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Headaches in Pregnancy

Headache is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy – partially due to headaches being pretty common anyway and partly due to some of the effects of pregnancy (particularly if you’ve had to give up a significant coffee habit!).


By far and away, the majority of headaches are due to tension or migraine, and don’t indicate any cause for concern.   When should I be concerned about a headache?      If at any stage you are experiencing a headache that is significantly different to the headaches you usually suffer from, you should see your doctor for advice.   There are a few symptoms that, if you experience them, should prompt you to see a doctor urgently –

  • Sudden (almost instantaneous) onset of a severe headache
  • Any unusual symptoms like numbness, tingling, weakness in the limbs
  • Visual disturbances (flashing lights or similar)
  • Feeling confused or difficulty speaking
  • Headache that wakes you from sleep
  • Headache that worsens on changing posture (worsens when standing up)
  • Fever or neck stiffness

What can I do to relieve a headache?      If the headache is simply a tension type headache, then the standard treatments of simple pain relief (paracetamol), rest and relaxation if possible are the first line. When it comes to migraines, avoiding things that trigger them is the first step, but once one occurs then use of stronger prescribed pain relief and anti-nausea medications is often necessary.   If your symptoms persist then you may need to speak to your doctor.   The above information doesn’t take the place of a medical consultation so please seek further advice if you have further concerns.   Download a PDF copy of this article here

Pregnancy Checklist
Pregnancy Checklist

Congratulations on your pregnancy! If you would like some help thinking through some of the things you need to organise, I've put together a checklist to make sure the important things aren't missed.

Consulting Rooms
Consulting Rooms

Greenslopes Obstetrics & Gynaecology is closely aligned with the Greenslopes Private Hospital which opened Brisbane’s newest maternity facility in February 2013.

Pregnancy Pearls
Pregnancy Pearls

There are many questions and common issues that arise during pregnancy. Here are some short and helpful articles on many common pregnancy issues.

To speak directly with a team member please call 07 3188 5000