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What can a pregnant woman take to relieve headache pain?
Q: I get frequent headaches. Can I take anything to relieve the pain? My friends said I shouldn’t take anything while pregnant.
A: Many women experience headaches in the first half of pregnancy. This is caused by several factors. The hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy lead to a change in the way you stand and your posture. According to my physical therapist wife, this leads to muscle tension headaches. A nice massage and working on your posture will go a long way toward correcting this problem.

Sometime the nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy trigger headaches. These may be caused by low blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia. Addressing the patient’s nutritional needs and eating small meals can reduce these headaches.

Other patients develop migraine headaches attributed to hormonal surges. These are tougher to deal with and may require a trip to your doctor’s office. They may offer you acetaminophen as a treatment or a consultation with a neurologist. Over the years I have treated rare cases with strong medication, including narcotics.

Remember that your doctor can’t help unless you pick up the phone. I encourage you to talk with your practitioner if you’re experiencing headaches during your pregnancy. There are ways we can help you feel better while ensuring the baby’s health.