How to Avoid Pregnancy Headaches with Food and Fitness

Photo Credit: Ariel Camilo

Pregnancy Headaches are Common

Pregnancy headaches are a common occurrence, especially in the first trimester. Tension headaches are the most common type; they feel like a squeezing pain or a dull ache on both sides of your head. Migraine headaches can also strike in pregnancy. An estimated one in five women will experience a migraine at some point in her lifetime, and 15 percent of sufferers will experience their first during pregnancy. Pregnancy headaches can be caused by a number of factors, such as lack of sleep, fatigue, sinus congestion, allergies, hunger, dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, stress, and other factors. If possible, you want to avoid pregnancy headaches before they strike.

avoid pregnancy headaches

Avoid Pregnancy Headaches by Keeping a Headache Diary

Since no medicine is 100 percent safe in pregnancy, you’ll want to find ways to avoid pregnancy headaches. The first step is to figure out what’s triggering your headache. If you are having frequent headaches, you should keep a “headache diary,” in which you write down any foods you’ve eaten in the 24 hours before the headache kicked in. After a few entries, you may be able to figure out what food may have triggered your headache. Common food triggers include foods that have monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates, sulfites, artificial sweeteners, aged cheeses, certain fruits and vegetables, chocolate, and fermented or pickled foods.

Once you figure out what foods may be triggering your pregnancy headaches, you can stay away from those types of foods. This is one very helpful way to avoid pregnancy headaches, so be vigilant with what you are eating and when.

Prevent Hunger and Dehydration

To avoid pregnancy headaches, you need to prevent low blood sugar and keep hydrated at all time. Low blood sugar is a common trigger of pregnancy headaches, so you’ll want to eat small, frequent meals and snacks throughout the day. You need to also drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep hydrated. Dehydration can also cause your head to throb.

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