Pregnancy can be such a wild time in your life. All of the changes, planning and preparing can keep you busy from morning until night!

The miracle of life is a wonderful thing, but it also can cause some unpleasant symptoms, including headaches. Headaches can happen at any point and can indicate different things based on which trimester you are in.

While many headaches are just an annoyance during pregnancy, there is a small possibility that your head pain could indicate the emergence of preeclampsia, a serious blood pressure condition. Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team explains all about the relationship between preeclampsia and headaches below.

Why Does Pregnancy Cause Head Pain?

Your body goes through some rapid changes while you are pregnant, especially during the first and second trimesters. Your hormone and blood volume levels increase, which can cause headaches. You can also be more susceptible to hunger, low blood sugar and caffeine withdrawals in the beginning stages. Your job is to take care of yourself during this time! Rest, relax and take a drink of water. You can also take some OTC pain medication, but be sure it is pregnancy-safe, like acetaminophen.

Headaches later in your pregnancy can be more troublesome. Once you pass the halfway point, your risk of preeclampsia increases. With preeclampsia, your blood pressure rises to a dangerous level and causes trouble for both you and your baby. If you have persistent headaches coupled with some of these symptoms below, seek medical attention.

Red Flags for Preeclampsia

  • Sudden headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Upper right belly pain
  • Racing pulse
  • Swelling (edema) in your face, hands or feet

What Are the Effects of Preeclampsia?

If preeclampsia goes undiagnosed, you are at a higher risk of suffering a placental abruption or hemorrhaging during labor and delivery. Your baby is also at risk of being born with developmental defects due to early delivery or is even at risk of being stillborn.

Monitoring your blood pressure is a great way to keep an eye on any emerging preeclampsia symptoms. We want you and your baby to stay safe and healthy throughout your entire pregnancy!

Initial Treatment Options for a Headache

  • Drink water.
  • Get plenty of rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Take medication if approved by your doctor.
  • Turn off the TV and cell phone screens.

If you are experiencing frequent headaches, stop by AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga for a diagnosis.