Menu

Say Goodbye to Pregnancy Headaches

9 strategies to ward off pregnancy headaches, sans meds.

Say Goodbye to Pregnancy Headaches

For many expectant mothers, pregnancy can be a headache -- literally. During the first trimester, a woman's body undergoes a hormonal surge and an increase in blood volume. These changes can cause frequent headaches, which can then get worse with many of the common hallmarks of pregnancy -- from stress, to poor posture, to fatigue and hunger, to the emotional rollercoasters you may experience while waiting for baby. So how can you tackle these pregnancy headaches?

Since you are pregnant, many of the medications you'd otherwise rely on are off limits, so you can't zap the pain by popping pills. But not to worry, there are many other tactics that can help rid yourself of all the throbbing. Here are 9 natural remedies to head off pregnancy headaches.

  1. Eat smaller, frequent meals. Good nutrition is an all-time must during pregnancy. But it's easier said than done. Many mamas-to-be experience loss of appetite -- along with its dreaded sidekick, nausea -- and end up eating less than they should. This can result in low blood sugar, which can in turn cause headaches. How do you prevent the onset of "hangry"? Nosh on smaller, more frequent meals like grapes, 1 slice of toast smeared with nut butter, or a 6oz yogurt with 1/4 cup of granola.
  2. Stay hydrated. Dehydration triggers weakness and vertigo and can even affect pregnancy hormones -- thus, inducing headaches. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink constantly so that you're body stays hydrated throughout the day.
  3. Try a cool compress. Keep an eye compress inside a Ziploc bag in your freezer. When and if you feel a headache coming on, close your eyes, cover them with the compress and rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cold cucumbers can do wonders too, and they may even help reduce the appearance of bags and dark circles under your eyes.
  4. Go for a walk. Walking is a gentle form of cardio and an excellent way to increase blood flow and circulation, which can ward off pregnancy headaches. Not to mention, the fresh air could help you unwind and ease some of the discomfort. Just dress according to the weather so that you're cool and comfortable at all times.
  5. Go the alternative route. Prenatal massages can ease muscle tension, reduce joint pain and relieve tension headaches. In fact, any non-pharmacological options that can help you de-stress may also help you prevent pregnancy headaches. So if you feel prenatal massages don't do the trick, give acupuncture, meditation, reflexology or acupressure a try.
  6. Do prenatal yoga. Yoga is a great way to help you relax. What's more, it trains your body to sit, stand and rest in good posture and helps you focus on breathing techniques that can work through the intensity of headaches. Practicing yoga beyond pregnancy is also beneficial, as it can prevent postpartum depression and postpartum back pain.
  7. Breath or rub essential oils. Aromatherapy is known for its many health benefits -- from beating stress to helping you sleep at night. Well, some essential oils can also help alleviate headaches. Put two drops of peppermint or lavender oil on a tissue and breathe it in as often as needed. For an even more soothing effect, you can also rub eucalyptus oil on your temples and on your back so that the smell lingers a while longer. But remember that essential oils are very powerful plant-based remedies, so don't use more than three drops at a time when you are expecting.
  8. Cut back on Caffeine. After years of conflicting research, we still don't know how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy. What we do know is that caffeine crosses the placenta and can potentially harm the fetus. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology recommends that pregnant women limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg or less (the equivalent of an 11-ounce cup). If you are a java junkie, caffeine withdrawal can trigger headaches, irritability and fatigue. So it's best to gradually wean yourself. One way to do that is by mixing decaf with your regular coffee and slowly increasing the ratio of decaffeinated to caffeinated. If you are a tea enthusiast, opt for herbal tea or let the tea bag steep for just one minute instead of five.
  9. Sleep. This is particularly important during your first and third trimesters, when you are likely to feel uncomfortable and exhausted. Lack of sleep, which is especially common later in the pregnancy, can lead to other symptoms like depression, anxiety and tension headaches. So make sure you get enough rest. Try these methods to get the sleep that you need (and deserve!).

Pre-order Motherly’s Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box today 🎉

A curated box of the pregnancy products you'll want.

We're extending the sale, but just a few days and supplies are limited! Preorder now.

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box

pregnancy box

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box is available for ordering—but supplies are limited and the preorder window is almost over. Order now so you don't miss out. Boxes will ship in just a few weeks. We will send you updates as the ship date gets closer.

$125


We know just how profound the journey to becoming a mother is, and we want to celebrate and honor you through every step of the way. That's why we created the Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box—and we are thrilled to share it with you first!

Curated by the founders of Motherly, our resident midwife and our fabulous team of motherhood gurus, it's a swoon-worthy box full of items you will adore.

You'll find some of our favorite products to help you on your journey to becoming a mama. We focused on three key feelings of pregnancy: preparation, wellness and celebration.

Preparation: What do you need to prepare for becoming a mama? We've been in your shoes so we handpicked products that focus on you as you prepare for this chapter.

Wellness: Self-care during your pregnancy (and beyond) is so important—mama, you deserve it. That's what helped up select the most luxurious and beautiful pieces to help you embrace your wellness.

Celebration: We are excited for you, too! Keep the celebrations going with a few of our favorite baby items.

Supplies are limited and today is the last day to order!

Motherly's Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box FAQs

What's in the box?

The Becoming Mama Pregnancy Box is an exclusive set of products designed to help you on your journey to becoming a mama. We handpicked pieces to help you prepare, stay well and celebrate your anticipation. What's in the box is a surprise, and we know you are going to love it!

Psst: But check out a few sneak peeks here!

How much does it cost?

The box costs $125—it's valued at almost $300!

When will the box ship?

The box will ship in 4 to 6 weeks. We will announce the official date when we launch the box.

How do I get it?

Preordering is available right now! But you'll have to act fast—it's only open for a few more days.

Shop

12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

30 hilarious + eye-opening truths about the 4th trimester 😳

19. Babies grunt a lot! And loudly. They make lots of tiny noises. And they are really adorable.

We kind of know what we're getting into when we find out we're pregnant. We know we're going to have to pee a lot, we figure our hormones will have us riding a roller coaster of highs (OMG the baby kicked!) and lows (*sobbing* WHY DID YOU THROW OUT THE COOKIE DOUGH????).

We get the fact that we'll be gaining weight and we've heard about some of the trimester-specific unpleasantries (morning sickness, migraines, hemorrhoids, to name a few.) Those three trimesters of pregnancy are transformative, enlightening and eye-opening.

Keep reading Show less
Life