Hi, I'm in the twenty second week of pregnancy, and suffer from terrible tension headaches. I have been prescribed by my doctor paracodal tablets which don't seem to be having any effect. Could you advise me of any herbal supplements that could help? Thanks, Jodi.
Due to the fact that you are pregnant, the list of herbal
supplements that are safe for you to use is very limited. However, there
are some items that may be able to help. In addition, even though
the following list of supplements is thought to be safe during pregnancy I
highly recommend you discuss them with your OBGYN before you start taking them
to make they are safe for your particular situation.
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Magnesium is thought to be safe to take during all phases of pregnancy and can
be very effective at relaxing muscles related to tension headaches. It is
also thought that magnesium can also have a relaxing effect on the blood
vessels in the head and neck that can be related to migraine headaches.
Fish oil may not only be helpful for you, but is also helpful for your
developing baby. The essential fatty acids in fish oil help to reduce
inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation can contribute to muscle
tension and worsen your headaches. These same essential fatty acids,
particularly DHA, are extremely important to ensure the proper development of
you baby's brain and eye tissue. If you are going to take a fish oil
supplement, make sure it is molecularly distilled and guaranteed to comply with
strict European standards for heavy metals, PCB's, dioxins, pesticides and
other unwanted compounds. This ensures
that any toxins or heavy metals contained in the fish have been removed from
the oil making it extremely pure.
Lastly, the family of B vitamins, particularly B5 and B6 can be helpful to
support the body and mind in its ability to reduce stress. Because you
are experiencing tension headaches I feel that having something to support your
body's stress response may be helpful. In addition, B6 can act as a mild
diuretic which can help remove excess fluid from inflamed or swollen muscles.
Most important is to understand why you are developing these tension
headaches. Are you in a situation where there is very high stress?
If so, what can you do to lessen that stress? Is it a mechanical issue,
such as poor posture or from carrying around a toddler? If this is the
issue, what can be done to lessen that stress on your body?
Prenatal massage may be a very option for you. A qualified massage
therapist should be able to offer you safe, effective therapy for relaxing the
muscles around your skull and upper shoulders which can greatly reduce tension
headaches. It is also very relaxing mentally which is important for you
to experience while your body is working so hard to make a beautiful baby.
Prenatal yoga is also something you should consider. Yoga will help to stretch
the muscles in your upper and lower body and create more balance in your
physical body. It is also very relaxing and teaches you valuable tools of
relaxation that can help you get through all phases of your pregnancy,
including labor! Yoga helps you get more in tune with your body and
understand how to better control feelings of stress and pain.