Unfortunately, headaches are a common part of most every pregnancy at some time or another. In your first trimester, they are most often caused by surging hormones or increased blood volume. And they are no fun, but they are a good sign that your body is doing the work that it is supposed to.
Did you know that you can often determine the source of your headache by the location of the pain? You probably all know that migraines are characterized by an all-over throbbing ache, possible visual disturbances, and even nausea and vomiting, but did you know that hormonal headaches, tension headaches, and others have their own location? Tension headaches are normally in a ring around the head, as if you were wearing a tight crown. Sinus headaches are more toward the front, starting with the cheekbones and working their way up the temples. Hormone and increased blood volume headaches tend to be at the back of the head or base of the skull and are characterized by a dull ache.
Headaches are not typically something to be concerned about, but you should call your provider if you get little to no relief from medication, the headache continues to worsen, you have other symptoms such as swelling or abdominal pain, or the headache lasts longer than four hours. Yes, we mean headaches, not erections (thanks, Viagra commercials). Can anyone hear “lasting longer than four hours” now without that coming to mind?
As with all signs and symptoms of pregnancy, headaches are best treated with natural remedies if at all possible. In March, we will release another blog post, focusing on the alternative therapies for headaches and how you can avoid over-the-counter medications. Or, feel free to reach out to us if you need the information now.
So, if you have headaches, and maybe a couple other early signs or symptoms we’ve listed this month, you just might be pregnant.