What do you recommend for a woman who doesn’t want to take aspirin or other pain relievers during pregnancy? I am four months pregnant and get bad tension headaches. (I used to take Advil and it usually worked, but I’m nervous about taking it now.)
Your best medicine for tension headaches is, of course, to minimize the stressors in your life as well as learn to practice better stress reduction techniques: daily exercise, meditation, soothing baths and relaxation exercises. They do help, they’re cheaper and safer than taking medicine, and they benefit you in many ways, not to mention your baby. Weekly massages and/or manipulation techniques are also extremely effective in not only relaxing muscles but changing the nerve/muscle patterns and structural alignment problems that can lead to headaches.
Many herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy, especially the first trimester. To be safe it’s probably best to avoid herbs in general unless you consult a medical professional familiar with herbs. Magnesium supplementation is one of the latest and greatest supplements for headaches. A typical dosage is 500 milligrams per day.
Learning pressure points or seeking an acupuncturist would also be a safe and most likely effective way to treat your headaches.