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Natural Remedies for Headaches during Pregnancy

written by: TheresaHalvorsen • edited by: BStone • updated: 2/15/2009

For many women, headaches increase during pregnancy. And while Tylenol is safe in moderation during pregnancy, you may be trying to avoid all medications during your pregnancy and looking for some natural remedies for your headaches.

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    So you've got an awful headache. Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal--you'd pop an Aspirin, an Ibuprofen or a Tylenol and wait for the it to be gone. But these headaches are during your pregnancy and you're looking for some natural remedies to gently relieve the pain. Luckily, there many things you can do to relieve headaches during pregnancy that are safe for you and the baby.

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    Decrease your Stress

    It may be that the reason you're getting headaches during your pregnancy is because you're stressed out. It makes sense that you have more concerns that you're about to become a mother. If you're still working, make sure to take breaks, including a good 30 minute lunch break; try to avoid eating lunch at your desk. Consider shortening your hours or going on disability if you feel work stress is responsible for your headaches. At home, let some things go or have others help out with chores and errand running. Consider learning meditation or yoga techniques to decrease your stress level.

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    Warm or Cool Compresses

    An easy natural remedy for your headache may be a cool or a warm compress applied to the forehead or back of the neck. You could also try a gel sinus mask that's cool to ease a sinus headache. If you're into essential oils, try applying a few drops of lavender essential oil to the compress for extra relaxation and headache relief.

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    Get a Massage

    A massage, especially of the back and shoulders may help relieve a tension headache. Ask your partner, a friend or a family member for a quick massage. If you have the time and the money, consider getting a professional massage (just let the masseuse know you're pregnant). Not only is a massage one of many natural remedies for headaches, but after getting a massage you may relax, thus preventing a headache in the future.

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    Drink lots of Water

    Often headaches during pregnancy are caused by dehydration. Make sure you're drinking plenty of water, especially if it's very hot outside. In general, you can expect to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. If you're having difficulty, try filling up a pitcher with 8 glasses of water and make sure all that water is gone by the end of the day. If you can't stand water, try drinking decaffeinated tea, juices or even milk. Finally, you know you're drinking enough water if the color of your urine is clear or light yellow.

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    Severe Headaches

    Severe headaches during pregnancy can be a sign of a serious medical condition called preeclampsia. Contact your care provider if you have a severe headache or your headache is accompanied by edema, visual changes or rapid weight gain.

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    Disclaimer

    Please read this disclaimer regarding the information you have just read.