- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- Attachment Parenting
- Family Nutrition
- Family Wellness
Try these easy-on-the-baby and easy-on-the-body self-helps for headaches.
1. A head massage. Lie on a comfortable surface and have your mate or friend massage the site of the pain in a circular motion, firmly enough that the skin moves over the skull. Try various positions, such as lying down with your mate kneeling behind your head or sitting up in a chair with the person massaging you standing above you. If frequent headaches are more than just a nuisance during your pregnancy, consult a massage therapist who is familiar with pressure points for temple and neck massage. Make a consultation appointment where you and your mate can learn how to use these massage techniques yourselves. (While you can try to do a head massage on yourself, it may not work; you can't fully relax if you're doing the work.)
2. A sinus flush. The hormones of pregnancy can increase sinus congestion, which in turn may be aggravated by poorly ventilated, overheated, or stuffy rooms, especially during the winter months. Try a facial steamer, available at beauty supply and department stores. To enjoy your facial steam bath, place the steamer on a table and lean forward, resting on your elbows while you place your face into or near the steam funnel for twenty minutes. Listening to music or a favorite TV show while flushing your sinuses helps the time pass so you won't be tempted to cut it short.
3. A clear mind and closed eyes. As migraine sufferers will tell you, the first line of treatment for headaches is lying down in a dark, quiet room. Try relaxation and visual image techniques that you may have learned in your childbirth class. If you have exhausted all of the above preventive measures and home remedies, and still find headaches are a problem, consult your doctor about headache medications that are safe to take while pregnant. At this writing, occasional use of acetaminophen does appear to be safe during pregnancy, but continuous use of high doses does not. Popular migraine medications, especially those containing ergot, are not safe to take during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before taking any medications while pregnant. He or she can advise you on which you can take safely and which you can't.