The one that’s growing inside you is still far too delicate to fend off any diseases. That’s where you come in – or at least, your immune system does. You provide your baby with all the protection it needs for those crucial nine months before s/he finally comes out. However, if there really is a problem, it could be difficult to figure out as you can’t obviously examine the baby when it’s inside you. But there are some signs that give away a problem straight away. Read on to find out.
1. No Heartbeat
This one is a no-brainer. You should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat from the 10th week of pregnancy. The heart actually starts beating from the fifth week but you can’t hear it until five weeks later (1). No heartbeat means either stress or an inhospitable environment. You should consult your OB/GYN straight away.
It’s not unusual to get cramps during pregnancy, just like the ones you get when you’re on your period. However, if it lasts for too long or becomes unbearable, that means there is definitely a problem. Cramps during pregnancy are likely due to the rapid changes your bodyis going through and usually, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. Cramps may also occur in the second or third trimester, and may indicate an early labour, illness or even a miscarriage (2). Don’t be afraid to express any pain you’re feeling to your doctor.
Blood at any time during pregnancy is a bad sign – especially bleeding down there (3). Sometimes it could indicate a miscarriage, which is one of the worst news to get. Sometimes it’s just because of a hormonal imbalance. It could also be a placenta-related problem, which means the baby will have to be delivered earlier than the due date. A premature baby might have some serious problems during those crucial first few months.
4. Severe Back Pain
When you’re pregnant, your centre of gravity shifts because of the excessive weight in front. Hence, every pregnant woman has experienced back pain at some point or other (4). However, if it is uncontrollable or it’s long lasting, it could indicate a problem with your kidneys or your bladder. An infection during pregnancy is the worst timing possible.
5. Unusual Discharge
A usual discharge lacks odour and colour, or is slightly white. If you notice anything else, especially blood, it could mean that the baby has some problem. If you have too much pain, it might indicate that the cervix has opened earlier than it should have. It could mean other things too (5). You should see your doctor straight away for your baby’s sake.
IUGR stands for Intrauterine Growth Resistance. As the name indicates, it’s a problem where the baby is resistant to growing in the uterus. It is a test that is done to check if the baby is the size it’s supposed to be at that time of your pregnancy (6). If they are too small, they might have problems with breathing, body temperature or even blood pressure just after being born. Get this test done at regular intervals.
7. No Movement
Your baby should be kicking like a martial artist, well, not exactly. It is said that at around 20 weeks into your pregnancy, you should feel your baby move. it could even happen by around 18 weeks. However, there is no particular number of times your baby kicks, so don’t bother counting them or keeping a track of the numbers. It is not recommended (7). If the baby isn’t kicking as much, maybe s/he is under distress. Again, this is something you should get checked up. So, consult your doctor and get checked to know if your pregnancy is on track.
A variety of things could go wrong when you’re pregnant. But that doesn’t mean they will. If you experience any of these symptoms, go to your doctor immediately to get it checked up. Regular check-ups during gestation are the pinnacles of preventing anything from going awry. For all we know, the baby is fine and you’re doing well. But why take a chance with your baby’s health?