16 Pregnancy Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

mardi 15 décembre 2015
No matter how much you read about pregnancy or talk to other moms, it can be hard to know whether what you're feeling during your nine months is normal or not.

Here's a rundown of symptoms that should set off your warning bells. If you have any of these problems, call your midwife or doctor straight away.

1. You just don't feel right

If you're not sure about a symptom, don't feel like yourself, or simply feel uneasy, trust your judgement and call your doctor or midwife. If there's a problem, you'll get help right away. If nothing's wrong, you'll go home reassured.

Your doctor expects to get calls like these, and should be happy to give you advice. Your body is changing so rapidly that it's sometimes difficult to know whether what you're experiencing is normal.

2. Pain in your belly

Severe or sharp pain in your middle or upper tummy, with or without nausea or vomiting, could mean any of several things. It could be severe indigestion, a stomach bug or food poisoning. But it could also be pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that requires immediate attention.

3. Pain in your lower belly

Severe lower pain on either or both sides or your belly could mean a number of things. You could have pulled a ligament, or it may be a sign of:
an ectopic pregnancy
premature labour
a fibroid degenerating and bleeding into itself
placental abruption

4. Fever

If have a fever and your temperature is above 37.5 degrees C, but with no flu or cold symptoms, call your doctor on the same day.

If your temperature is more than 39 degrees C, call the doctor right away. You probably have an infection. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and rest. If your temperature rises higher than 39 degrees C for a prolonged amount of time it could be harmful to your baby.

5. Vision disturbances

If you have double vision, blurring, dimming, flashing spots or lights that last for more than two hours call your doctor or midwife. These symptoms can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

6. Swelling in your hands and feet

Swelling or puffiness (edema) of the hands, face and eyes is common, and in most cases it is not a cause for concern. But, if these symptoms are severe or sudden, and accompanied by a headache or problems with your vision, they may be symptoms of pre-eclampsia.

7. Severe headache that lasts

If you have a bad headache that lasts for more than two or three hours, along with vision disturbances and have sudden swelling in your hands, eyes and face, you may have pre-eclampsia.

8. Light or heavy vaginal bleeding

Spotting without pain may be a normal sign of implantation, when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus early in the pregnancy or breakthrough bleeding. But you should still call your doctor if you bleed during pregnancy because it could indicate a serious complication:
Bleeding that is different from your normal period (heavier or lighter and often darker) with severe, persistent, one-sided pain in the abdomen can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
Heavy bleeding, especially when it's combined with persistent back or abdominal pain, can be associated with a potential or actual miscarriage.
In the later stages of pregnancy, bleeding may indicate placenta praevia, placental abruption, which happens when the placenta starts to separate from the wall of the uterus, or premature labour (labour that begins before 37 weeks).

9. Leaking fluid from your vagina

Leaking of fluid from your vagina before 37 weeks means that your membranes have ruptured prematurely. Your doctor or midwife will want you to be admitted to hospital, so that you can have treatment to prevent an infection and to prepare your baby for possible premature birth.

After 37 weeks, you are probably about to go into labour. Call your midwife or labour ward to discuss your options if your labour does not start within 24 hours.

10. Sudden increase in thirst

If you're suddenly thirsty and are peeing less, this could be a sign of dehydration or gestational diabetes. Both of these increase the risk of complications for you and your baby.

11. Burning sensation when you pee

A painful or burning sensation when you pee, along with a temperature, shivering and backache, may mean you have a urinary tract infection. See your doctor, as she can give you antibiotics to treat it.

12. Severe vomiting

Vomiting more than a couple of times a day could dehydrate and weaken you, although it won't hurt your baby. You need to speak to your midwife or doctor about severe and persistent vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) as you may need to be admitted to hospital.

Vomiting which starts later in pregnancy, accompanied by pain just below the ribs, may be a sign of pre-eclampsia. Vomiting accompanied by pain and a temperature could indicate an infection. Either way, contact your doctor.

13. Fainting or dizziness

Fainting or feeling light-headed may be a sign that you haven't eaten enough that day, but it could also mean that you have low blood pressure. Many women feel dizzy during pregnancy. If you do faint, see your doctor afterwards to make sure all is well.

14. Slowing down of your baby's movements

Absence of, or slowing down of your baby's movements for more than 24 hours after 21 weeks may mean your baby is in distress. A good guide is feeling at least six baby movements over two hours. If you have noticed that your baby is moving about less than usual, contact your midwife or the hospital. Read more about your baby's movements, including when to seek help.

15. All-over itching late in pregnancy

These symptoms may indicate a liver-based condition, such as obstetric cholestasis (OC). If you have OC you may also have jaundice, and pass dark urine and pale stools.

Some itching is normal as your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby. However, it's best to have it checked out, particularly if the itching is very intense, worse at night and involves the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands.

16. A fall or a blow to your belly

Falls or blows aren't always dangerous, but call your doctor or midwife on the same day and explain what happened. If you slipped on the stairs and bruised your tailbone, you probably don't need to worry. Your baby is well cushioned by your uterus and amniotic fluid.

In rare cases though, complications may arise. If you notice contractions, leaking fluid, or any bleeding, call your doctor or midwife right away, or head to your nearest emergency department.


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