Most headaches in pregnancy and during the postnatal period are benign, but healthcare professionals must be alert to the rarer and more severe causes of headaches, according to a report out today.

Commenting on the review in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Carmel Lloyd, head of education at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is important research and highlights the need for healthcare professionals to be vigilant about looking for these signs and symptoms and, ensure they promptly refer women to the relevant healthcare professional if they see these developing.

“This also adds weight to our call for better continuity of care in maternity services so that midwives can get to know the women they care for. Midwives who know the woman will be more likely to spot changes In their condition and hence spot potentially serious complications developing, such as those outlined in this research.”