How to Manage Pregnancy Headaches

Pregnant woman with headache

Africa Studio / AdobeStock

Kristen Darcy
Kristen Darcy 14
Fertility & Divorce Coach, Author & Speaker
Pregnancy changes week by week, but pregnancy headaches are the worst, especially at work. Experiencing a headache at work is challenging, but the symptoms take on a whole new level of management and planning when pregnant.
Regardless of what trimester you might be in, they're not easy to deal with. During the first trimester and third trimester, headaches seem to be more common, especially if you were prone to having them in the first place. The good news is you can proactively taking steps to avoid them.
The best way to keep headaches under control is to create a Pregnancy Headache Care Plan.  Being proactive and prepared will change the energy around a headache at work.
Here are some suggestions for your Pregnancy Headache Care Plan:    

What Is a Pregnancy Headache and Should You Be Concerned?

"Headaches in pregnancy tend to be either tension-type headaches or migraines," according to the Baby Centre UK. "Tension headaches won't affect your baby. Your baby won't be harmed while you're having a migraine either. However, getting migraines during pregnancy is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia."

What's the Difference Between a Headache and a Migraine During Pregnancy?

Tension headaches usually affect both sides of the head and are mild to moderate in severity. They feel like your head is being tightened more than like it's throbbing. Migraines, however, can be a pulsating, severe pain in one area of the head.

What Causes Pregnancy Headaches?

There are a number of causes for pregnancy headaches. Your headaches or migraines could be related to any of the following:
Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE author of Real Food for Pregnancy suggests utilizing meal timing and spacing for these three reasons:
  1. You never get too hungry (this stabilizes your blood sugar and energy levels).
  2. You don’t have to eat huge portions at a meal.
  3. Your baby gets a consistent supply of nutrients throughout the day.

How Do You Treat Pregnancy Headaches?

Dr. Marc Sklar, The Fertility Expert, suggests that you:
  1. Ensure you're getting your proper water intake as dehydration is a trigger for a headache.
  2. If you are on the computer a lot, try wearing blue light blocking glasses to give your eyes a break and take the pressure off your brain.
  3. Take a little rest. Closing your eyes for 10 minutes and resting can make a big difference. Especially, if you’re experiencing sleep interruption.
You may also want to follow your regular sleep schedule and work on learning how to get better sleep if you can, as sleep deprivation could be contributing to headaches during pregnancy, suggests The Mayo Clinic. And keep up physical activities such as walking or other moderate exercises, which can help avoid triggering a headache. Likewise, note that proper posture can help with keeping a headache at bay. 

Can You Do Anything to Curb Headaches?

Pregnancy headaches sometimes just happen, but there are some steps you can take to curb them. For example, follow the above steps for preventative measures. You may also consider keeping a diary of when headaches or migraines occur to help you pinpoint and eliminate the causes of them. Some things to keep in mind include the following:
  • the timing of your headaches
  • the severity of your headaches
  • your meals
  • your physical activity
  • your stress levels
  • your sleep patterns
  • medications you're taking
For peace of mind, headaches are common during pregnancy,  but if you don’t experience any reductions in the pressure of your headaches then you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible, and ideally before taking any medication.  
Kristen Darcy is an author; speaker and emotional recovery coach who help her clients get to their clear intentions and how to manifest the life that is best for them. Visit and sign up for a complimentary initial coaching session.