6 Pregnancy Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Pregnancy can bring a roller coaster of emotions. One moment, it appears so exciting and emotional with that fetal kick while the next moment, it turns bothersome with some strange uneasiness.
Your body is changing so rapidly, and you may not understand every time what is happening with you. During pregnancy with so many physical and emotional changes, it's easy to miss or overlook some critical symptoms. But, what are those symptoms which indicate that your body is trying to tell you, “It’s an emergency! You must call a doctor straight away.”?
Let’s check out what’s normal and what should cause concern?
- Abdominal and Tummy Pains: As your muscles and ligaments stretch during pregnancy, abdominal pains, or tummy pains are quite a casual thing. But, pains accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive bleeding could be indicative of something serious. While sometimes a severe tummy pain could mean indigestion, heartburn, or a stomach bug, at times, a sharper lower belly pain could also be a sign of miscarriage, premature labor, or pre-eclampsia (most likely after 20 weeks of pregnancy).
Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous pregnancy complication onset by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. Early detection is critical in pre-eclampsia.
- Swollen Hands and Feet: Light puffiness in the face, hands, and feet is common in late pregnancy. But, swelling accompanied by persistent headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, or gastric pain could be a sign of pre-eclampsia. Such swelling may be severe and might have come up suddenly. Any pain, tenderness, or swelling in the leg (generally the left leg) could also be a sign of a clot or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
- Vaginal Bleeding: Vaginal bleeding could freak you out. Note that you can ignore spotting or light bleeding without pain in early pregnancy if it resolves itself. But, severe and persistent bleeding, sometimes even heavy bleeding (requiring you to change pads every hour), requires medical intervention. It could be indicative of ectopic pregnancy, placental abruption, miscarriage, or premature labor, depending on the stage of your pregnancy.
Note: Ectopic pregnancy happens when the embryo develops outside the uterus, where the baby cannot grow. Symptoms include pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding. If not attended in time, it can damage the nearby organs, and there could be life-threatening internal bleeding too.
- Baby’s Movements Slowed Down: Every expecting mother starts making a mental note of her baby’s habits and patterns the day she starts feeling the fetus inside her. Mommies love to feel and count the fetal kicks. But, when you suddenly notice a change in its pattern, that is less than the usual, do some continuous monitoring. Contact your midwife or doctor; if you are over 28 weeks pregnant, call immediately.
- Vaginal Discharge: Vaginal discharge (which is milky white) increases during pregnancy. It’s the heaviest at the end of your final trimester. Excess discharge helps to prevent infections, so there is nothing that should cause alarm. Streaks of thick mucus together with streaks of blood, is an early sign of labor. But sometimes, this discharge takes an abnormal color (yellow, green, or gray) with odor and may also be accompanied by itching, redness, or vulvar swelling. Such abnormal discharge may be a sign of infection or a complication.
Fluid Leakage: If you are leaking fluid from your vagina, it may mean that your waters have broken. Such a situation before 37 weeks is quite early, and you need to get your baby’s health checked since the chances of infection have increased. And, what when your waters break after 37 weeks? Hey! It’s time for that good news. You are likely to go into labor within the day or so.
Still, wondering whether what you are feeling is normal or not?
Remember, whatever the situation be – “When in doubt, it is always better and recommended to contact your doctor at the earliest.” Don’t risk it; always play safe. Trust your instincts!
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