Natural remedies for headaches during pregnancy
Headaches are a very common complaint during pregnancy, mainly due to the hormone imbalances. Headaches can also be caused by tiredness, dehydration, sickness and lack of exercise. Cutting down of caffeine can also cause headaches in the short-term. This will pass after a day or so, and your energy levels will increase after withdrawing caffeine from your diet. During pregnancy you are limited on medications that you can safely take, but there are many natural remedies for headaches during pregnancy
Headaches may also be the result of a cold or sinus pain around the forehead. If your headaches persist, please consult your GP as it may be a sign of high blood pressure. Conventional painkillers have recently had their safety questioned in pregnancy, so are best avoided at this time. Many of these medications are not recommended in pregnancy.
You can help to prevent these headaches by doing regular exercise and getting fresh air throughout your pregnancy. It is also important to get plenty of rest, and not to get stressed or worked up. Yoga is an excellent way to stay relaxed and get good regular exercise throughout your pregnancy.
Diet and making sure that you stay adequately hydrated are very important at avoiding headaches. Avoid too much fried foods as these can trigger headaches. Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) will raise your blood sugar levels quickly and then cause a sudden dip. This process can trigger headaches, especially during pregnancy. Foods with a high GI include white bread, jacket potatoes, chips and white rice. You should aim to eat small regular meals to maintain your blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) will also help to maintain your blood sugar levels. Examples of low GI foods are wholemeal bread, low fat yoghurt, fruits, beans and vegetables. You should aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
There are a number of complementary therapies that can be used to treat headaches during pregnancy. Homeopathy has many remedies that can be taken safely throughout pregnancy. The prescribed remedy will depend on your specific symptoms, and the cause of your headaches. I recommend that you consult a qualified homeopath or obtain advice from a homeopathic pharmacy before taking any remedies.
Reflexology is a therapy that is safe throughout pregnancy and uses gentle massage to treat the symptoms. During a treatment your feet and hands are massaged in specific areas that correspond to the head. Aromatherapy treatment uses essential oils for specific conditions. You should consult a qualified aromatherapist, as some oils should not be used in pregnancy. Acupuncture and Acupressure are other traditional therapies that can provide safe and effective relief from headaches in pregnancy.