If you get a headache and you’re pregnant, you might need to avoid a few of your tried-and-true means for finding relief. Below, we help you learn what to avoid when you’re trying to cure a pregnancy headache. As always, make sure to speak directly to your doctor to find possible solutions.
Here are 5 methods of relief you’ll need to avoid for your pregnancy headache:
1. Ibuprofen or Aspirin
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), you need to avoid popping aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen for pain relief. Try acetaminophen instead (brand name: Tylenol.) But ask your healthcare provider before you take Tylenol, to make sure it’s really the best choice.
2. Migraine Medication
If you experienced migraines before getting pregnant, then your changing hormones might make them better (or worse). Just make sure to avoid taking your migraine meds during pregnancy. Anti-migraine medications have been linked to miscarriage, birth defects, bleeding, and poor growth of the developing baby. So you can see why you need to avoid anti-migraine meds!
3. Ignore Strange Symptoms
If your headache gets worse or comes with symptoms like a fever, blurred vision, or slurred speech, call your doctor right away. Sharp headaches that come on all of a sudden are a red flag. So is head pain that happens for the first time in your second or third trimester. Both might be a sign of preeclampsia or another issue.
4. Give Up
Just because you have to avoid lots of medications when you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that you have to live with painful headaches. Ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to try acupuncture. It can be a really useful natural tool for treating not only pregnancy headaches but also back pain and morning sickness. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead to get acupuncture, make sure you’re going to an acupuncturist who is licensed by the state and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). This will make sure they have enough knowledge to treat a pregnant client safely.
5. Get a Massage
This one isn’t totally off limits, but it comes with some warnings. Prenatal massage is a wonderful tool to help back pain and cut down on stress. But avoid getting a massage in your first trimester, because of the increased risk for miscarriage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.