluid intake is adequate; you may have cut down to keep yourself from having to pee so often. Or you may have cut out tea and coffee without replacing these drinks with others. Try camomile tea, which aids relaxation, and other herbal teas, plus fruit juices and water.
Osteopathy, in particular cranial osteopathy during pregnancy, can be very effective. Reflexology, acupuncture and massage are all extremely useful in treating headaches. Applying pressure to the shiatsu points at the top of the eye sockets is also effective. Magnesia phosphorica is considered to be a 'homoeopathic aspirin', and should form part of your homoeopathic first aid kit. Firm scalp massage, perhaps using Lavender oil, might help relax muscular tension.
Headaches are always worth mentioning to your midwife or doctor, because there are some occasions during pregnancy when, coupled with other additional physical symptoms, headaches serve as an advance warning of, for example, high blood- pressure, which will need monitoring.
If you have a history of migraine, talk to your doctor about this as you may not be able to take your usual migraine treatment during your pregnancy. Many women find that their migraines diminish or disappear while they are pregnant. One homoeopathic remedy which is helpful for migraine is Natrum muriaticum.
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