Safe Tips to Treat Headaches During Pregnancy

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Realizing what brought on her headaches made all the difference for Pittsburgh native Margaret Delle. "My midwife suspected that [they] might be caused by dehydration," she says. "She recommended that I guzzle huge amounts of water. It worked wonders!" (Other signs of dehydration include dark yellow urine or a woozy feeling.) "The uterus is using a lot of blood," Dr. Schapiro explains. (Uterine blood flow nourishes your developing baby.) "So if you get behind on your fluid intake, there's more strain on other parts of the body." For some women, that can lead to headaches.

Your own headache solution may not be as easy as drinking water. But it might be a matter of eating smaller meals more frequently (to prevent low blood sugar), squeezing in a daily nap (to stave off exhaustion), or practicing good posture (to avoid muscle strain). If you're feeling the headachy effects of cutting back on caffeine, the cure might be simply waiting it out for a while. Says Dr. Aurora, "Caffeine withdrawal headaches should last only two or three days."

Some headaches are tougher to elude. If the problem is a sinus infection, hold a warm compress around your eyes and nose for relief. "You're trying to soften the mucus in there and make it come out," Dr. Schapiro says. Call your doctor if pain is accompanied by a fever, since you might need a course of antibiotics. If you want to try a natural method for treating a tension headache, hold a cold compress or ice pack at the base of your neck. "You're trying to constrict the bulging blood vessels," Dr. Schapiro says.

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