When you discover you are pregnant, you go through a lot of emotions. There is elation of creating a baby inside you. On the other hand, you could get terrified if something might happen to the little one inside you. Though most pregnancies are safe and moms-to-be happily welcome their little ones, it is important to know the 10 danger signs of pregnancy which can help you track your pregnancy progress.
Nonetheless, most of the pregnancy ends up in safe delivery, however any complications in pregnancy if left untreated could affect the mother and the baby. These complications could be any illness that is related to health before pregnancy or an issue that has occurred unexpectedly and is unavoidable. Though it could be scary to hear the doctor say you have a complication, knowing the 10 danger signs of pregnancy could make you feel less panicky.
We have discussed below some common pregnancy complications and what you should know about them.
Knowing there is a complication could scare you. You may be worried about your baby’s health and your health. You might feel guilty that it happened because of something you did —or did not; either way, holds no importance. Having these mixed feelings is normal and rest be assured that you can always contact your obstetrician for any help.
The best thing you can do is get the right prenatal care for you and the baby to be born. With early detection and proper care, the chance of keeping yourself and the baby safe is high. Getting regular blood and urine tests, ultrasounds, and other screening tests help to identify if there are any complications in your pregnancy and avoid miscarriages. Depending on them, your doctor may advise the further course of action.
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The definition of danger signs in pregnancy could be any one of the following which indicates that something is wrong with the pregnancy. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to call your doctor immediately. Remember, not to panic.
Vaginal bleeding or spotting during pregnancy is one of the major danger signs of pregnancy in the first trimester. Though a tinge of blood (after sex or a vaginal examination) is not a threat, having continuous bleeding needs the intervention of your doctor. Bleeding with abdominal pain in the third trimester could be due to placental abruption — happens when the placenta separates from the uterine lining.
If you notice heavy bleeding — more than one pad in an hour or if the bleeding is accompanied by pains or chills, it is advised to see the doctor as it could be something serious. Bleeding could be a serious complication during pregnancy, probably a miscarriage during early pregnancy.
As your baby gets older, you can experience ligaments and muscles getting stretched which could cause you some aches and pain. The pulling or the sharp sensations you might feel isn’t worrisome.
In case you find severe pelvic or abdominal pain which doesn’t subside with the help of a heating pad or soaking in a warm bathtub, it is time to see your doctor as it is one of the 10 danger signs of pregnancy. If the pain is accompanied by nausea or vomit, it could indicate a GI virus or a UTI infection. In case it is accompanied by bleeding, it could be a sign of miscarriage.
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Some amount of swelling that happens during the later stage of pregnancy is common. But you need to pay close attention to it as it could also be a sign of preeclampsia — a condition that occurs after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and causes high blood pressure.
Look out for the below symptoms if any and reach out to the doctor immediately as it could be one of the 10 danger signs of pregnancy.
- severe swelling in your face that is persistent
- persistent and severe puffiness around your eyes
- sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, particularly in the morning
Early detection for the reason of swelling must be identified to rule out high-risk pregnancy.
Weight gain is obvious during pregnancy. Too much weight could lead to complications for you and the baby to be born. The more overweight you are, the more likely you are to have pregnancy complications. Being overweight during pregnancy, especially if you were not overweight before can be worrisome.
Preeclampsia condition also leads to weight gain in pregnant women. If you find yourself gaining around five pounds in a week, it is advised you talk to your doctor to avoid any pregnancy complications.
Feeling nauseous during pregnancy is common especially during the first trimester of the pregnancy. This symptom is popularly known as morning sickness. However, this could also be one of the 10 danger signs of pregnancy in case this symptom is persistent for a long time.
Excessive nausea and vomiting could make you tired and exhausted leading to dehydration. This could lead to less nutritional intake and could harm the baby.
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One of the most important 10 danger signs of pregnancy is itching which should not be ignored. Your skin could be itchy because it is dry and stretched. However, a continuous itching needs to be intimated to the doctor to rule out cholestasis of pregnancy.
Cholestasis is a rare liver disorder that can cause serious issues, such as preterm labor and stillbirth. The production of bile juice from the gallbladder is stopped or disrupted in this condition. However, there is no rash formed on the skin.
Throughout pregnancy, you can feel different movements of your baby. You can begin to feel these movements between 18 and 25 weeks of pregnancy. Babies usually turn, kick and flutter inside your womb. If you find a decline in this activity you must contact your doctor immediately.
If you are concerned that the baby is moving less than usual, try drinking something cold or having a sweet snack and then lay on your side. Also, when you stay relaxed, try to keep a count of the fetal kicks. There should be at least a count of 10 kicks during two hours. If this count isn’t met, seek your doctor’s advice immediately.
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8. Persistent back pain
Persistent back pain is common during pregnancy, especially in your third trimester — if you have a big baby bump. Severe back pain should not be taken lightly at any stage during pregnancy. The changes in the body are certain to cause a few discomforts.
It is one important 10 danger signs of pregnancy as back pain needs to be checked and ruled out as not a sign of kidney or bladder infection, cyst, miscarriage, or preterm labor.
Early contractions in the uterus could be a sign of preterm labor. It starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy and can cause multiple birth complications. Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy can have health problems at birth and later in life.
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You may have contractions on and off before true labor starts. These contractions are called false labor or Braxton-Hicks contractions. If you have not completed 37 weeks of pregnancy and you have signs or symptoms of preterm labor, talk to your doctor immediately.
Water breaking or premature rupture of membranes happens when there is a sudden rush of water flowing down your vagina before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Feeling constantly wet down there or having a trickle of fluid can mean your water has broken.
Breaking of water before the 37th well could be dangerous for the baby especially when their lungs aren’t fully developed. Hence, rush to your doctor immediately as it is one of the crucial 10 danger signs of pregnancy.
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How can you prevent pregnancy complications?
While pregnancy is mostly a joyous life event, it is also a time that calls for caution. You need to stay conscious and practice watchfulness at every step. Though not all complications are preventable, taking preventative steps help to promote a healthy pregnancy and reduce high-risk pregnancy.
- Consult with a doctor beforehand to help you plan for your pregnancy
- Eat a healthy diet with a lot of fruits, vegetables, and proteins
- Take prenatal vitamins daily
- Do not miss your prenatal checkups
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol
- Check with your doctor on the existing medications you take
- Reduce your stress levels
Though most pregnancies occur without any health complications, some women who are pregnant go through certain complications that involve the mom’s and the baby’s health. Even with complications, early detection and prenatal care help to reduce any further risk to you and your baby.
Knowing the 10 danger signs of pregnancy helps you distinguish between normal and abnormal symptoms during pregnancy. Though many problems are mild and don’t cause a major threat, it is advised to seek medical health immediately.