Headaches are a pain in the neck...
Especially during pregnancy! They are also a pain in the head, scalp, and/or sinus. For some reason pregnant women seem to suffer most from headaches during the 1st and 3rd trimesters. If you are one of those unlucky ones, don't worry I have 18 tried-and-true, natural remedies you can try.
Headaches can be caused by...
The surge of pregnancy hormones, increase in blood volume, low blood sugar, stress, tension, lack of sleep, constipation, dehydration, not enough protein intake, food allergy-sensitivity or dietary insufficiency (especially in calcium, iron, and/or magnesium). They can also be caused by body, ligament and posture changes that naturally occur throughout pregnancy.
What can you do when you have a headache?
- Lie down with a cool cloth to your forehead.
- Get a neck, shoulder and foot massage.
- Get plenty of sleep, take naps if you need to. Go to bed earlier.
- Make sure to drink 2 - 3 quarts of filtered water a day.
- Eat mini-meals throughout the day. Make sure you are getting some protein at every meal.
- Playing relaxing music and practicing your breathing techniques. Practice slow, deep, abdominal breathing. Inhale and exhale to a slow count of 4.
- Warm bath with Epsom salts may help. 1 - 2 cups should do it. (No warmer than 100 degrees.) Soak for a good 15 minutes and relax. Listen to some chill music too.
- If you have a sinus headache, apply a warm compress around your eyes and nose or do a steam bath.
- Try acupuncture.
- Go see a chiropractor.
- Reduce stress by practicing meditation or guides visualizations.
- Eat some protein or foods rich in iron.
- You may need more calcium and magnesium. You should be taking 500-800 mg. of magnesium a day and 1000- 1500 mg. of calcium a day. (Always talk with your healthcare provider before adding more supplements.)
- Drink a warm glass of milk with cinnamon and honey.
- Eat a handful of almonds.
- Make a rice sock. Supplies: 1 large (new) sock. 1-2 pounds of rice (any kind; the amount will vary based on the size of your sock) A needle and thread or a ribbon. Fill the sock with rice then sew the top tightly closed or tie it closed. Place in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes until hot but not too hot that it will burn you. Place it around your neck. Bonus: Add a few drops of essential oil to the rice to create an aromatherapy sock. Peppermint and lavender essential oils are great for relief of headaches. Do not use lavender during 1st trimester ( 1st 12 weeks).
- Try a cup of relaxing tea.
Relaxing Tea recipe by Aviva Jill Romm, M.D. The Natural Pregnancy Book.
- 1 tsp. of chamomile (only one cup of chamomile a day during the 1st trimester)
- 1 tsp. of lemon balm
- ½ tsp. of lavender
- ½ tsp. of fennel seeds
Steep in a cup of hot water (covered) and drink hot. You can add milk and honey for flavor. (Check with your healthcare provider before using any "herbal remedies".)
18. Try homeopathic remedies. For example:
- Byonia - Busting or splitting headache. Movement makes the headache worse.
- Natrum muriaticum - pounding headache. Pain over eyes, cold cloth, lying down, and a quiet dark room brings relief.
- Aconite - sudden violent headaches, throbbing temple.
Two or three doses of 30c. Take every 15 minutes.
When should you call the doctor?
- Before taking any medications, not all medications are safe during pregnancy.
- Severe headaches starting after the sixth month can be a sign of toxemia.
- Your headaches get worse.
- You experience headaches that are different than normal such as a migraine.
- Your headaches are accompanied by: blurry vision, sudden weight gain, pain in the upper right abdomen, and swelling in the hands and face.
Pregnancy is a time when you need lots of support, love, comfort, affection, healthy-nourishing foods, rest, and a stress-free environment. (Okay, I know that a stress free environment is difficult in this day and age but stress affects your growing baby as much as it affects you.) But try to reduce stress as much as possible. You have to be your own best friend, take care of you and your growing baby. Love yourself as if you were your own child and believe me, you and your baby will benefit. You are your baby's nutritionist, teacher, nurturer, protector and healer. Check out my page just for expecting moms.
18 Tried-and-True Remedies To Get Rid of a Headache While Pregnant is part of my e-book.
Question: Do you have a natural remedy that has helped you get rid of a headache in the past? I would love to hear about it. Please leave your reply in the comment box below.
If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones.
William Sears, M.D. & Martha Sears R.N. The Pregnancy Book. Little Brown Co. New York, NY, 1997.
Chopra D., M.D., Simon, D., M.D., and Abrams, V., C.C.E., I.B.C.L.C. A holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives. Published by Three Rivers Press NY 2005
Roman, A., M.D., The Natural Pregnancy Book, Published by Celestial Arts, Berkley Ca. 2003
Nicholas, F., and Humenic, S., Childbirth Education, Practice, Research and Theory 2nd Edition. 2000
Simpkin, P.T., Whalley, R.N, B.S.N., Keppler, R.N.,M.N, Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn,
Published by Meadowbrook Press, New York, 2001
CAPPA Childbirth Education Course
National Headache Foundation, http://www.headaches.org
Harms, Roger W., M.D. Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy, Part 3.
Feder, L. M.D., Natural Baby and Childcare: Hatherleigh Press, Long Island, NY.