headache in pregnancy

Headache in pregnancy – Can I take drugs at all?

While pregnant, the altered hormone level and the growing human being in the stomach can lead to a variety of troubles. Headaches and migraines are also common, but according to gynecologists, these are not classic symptoms in pregnant women. Now many of those affected are afraid to take medication against these symptoms. So what to do? Which home remedies are effective to help?

Why headaches during pregnancy?

Many pregnant women complain of nausea, fatigue and headaches due to hormonal changes, especially at the beginning of pregnancy. If you can still walk well, going for a walk in the fresh air can help. Many people are afraid of simply taking a painkiller. They are unsure whether it could harm the baby.

Gynecologists recommend paying special attention to the basic care to prevent headaches during pregnancy.

herbal tea

First and foremost, this means that the expectant mother gets enough sleep and drinks enough. In addition, headaches often go hand in hand with low blood pressure. The pregnant woman can also counteract this with her diet and enough exercise. Overall, exercise during pregnancy should be encouraged.

By the way, coffee is also acceptable against low blood pressure because, contrary to everyone’s expectations, it is not forbidden to drink coffee during pregnancy, as doctors advise. 2-3 cups of coffee per day are completely okay and are also a natural headache remedy.

It is important to first clarify with the responsible doctor what exactly it is about because not all headaches are the same.

Causes and risks

With the help of expert physicians, for example, it can be determined that the headaches are caused by iron deficiency and associated anemia, which often occurs during pregnancy. Iron supplements and dietary changes can replenish the iron balance.

However, one of the most common causes of headaches during pregnancy is psychological. So-called tension headaches result from the general tension regarding the birth and the significant new phase of life in which the expectant mother is. This is not an easy task for her and so the inner pressure on the neck muscles lies down and then pulls up into the head. Ergo: Headache.

In principle, pregnant women should incorporate relaxation techniques such as yoga, muscle relaxation or dancing into their everyday lives. Everyone certainly likes something different, but moments of relaxation are very important for mother and child. This is also part of the basic care during pregnancy.


Migraine patients usually benefit from hormone changes during pregnancy. About 20% of women complain about migraines in their everyday lives. Stress, conflicts and difficulties quickly manifest in a migraine attack. In “experienced” migraine patients, these often stop while they are pregnant. However, it also happens that some women experience migraine symptoms only after pregnancy.

Headaches and nausea

Even the normal morning sickness during pregnancy is hardly bearable for many. But if it comes with headaches, many feel miserable. What can you do?

What medications can I take during pregnancy?

You don’t have to endure anything, but taking medication during pregnancy is only possible to a certain extent. According to gynecologists, painkillers such as paracetamol can be taken for raging headaches. Important: Only once a week and never on a daily basis. This is not good for your baby. Studies have shown that taking the painkillers can put the child at risk of developing asthma or ADHD. Therefore, only once a week and consult your doctor.


Another highly sought-after headache medication is ibuprofen or acetylsalicylic acid. Ibuprofen is to be avoided during pregnancy. In exceptional cases, the baby’s heart may become deformed. In addition, acetylsalicylic acid prolongs the bleeding time. The risks of increased blood loss from birth wounds and perineal tears are given.

Gynecologists recommend taking triptans for severe migraine symptoms during pregnancy. They can be prescribed by a doctor for the entire duration of the pregnancy.

Better to go to the doctor

In the case of spontaneous onset of headaches, especially if they are accompanied by perception impairments, pregnant women should urgently see a doctor. If you suddenly see stars in front of your eyes or little flashes of lightning, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. The safety of mother and child is at stake. The family doctor will then first examine blood pressure and heart rate. This will provide information about possible pregnancy complications.

Home remedies for headaches – quick help at home

home remedies against headache

A proven home remedy that promises quick relief from headaches is to rub diluted peppermint oil or essential oils on the forehead and temples. Ayurvedic household remedies of this kind were used thousands of years ago for various complaints and are still used today. Thus it is not wrong to have a small smelling bottle in your pocket.

Another household remedy against headaches is heat therapy and cooling. Putting a cherry stone pillow in the neck or a cooling gel pillow are good methods to calm yourself. Especially tension headaches react well to heat treatments. Summarized here however the 5 best tips come against headache in the pregnancy:

5 tips against headaches

Tip 1 – A warm foot bath has a relaxing effect.

Tip 2 – Homeopathies such as tea and essential oils on forehead and temples massage

Tip 3 – Acupressure – Light pressure massages on temples, head and neck can work wonders. Even if you don’t like classical Chinese medicine very much, you can massage away your headaches yourself by gently massaging your head for a quarter of an hour.

Tip 4 – Relaxation of any kind – Depending on what does you good, relaxation breaks should also be effective against headaches. A cup of tea, 5 minutes of meditation or just lying on the bed with beautiful music will bring the whole body back to rest.

Tip 5 – Accept the moment – Probably the most important tip: If you get headaches and other symptoms from your body, treat yourself to a break and accept what is there. Your body then speaks to you and wants to tell you that you can give yourself some rest.

Especially because many people are still working during pregnancy, headaches can occur alongside all the other stressors. Since tablets can only be taken to a limited extent, the expectant mother should take good care of herself. Experiences have shown that those who feel good and take many relaxing breaks with them into their day do something good for themselves and the baby.

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