Pregnancy is a journey of mixed emotions. And each woman’s journey is unique. Along with the pleasant experiences come some not-so-pleasant ones.
Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and fatigue, in varying degrees, are quite common. But there could be circumstances when the common becomes uncommon. What you might consider as ‘normal’ can actually be a wake-up call during pregnancy. So, here are the warning signs that you might not want to overlook when pregnant:
- Severe nausea and vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common when pregnant, but if they continue incessantly for more than a day, it could be a cause for concern. See your doctor immediately.
- Flu: Pregnant women have an increased risk contracting flu (1) due to the weakened immune system. But, if you a running a fever above 100ºFahrenheit for more than a couple of days, you must see your doctor. If you experience pain along with fever, it could be a sign of other infections which need proper diagnosis.
- Swelling: A certain amount of swelling, especially in the feet, is common during pregnancy, but watch out if there’s excessive swelling on your face, hands, ankles, and feet. It could be a sign of preeclampsia (2). Severe preeclampsia can lead to life-threatening problems.
- Baby is moving less: You should feel your baby moving in your bump by the end of the second trimester or by the beginning of the third trimester. If you don’t feel your baby moving at least five times every half hour or there is decreased movement, then you need to alert yourself and meet your obstetrician immediately.
- Abdominal or pelvic pain: If you experience severe or constant pain in your abdomen or pelvis accompanied by bleeding, then you must rush to your doctor. It could be a cyst or ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy (3) occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the fallopian tube or abdomen instead of the uterus. In such a case, pregnancy cannot be continued.
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting: The first indication of pregnancy is bleeding or spotting. It occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus. This is considered normal. However, heavy bleeding or spotting could be a sign of miscarriage or placenta previa (4). Contact your doctor right away if you have continuous bleeding.
- Persistent headache: If you have severe and persistent headaches accompanied with poor vision, it could be due to pregnancy stress and high blood pressure. and It needs immediate medical attention.
- Early contractions in the third trimester: If you start contracting before your due date or before 36 weeks, then admit yourself in the hospital. It’s an indication of preterm birth.
- Water breaks: If you are leaking any watery fluid from your vagina either continuously or in intervals, it’s not normal. Seek medical attention.
- Breathing difficulty: In the third-trimester, women usually experience breathing difficulty because of the expanding uterus which lays pressure on the ribcage. If you experience shortness of breath or palpitations, then rush to your doctor. The increased blood volume during pregnancy can stress the circulatory system, causing palpitations.
- Depression: You would have surely heard of postpartum blues, but what’s with antenatal depression? It’s common too. If you feel that you are depressed or usually unhappy, then seek help from a counselor or psychologist.
Act before it’s too late. Besides, if you have a history of pre-medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or asthma, then you need to be extra cautious about any changes that are out of the ordinary.
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