Is It OK to Have a Headache While Pregnant?

When you are pregnant, there is so much on your mind. Planning, preparing, dreaming about your child and taking care of yourself can occupy your entire day!

Along with all of the preparation comes an increase in bodily changes. With so much change happening in your body, a resulting symptom like headaches can be common throughout each trimester.

While most headaches are only a minor nuisance, some can indicate a serious problem called preeclampsia. Our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah can help you better understand what signs to watch out for when it comes to preeclampsia below.

What Causes Head Pain While You Are Pregnant?

Your body is going through some incredibly rapid changes, so it is no surprise that some of these changes can cause some unpleasant symptoms. In the first trimester, hormone and blood volume levels increase, which could cause minor headaches. Hunger, low blood sugar and caffeine withdrawal are also possible triggers. Take care of yourself during this time and try to rest. You should drink some water, have a snack or take some OTC pain medication like acetaminophen, if approved by your doctor.

Headaches during the second or third trimesters can be more worrisome. As you progress through your pregnancy, the risk of preeclampsia increases. Preeclampsia is a condition that elevates your blood pressure to a dangerous level. In addition to a headache, you may experience the symptoms below.

Preeclampsia Warning Signs

  • Sudden headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Upper right belly pain
  • Racing pulse
  • Swelling (edema) in your face, hands or feet

Is Preeclampsia Dangerous to My Baby?

Preeclampsia has the potential to be dangerous and even deadly to both you and your baby. You are at a higher risk of having a placental abruption or hemorrhaging during labor and delivery. Your baby is at risk of being born premature with developmental defects, or even being stillborn.

If you have a headache and start to experience the symptoms of preeclampsia, contact your OB/GYN to find out next steps. Taking quick action is important—it is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Treating a Minor Headache at Home

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get plenty of rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Take an OTC pain reliever if approved by your doctor.
  • Turn off the TV and cell phone screens.

Experiencing frequent headaches? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah for a diagnosis.