Pregnancy raises a slew of questions, particularly about your and your baby’s health. Pregnant women often experience many novel sensations, and it can be both mentally and physically tough. Not only is your body changing in a billion different ways, but every little cramp can make you panic that something is wrong. Relax, say the experts. “Women need to keep in mind that most pregnancies go smoothly,” Many of them are perfectly normal. And the majority women have healthy, normal pregnancies. So which signals to ignore and which are worth a call to your OB-GYN? Here are 11 call symptoms that you should see a doctor about.
Severe Nausea and Vomiting
Morning sickness is, for the most part, an uncomfortable but common symptom of pregnancy. However, if you’re vomiting so much that you can’t keep drinks down or aren’t urinating, you should contact your doctor immediately away. “This can cause extreme dehydration, which is dangerously bad for both you and your baby,” explains Isabel Blumberg, M.D., a New York City OB-GYN. Extreme vomiting could be an indication of hyperemesis gravidarum, a type of severe morning sickness that can linger for the duration of your pregnancy.
Vaginal bleeding is fairly frequent, especially in the first trimester. In fact, almost a quarter of all women experience some spotting or more bleeding during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy; more than half of these women go on to have perfectly healthy kids.
Bleeding in the first trimester, especially if it’s accompanied by cramping, could be a symptom of miscarriage. Another prevalent cause, according to Daniel Landers, M.D., a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is implantation of the egg in the uterine lining. Cervical polyps, which are frequent whether or not you’re pregnant, could potentially be to fault. Cervical bleeding, which can occur after intercourse in pregnant women with delicate tissues, is another possible explanation.
It’s usually not a big deal if you suffer periodic headaches while pregnant. Call your doctor if you get a severe and persistent headache, especially if it’s followed by dizziness, fainting, or blurred vision. If you’re feeling dizzy, find a comfortable place to sit and have someone sit with you while you talk on the phone or wait for your doctor to return your call. Drink some water and lie down on your left side (dehydration is a common cause of these symptoms).
Severe headaches in the second and third trimesters could indicate preeclampsia, a high blood pressure disorder. This disorder lowers blood supply to the baby and can harm Mom’s health. Women having a family or personal history of preeclampsia, high blood pressure, or diabetes are at the highest risk. Obese women and women bearing several children are also at a higher risk.
Excruciating Abdominal Pain
Your doctor will want to rule out an ectopic pregnancy if you’re less than 12 weeks pregnant, doubled over with strong cramping on one side of your stomach, and you haven’t had an ultrasound yet (one in which the egg has implanted itself in the fallopian tube rather than in the uterus).
In late pregnancy, abdominal pain is common. “Unless the pain is severe, unrelenting, or connected with bleeding,” says Laura Riley, M.D., director of Labor, Delivery, and Obstetrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. However, if you experience severe or repeated discomfort later in your pregnancy, visit your doctor because it could be anything from contractions to appendicitis.
High Fever or Chills
Running a fever is never nice, but it can be especially dangerous for your kid while you’re pregnant. Your baby’s growth and development are dependent on your body’s ability to maintain a constant and healthy temperature (around 98.6 degrees to 103 degrees Fahrenheit). Disruption of this temperature early in pregnancy might cause havoc with your system and result in a miscarriage. A higher fever later in your pregnancy won’t have as much of an impact on your baby, but it could be an indication of infection or another problem that your doctor should be aware of.
A lot of watery discharge
A discharge indicates that your water has burst if you’re nearing the conclusion of your pregnancy. However, if you have a sudden flow of fluids before 37 weeks, call your doctor right once. It could mean your amniotic sac has burst and you’re on the verge of preterm labor. But before you go to the hospital, don’t expect the worst: “Women mistakenly believe their water has broken too early,” explains Dr. Flamm, “when the baby may have simply kicked them hard in the bladder and caused them to lose some pee.”
Another symptom of premature labor is contractions. So, if you’re 24 to 36 weeks pregnant and suddenly feel them, call your doctor. While it’s possible that they’re merely mild Braxton Hicks contractions, you should consult your doctor to be sure.
Urination that hurts
Although frequent urination is a normal pregnancy issue, burning and pain when emptying your bladder is not. This symptom is a clear indicator of a bladder infection, also known as a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is a common occurrence among women and is especially unpleasant during pregnancy. Preventing complications by treating these symptoms is a good idea (which can include preterm labor and low birth weight babies). A UTI can progress to a kidney infection, which has been related to preterm labor if left untreated for several days or weeks. So, while you don’t need to see a doctor right away, make an appointment as soon as possible.
Is your entire body itching, especially your hands and feet? While minor itching is usual, significant itching could indicate pregnancy cholestasis. This is a liver condition that should be closely evaluated by a doctor. While it’s usually innocuous and can be treated with anti-itch creams, it can cause premature birth in rare circumstances, which is why it’s an important pregnant symptom to pay attention to.
Fetal Movement Isn’t Happening
You’ll start counting fetal kicks later in pregnancy to keep track of your baby’s movements. Most doctors advise that you check in on your growing baby several times a day and look for 10 movements in 10 minutes. If you try counting and don’t feel any movement, drink a glass of fruit juice (the natural sugars will raise Baby’s blood sugar and help them move), then rest on your left side in a quiet room for half an hour. If you don’t feel any movement after a second try, or if two hours pass without 10 motions, contact your health care provider. “Usually it’s nothing,” Dr. Blumberg explains, “and the baby was just being unusually still.” “However, your doctor will almost certainly order a stress test or an ultrasound to rule out any issues.”
A leg ache
Blood clots in the deep veins of the legs, known as deep vein thrombosis, are six times more likely in pregnant women (DVT). According to Dr. Dizon-Townson, hormonal changes make your blood more susceptible to clot, while the strain of your developing uterus on your veins might obstruct circulation, causing blood to pool in your legs and feet.
DVT might be difficult to identify from usual pregnancy leg cramps. The symptoms occur in only one leg, and the area is red, uncomfortably swollen, and warm to the touch, which is reliable red flag.