There are many reasons why you might experience a headache; not all of these are necessarily related to your pregnancy. Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for developing a headache. It is important that you remain well hydrated during pregnancy, ensure you are drinking around 2 litres of water a day, especially in hot weather. Headaches can also be due to hormonal changes in pregnancy or reducing caffeine intake when pregnant (as recommended by health care professionals).
Try taking simple pain-killers at home; it is safe to take 2x 500mg tablets (1g) of paracetamol every 4 to 6 hours, not exceeding 4g in 24 hours.
Mild to moderate headache:
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You need an ambulance if you are:
Attend A&E if you experience:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Call your maternity unit if you have:
Self care at home if:
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Your local maternity unit is staffed 24 hours a day with obstetrician s and midwives to help care for you, your baby and your pregnancy related health concerns. For some AMBER concerns it may be possible to be seen in a midwifery led unit if it is more convenient for you. For health concerns that are not related to your pregnancy you are advised to see your GP, call NHS 111 out of hours, or attend A&E if it is an emergency.
To find the contact numbers for your local maternity unit, please click here.
Whilst you may have individual contact details for your community midwife, if you are concerned about your pregnancy we advise you call the maternity unit on the numbers provided because staff are available 24 hours a day. Please do not leave urgent voicemails or text on a community midwife’s phone.
GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and can arrange referral to a hospital specialist should you need it. Whilst pregnant, you will have regular appointments with a midwife but it is still important to continue with any ongoing care from your GP.
NHS 111 can ask you questions to assess your symptoms, give you advice or can put you in touch with a GP out of usual working hours.
A&E departments provide vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as suspected heart attack or breathing difficulties. If you are not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.