Pregnant and headache

A pregnancy can bring with it many typical ailments, which can be caused by the pregnancy and are therefore a direct consequence of it. During pregnancy, women may also experience more headaches than normal. This is very annoying, especially if you often suffer from headaches. There are some types of headaches that women mainly get during their pregnancy. What are the possible causes of this and how can you best treat the headache? There are different types of headaches that can occur during pregnancy.

  • An example of this is preeclampsia. This is a severe headache that often occurs in the second and third quarters of pregnancy. This headache usually heralds high blood pressure. The headache caused by preeclampsia is pulsating and persistent. So it is a very annoying headache.
  • Other examples of headaches that can occur during pregnancy are cluster headaches, sinus headaches or headaches caused by conditions or medications.


Headaches are never fun, and certainly not when you are pregnant. Headaches during pregnancy can have several causes, such as the following.

Fluid intake

Women who are pregnant need more fluid than women who are not pregnant. Your fluid intake is the first point of attention when you suffer from a lot of headaches. As a pregnant woman, you should drink more than normal, because the baby first absorbs all the fluid he or she needs, and what remains is for the woman. It is therefore advisable to drink enough.

Stress or tension

Another cause of headaches during pregnancy can be stress or tension. This headache can be a precursor to a cold or flu.

Drinking coffee

It is not wise to drink coffee during pregnancy. Many pregnant women therefore stop drinking coffee. Withdrawing from coffee can be a cause of headaches, especially if you were a real coffee lover before pregnancy. If this often gives you headaches, you may drink a maximum of three cups of coffee per day.


Many people also think that a cause of headaches during pregnancy is the change in hormones. Many women experience the same complaints during their menstruation. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this.


Pregnant women need a lot of rest and should therefore not be overworked. Excessive fatigue can therefore be a cause of headaches. A good night’s sleep is therefore very important for a pregnant woman.

Specifically in the beginning of pregnancy

  • Headache or a very light-headed feeling in the first period of pregnancy often occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the body and, like any nauseous feeling, disappears after the first few months.
  • However, a headache can also arise because avid coffee drinkers suddenly give up coffee and therefore develop a headache as a result of the lack of caffeine. This can of course be easily solved by drinking a cup of coffee every now and then, otherwise it is a matter of withdrawal.
  • A lack of fluid in the body can also lead to a certain form of headache, so it is important to drink enough water throughout the day. It is recommended to consume at least two liters of fluid.

If these causes are not present, the headache may also arise as a result of stress, because pregnancy naturally brings with it future changes.

Specifically in the last few months

Headache that occurs during the last period of pregnancy will often have another cause, especially if this symptom occurs in combination with other symptoms. Blood pressure may increase at the end of pregnancy. If the blood pressure rises slightly, few symptoms will occur, but if the blood pressure rises too much, there is a risk of pre-eclampsia or pre-eclampsia, as it is also called. Headache may then occur in combination with nausea, poor vision and fluid retention. In that case, a visit to the doctor is necessary, who can prescribe medication to lower blood pressure or take other measures.

To deal with

If you are trying to prevent the above aspects but still suffer from headaches, it is safe for you and the baby to take paracetamol without caffeine. You can start by taking two paracetamol at the same time with plenty of water and then take it again at least six hours later. The maximum dosage is indicated on the packaging of the paracetamol, which must not be exceeded. If you prefer not to take paracetamol or your headache persists, it is wise to contact your midwife. Many women suffer from excessive headaches, especially in the second half of pregnancy.