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Pregnancy Headaches: What to Know

When you’re pregnant, your body goes through many changes. Your belly expands. Your body starts to deliver nutrients to your developing baby. But you may also experience some negative side effects. One of these side effects is pregnancy headaches. In fact, headaches are among the early signs of pregnancy, and most women will experience one at some point while they’re pregnant.

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer from pregnancy headaches caused by dehydration. Here, we’ll show you how your hydration status may cause headaches when you’re expecting.

Types of Pregnancy Headaches

There are many different types of headaches you can get when you’re pregnant. These include tension headaches and dehydration headaches. Migraines and sinus headaches are also common. The first step is to understand what causes the headaches. Then, you can create an action plan to reduce aches and pains and avoid headaches in the first place.

Here’s a quick rundown of the different types of headaches you may experience when pregnant:

Dehydration Headaches

Dehydration occurs when water and electrolyte loss exceeds intake. It can happen if you don’t drink enough fluids or during physical activity. This includes working out or walking, especially hot summer days or in winter. That’s why it’s incredibly important to develop a hydration routine, especially when engaging in physical activity.

While pregnant, women are also at higher risk of dehydration. You need more fluids than normal, and morning sickness can increase the rate of fluid loss. Vomiting and diarrhea can both dramatically deplete fluid stores. If you’re not drinking enough fluids, dehydration can set in. A common side effect of dehydration is headaches. You may also have other signs like extreme thirst, dry mouth, and muscle cramps.


Migraine headaches affect one side of the head and produce a throbbing or pounding sensation. They are a common type of headache, affecting millions of women each year. These headaches can also cause nausea, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraines may be hereditary, and they can also be triggered by changes in the weather, sleep patterns, light, and sounds. Studies show that migraines are most common in women during childbearing years and they occur most frequently in the first trimester. Common treatments include using a cold compress, ice packs, and lying in a dark room.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are very common when pregnant, especially during stressful moments. A tension headache occurs when you’re stressed and can also occur due to poor posture. These headaches create a dull and mild ache. The pain is located at the base of the head — you may also have neck pain. Research shows that around 26% of headaches that occur during pregnancy are tension-type headaches.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are similar to tension headaches in that they’re caused by pressure. In this case, the pressure is felt around your eyes, cheeks, and nose. These headaches often occur as a result of a sinus infection or a bacterial infection. A sinus headache can cause severe pains near your nose and eyes or a dull throbbing in your forehead. If your sinus headache is the result of an infection, you may need to take antibiotics or other medications to clear up the problem.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are among the most painful. These severe headaches can be chronic, with episodes lasting for weeks or months with periods of relief in between. On average, the headache itself can last from one to three hours. They occur in groups, meaning that you may get several headaches each day for weeks or months at a time. The pain is severe and can cause red, teary eyes. These headaches occur in 7.5 of every 100,000 women during reproductive age. While rare compared to other headaches, they can be difficult to treat and extremely painful.

What Causes Pregnancy Headaches?

Many things that can cause headaches during pregnancy. Pregnancy headaches are particularly common during the first trimester since your body is undergoing significant changes. You have hormonal changes and your blood volume also increases. This adds pressure to your blood vessels, resulting in more frequent headaches. Add stress and anxiety, and it’s no surprise that many women experience pregnancy and postpartum headaches.

Common Causes of Headaches During Pregnancy

  • Dehydration

  • Stress

  • Poor sleep or lack of sleep

  • Low blood sugar

  • Increased hormone levels

  • Pregnancy complications like preeclampsia

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure (a common cause of secondary headaches)

  • Caffeine withdrawal

If you have chronic or painful headaches while pregnant, it’s important to talk to your doctor, obstetrician (OB/GYN), or other healthcare provider before taking any medications. This includes over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Headaches can occur any time from early pregnancy through the third trimester. A doctor can help identify the cause of your headaches and, in some cases, may recommend seeing a neurologist.

When Dehydration May Be the Culprit

In order to treat headaches, it’s important to identify the underlying cause. In some cases, you may need to work on avoiding headache triggers or you may want to look into other therapies like acupuncture. However, if your pregnancy headache is caused by dehydration, there are ways to address the issue.

Whether you’re breastfeeding or just starting your pregnancy journey, hydration is key for your health and the health of your baby. When you’re pregnant, your blood volume increases, adding pressure to your blood vessels and resulting in headaches. The change in blood volume also means you need more fluids and electrolytes to avoid dehydration. That’s because fluids are a huge portion of your blood volume. So, you need to drink more fluids and electrolytes than normal to stay hydrated.

Plus, many women suffer from nausea and morning sickness while pregnant. Vomiting causes rapid fluid loss. This heightens the risk of dehydration. When dehydration hits, one of the first signs is a throbbing headache.

Avoid Dehydration With DripDrop

If you suffer from pregnancy headaches, talk to your doctor or an obstetrics specialist. They can help create a treatment plan that is safe for you and your baby. If your headache is caused by dehydration, an oral rehydration solution like DripDrop can help, and it's safe to drink during pregnancy.

When you're in a state of dehydration, drinking plenty of water alone is not enough. Your body needs the perfect balance of sodium and glucose to help absorption. With the precisely balanced ratio, you can replenish vital electrolytes and fluids to relieve dehydration quickly. Plus, DripDrop supplies vitamins like zinc, potassium, and magnesium, which are essential to support your overall health.

DripDrop allows you to alleviate mild to moderate dehydration outside of a hospital setting, without the need for costly and painful IV therapy. Our patented formula is powerful enough to help patients suffering from dehydration caused by Ebola and cholera, but safe enough for everyday use. Plus, DripDrop tastes amazing and comes in a variety of flavors you can enjoy.

For cases of mild to moderate dehydration, DripDrop is a fast, effective, and great-tasting remedy. The convenient packaging allows you to have DripDrop when you need it, where you need it.

Get started with our most popular multi-flavor pouch for dehydration relief fast. Or, learn more about how you can save up to 25% on every purchase when you subscribe.