Natural Remedies for Headaches During Pregnancy

Pregnancy headache relief can be accomplished with natural remedies such as applying cold compresses to the back of the neck, massage, and deep breathing, among others.

Although Tylenol (acetaminophen) has long been believed safe for occasional use during pregnancy, some scientists have suggested using it with caution. These home remedies are attractive to many pregnant people because they are not only drug-free, but easy to use.

This article presents some natural remedies for both treating and preventing headaches during pregnancy.

Pregnant woman sitting in the bed
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Headache Relief During Pregnancy

Here are a few ideas on pregnancy headache relief from the American Pregnancy Association:

  • For a sinus headache, apply a warm compress around your eyes and nose.
  • For a tension headache, use a cold compress or ice pack at the base of your neck.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals to maintain your blood sugar. This may even help prevent headaches.
  • Get a massage, especially around your shoulders and neck.
  • Rest in a dark room.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Take a warm shower or bath.
  • Use good posture, especially in the third trimester

Preventing Headaches

Preventing a headache from occurring in the first place is the most ideal solution. Here are simple, lifestyle habits that a pregnant person can adopt to help stop the head pain before it starts.

This is especially true for people who suffer from migraines — although, the good news is that many migraineurs experience relief of their migraines in the second and third trimester.

  • Eating nutritious meals at regular intervals throughout the day
  • Walking at least 30 minutes a day
  • Sleep hygiene — not over or under sleeping
  • Stress management techniques like yoga, biofeedback, or relaxation training
  • Consider coenzyme Q10 or magnesium supplements for migraine prevention.

Always speak to your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or medication.

Other strategies include:

  • Reducing work
  • Drinking lots of fluids
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy

What Should You Do?

Be sure to discuss your headaches with your healthcare provider. Let him know if you plan to take a new medication, or if these natural remedies do not deliver pregnancy headache relief. If your headaches get worse or more persistent, or if they are different than headaches you typically experience, share this with your healthcare provider right away.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bauer AZ, Swan SH, Kriebel D, et al. Paracetamol use during pregnancy—a call for precautionary action. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2021;17(12):757-66. doi:10.1038/s41574-021-00553-7

  2. Negro A, Delaruelle Z, Ivanova TA, et al. Headache and pregnancy: a systematic review. J Headache Pain. 2017;18(1):106. doi: 10.1186/s10194-017-0816-0

  3. Dixit A, Bhardwaj M, Sharma B. Headache in pregnancy: a nuisance or a new sense?. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:697697. doi: 10.1155/2012/697697

Additional Reading
  • American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy and Headaches.

By Colleen Doherty, MD
 Colleen Doherty, MD, is a board-certified internist living with multiple sclerosis.