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Headaches in early pregnancy - your remedies?

(23 Posts)
HotPinkGingham Mon 22-Aug-11 16:45:36

Hi ladies - I am ten weeks and increasingly suffering bad headaches, lasting 12 hours or more. Combined with constant nausea I'm getting to the point where I can't really cope. I had to take a half day sick today just to stay in bed and try and sleep it off (when I had some important stuff on) but I can't keep doing that every time I feel ill or I would literally never do any work!

I've read the books etc. and from what I understand taking any pain medication in the first tri is a bit of a no no. I don't want to take pain killers either, really, but no idea what else to do to help myself!

Any advice on non-drug headache cures from your experiences??

And do they go off in the second and third trimesters or is this one with me for a while...?


BuffyFan Mon 22-Aug-11 16:52:43

The only thing that has ever worked for me is drowning them - drink loads of water in the hope that it's dehydration.

But if you're having headaches that are lasting that long, tbh I would get to the GP. Probably nothing to worry about but always worth checking it out.

My pg-related headaches lasted until around 20/22 weeks, I think. So not just a 1st trim thing but they have calmed down at least!

HTH smile

Sandra2011 Mon 22-Aug-11 17:20:41

I have also noticed that drinking lots of water helps.

Cattleprod Mon 22-Aug-11 17:55:11

I'm not sure if it works for normal headaches, but for sinus headaches saline spray is brilliant - instant relief.

Have you tried those 'Cool and Soothe' sheets that you stick to your forehead?

melliebobs Mon 22-Aug-11 17:57:50

I always use tiger balm for my headaches. A little on the temples and across my forehead works wonders

HotPinkGingham Mon 22-Aug-11 18:24:50

Thanks for all the suggestions! I don't think I have been dehydrated but then as I feel sick all the time I do find it hard to drink a lot in one go.

I think it the pain mostly seems to be coming from my sinuses so I am going to try the saline spray, and the cold strips too!

melliebobs do you know if Tiger Balm is safe in the first tri? I have just been scaring the cr*p out of myself reading which essential oils you can't use (I'd been sniffing lavender oil to try and relieve the headaches and apparently it can trigger contractions!). I think tiger balm has a eucalyptus smell?

Anyone actually given in and taken the paracetamol or is it totally off the table?

freeangel Mon 22-Aug-11 18:27:59

I had really bad headaches, around 14 weeks or so. I spoke to a pharmacy and they said use the forehead stick and take one paracetamol (i was few weeks on to you so prob not much help paracetamol wise) But yes drink lots of water and see the doctor to make sure everything is ok? I found the forehead stick to work wonders. Hope you feel better soon smile

wompoopigeon Mon 22-Aug-11 18:32:46

I used paracetemol in my first trimester and was completely unaware that was a problem. Did the same in my first PG. Also used the forehead stick, which is good, and tried to eat little and often even if I didn't feel like it. Also took up going to bed very very early.
Thoroughly recommend some time off work in a darkened room with cold flannel on head. I know we all say nooooo that is impossible, my job is too absolutely important, but sometimes needs must. Making a baby is bloody hard work.

ILoveMyDragon Mon 22-Aug-11 18:35:38

I'm 10 weeks too and have always suffered headaches anyway so am really struggling to keep them at bay - also with the added exhaustion it just makes them worse!
I am tryin to avoid paracetamol despite being told by a good friend that paracetamol should be ok as long as you aren't taking them very regularly (she did the majority of her MW training and is a great resource and also has 2DC's and didn't really stop doing anything thro her pgs!) But have taken a couple in the last few weeks when I Was at the end of my tether. I am using the forehead stick which I carry around with me it does kinda help but not for long and depends how bad they are. You do have to be careful tho cos the Boots own brand one isn't suitable for use in pregnancy but the official Forehead one is.
Not much advice really but I am finding myself extremely thirsty all the time and did wonder if that was part of the problem.

I am really really hoping it gets better in the next few weeks!

wompoopigeon Mon 22-Aug-11 18:36:11

I should add I used paracetemol sparingly, probably about five in the whole 3 months. I had awful headaches, a dying father, a DH away and a screaming toddler. And work. It felt like the right thing to do.

ILoveMyDragon Mon 22-Aug-11 18:43:32

I also get headaches from eating too much bread and have a major toast and marmite addiction atm which doesn't help!!

melliebobs Mon 22-Aug-11 19:15:48

Tbh I never looked to see if Tiger balm is 'safe' but I've used it now a few times and all well so far. Think if you believed or didn't use all the things they tell u to avoid us never be able to leave the house

SaulGood Mon 22-Aug-11 19:25:32

Take some paracetamol. It's perfectly safe in the recommended quantities.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Mon 22-Aug-11 19:33:19

A can of fat coke helped me with those early headaches & nausea x

cluckypoo Mon 22-Aug-11 19:40:28

Lots of water, coke (full fat) and paracetamol.

crazyhead Mon 22-Aug-11 19:41:39

Boots do these gel pads that stick right across your forehead and smell of menthol (a bit bigger than the strips). I was really cynical but they worked for me. Also agree about the coke although no good in the evening what with the caffeine.

Happygomummy Mon 22-Aug-11 19:46:16

it is ok to take paracetamol in moderation

if you decide to the best ever advice i was given (by my amazing GP) was to take SOLUBLE paracetamol

it is metabolised/absorbed by body in more efficient way

it was a miracle worker for me (i suffered from migraines) and cured by pregnant cousin's 3 day headache too.

HotPinkGingham Tue 23-Aug-11 17:46:20

Thanks so much ladies! Sorry to hear that others are suffering/have suffered too, but makes me feel slightly more normal...

I tried drinking more water in the day and no headache last night, so that seemed to work! Will be trying all the other suggestions in turn.

And thanks for reassurance on paracetamol/staying home (brill advice Happygomummy on the soluble stuff) if it really gets too much - will try and avoid but good to know I can 'give myself permission' to do both in moderation if/when I'm scraping myself off the floor...


Archip17 Wed 24-Aug-11 07:06:59

I'm prone to them anyway, but I've been having some really bad headaches over the past few weeks (16+4). A couple of days ago I got that 4head stick that Ilovemydragon mentioned. While it doesn't take the pain away, it does really take the edge off for me. I'd also get one of those gel eye packs you can put in the fridge.

I didn't know paracetamol was considered inappropriate for pregnant women - I thought it was just asprin. I've taken paracetamol - in moderation - for headaches in two pregnancies; I'm sure I had medical advice the first time around that it was fine.

Sprite21 Wed 24-Aug-11 14:54:24

I also found the forehead menthol smelling pads from Boots a godsend, along with a nap and lots of water.
It it's any consolation, I got very regular headaches verging on migraines before the pregnancy and used to take codeine for these so I never thought a forehead pad would work, but it did!
And the headaches went away by the second trimester. Haven't had a single one in the third trimester, which is brilliant.

Snowy27 Wed 24-Aug-11 15:19:40

I get migraines fairly frequently- I find that alternating hot and cold often works best for me- a cold flannel and then a warm wheat bag. Or a nice warm bath (not too hot, plus make sure someone else is about- can make you feel dizzy when you get out!)

scepticalexpat Wed 24-Aug-11 15:30:28

There is no problem whatsoever with paracetamol in pregnancy. You can take as much as any normal non-pregnant healthy person would. I took it pretty often in my first trimester - never normally get headaches but did in my first trimester.

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