If you’re pregnant and having headaches, you’re not alone. A medical review reports that 39 percent of pregnant and postpartum women have headaches.
Though during pregnancy you may have a different kind of headache than you usually do, most headaches during pregnancy aren’t harmful.
Headache pain during the first trimester of pregnancy may happen for different reasons than headaches in the second or third trimester. In some cases, headache pain may be a sign of other health problems during pregnancy.
Tell your doctor about any headache you have during, before, and after pregnancy. Keep a journal to record how often you have headaches and how serious the pain is. Additionally, record any other symptoms you have.
Types of headaches
Most headaches during pregnancy are primary headaches. This means that the headache pain happens by itself. It’s not a sign or symptom of another disorder or a complication in the pregnancy. Primary headaches include:
About 26% Source of headaches during pregnancy are tension headaches. Tell your doctor if you have chronic headaches or migraine during pregnancy or if you have a history of migraine.
Some women with a history of migraine get fewer migraine attacks during pregnancy. Migraine has also been linked to complications that happen later in pregnancy or after the birth of your baby.
Secondary headaches are a caused by a complication in the pregnancy, such as high blood pressure.
Common symptoms of headache during pregnancy
Headache pain may vary from one person to the next. You may have:
dull ache Throbbing or pulsating pain Severe Pain on one or both sides Sharp Pain behind one or both eyes
Migraine pain may also include:
Nausea Vomiting Seeing lines or flashes of light Blind spots
Causes of headaches during pregnancy
Tension headaches are common in the first trimester of your pregnancy. This may happen because your body is undergoing several changes at this time. These changes may trigger headache pain:
Higher blood volume
Nausea and vomiting
Lack of sleep
Low blood sugar levels
Too little physical activity
Sensitivity to light
Changes in vision
Muscle strain and tightness
High blood pressure
Some FOODS may also cause headaches. Your trigger foods may change during pregnancy. Common foods that may cause headaches in some people include: