Skip to main content

We use small files called cookies to help us improve your experience on this website and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

Read our cookies policy to find out more about cookies and how we use them.

Coronavirus: Be responsible. Be safe

Health information and advice to stop the spread of coronavirus

If you have a severe headache or a headache with any of the following symptoms​, contact your midwife or GP immediately:

  • Pronounced swelling of your hands, feet, ankles, neck or face, particularly if sudden.
  • Flashing lights in your eyes or blurred vision.
  • You have been recently diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Headaches are quite common in pregnancy. The causes include:

  • hormonal changes
  • stress
  • dehydration
  • caffeine withdrawal.

Pre-eclampsia symptoms

A headache can be a sign of pre-eclampsia, especially if you have other symptoms.

These include:

  • blurred vision
  • spots or flashing lights across your vision
  • upper tummy pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • swelling of hands, feet, ankles, neck or face

page last reviewed: 26/03/2018
next review due: 26/03/2021