Headaches, like nausea, are a common concern of pregnancy. You may experience headaches frequently or only occasionally while pregnant, but chances are you will experience them. Pregnancy headaches often start and stop suddenly, and come on without warning.
They can throb, pound and feel like a rubber band squeezing around your head, or be migraine-like. Some actual migraine sufferers may find that their headaches get more frequent and severe during pregnancy, others find that their migraines become less intense or less frequent while they are pregnant. Some last a few minutes, some occur off and on all day.
Researchers believe hormonal changes are the cause of these headaches, but it is likely that the tremendous emotional and physical changes that accompany pregnancy also contribute to headaches. After all, tension headaches often strike during times of stress and change. Most headaches that come on in the first two trimesters of pregnancy are simply one more unpleasant side effect of being pregnant, and they usually subside or disappear by the end of the second trimester.
Severe, persistent headaches (especially those accompanied by blurred vision) during the third trimester may be a sign of high blood pressure and should be reported to your doctor. Fear of taking headache-relieving medications while pregnant is just another “headache” to live with. Sometimes, though, not being able to take drugs to alleviate pain can work to your advantage, as it forces you to explore other ways of relieving pain. There are many non-drug therapies you can try to prevent and alleviate pregnancy headaches.