Soothing pregnancy pain away
Most medications are contra-indicated during pregnancy. Vanessa Rogers suggests some alternatives to help keep common discomforts at bay.

Inhaled medications are known to be better for the foetus than oral ones. Because the medication may put you at greater risk of developing conditions such as pre-eclampsia, or causing premature labour, your pregnancy will be carefully monitored by your healthcarer.

If you suffer from hayfever or any other allergy, consult your doctor before taking anything containing antihistamines.

Those throbbing temples
and migraines have many causes (hormonal changes, stress, tension in the muscles of the head or neck, and poor posture). Most women know exactly which medication works best for them. However, during pregnancy you cannot take the majority of these drugs. Penguin's Natural Pregnancy suggests these remedies:

Lie down with the curtains drawn. Close your eyes, and press gently between your eyebrows with your thumb. A gentle circular movement also works well;

According to traditional Chinese medicine, massaging the back of the neck and base of the skull helps to relieve a headache;

Avoid common headache triggers such as chocolate, drinks containing caffeine, strong cheeses and all alcoholic drinks, of course;

Drink plenty of water during the day;

A soothing massage will boost circulation and release muscle tension;

Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, may soothe an aching head;

Walk every day to get a good dose of fresh air and sunshine;

Have a rest each afternoon – being overtired can trigger a headache;

Exercise regularly to rid the body of toxins, speed up the metabolism and aid elimination;

A chiropractor or physiotherapist will assess whether you have vertebral misalignment – pressure on a nerve may cause headaches;

Reflexologists treat headaches by stimulating the big toe, believed to be the pituitary gland reflex zone. Ask your partner to massage your feet;

Keep your blood-sugar levels stable by eating a slow-releasing carbohydrate at each meal, such as wholewheat or rye bread, oats porridge, pasta, brown rice, starchy root vegetables and pulses.

According to Rodale's Balancing Pregnancy & Work, the good news is that migraines and other severe headaches may in fact be less frequent or disappear completely during pregnancy, due to the hormonal changes involved.

A note of caution!
If you suffer from bad headaches that paracetamol cannot relieve, consult your doctor. If you are over six months pregnant, your headache may indicate a more serious condition of pregnancy, such as high blood pressure.


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