Topic: 5 Top Tips for Handling Pregnancy Aches and Pains
You might be surprised to learn that headaches are very common in pregnancy. Nearly 1 in 5 pregnant women has a migraine at some point during pregnancy. Hormonal changes in pregnancy cause increased blood volume, including around the brain. This can trigger frequent, mild headaches. Headaches can also be caused by cutting back on caffeine, dehydration, fatigue, lack of sleep, low blood sugar and stress. The challenging part about headaches in pregnancy is that you can’t take strong medications to alleviate them.
Here’s what our Mommy M.D.s — doctors who are also mothers — do to handle pregnancy headaches, as well as other aches and pains.
“When I was 13 weeks pregnant, right around the time my morning sickness went away, my migraines started,” says Kristie McNealy, M.D., a mom of four and a health care consultant in Salt Lake City. “I woke with a headache each day, which got worse as the day went on. It was hard to cope. I found that combining Tylenol and a nap was the best.”
“Thank goodness, the migraines lasted only about three weeks!” McNealy adds. (Talk with your doctor or midwife before taking this or any medication.)
“I had a headache every day during my second trimester,” says Ann LaBarge, M.D., a mom of four children, ages 6 to 16, and an OB-GYN in private practice at the Midwest Center for Women’s HealthCare in Park Ridge, Illinois. “Taking Tylenol and Sudafed each morning helped. I don’t have a history of migraines, so I didn’t think they were migraines, just pregnancy-related headaches.”
“I also found that when I was busy, I felt better,” LaBarge adds. “Sitting home feeling sorry for myself wasn’t the way to go! Working kept my mind off of my headaches.”
Topic Discussed: 5 Top Tips for Handling Pregnancy Aches and Pains
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