Pregnancy is a time when you need to be very vigilant of your health. Aside from having frequent doctor visits, it is also important to watch out for signs that may endanger not only your life but as well as your unborn child. Make sure that you have your doctor’s phone number, and an alternative number that you can use, to contact him or her when the need arises.
A woman who noticed any form vaginal bleeding should immediately contact her physician. It is important to evaluate the cause of the bleeding, even if it is very minimal, because some of the bleeding complications of pregnancy begin with slight spotting. If you noticed that the spotting occurred after a bowel movement, you should not safely assume that it is only due to hemorrhoids. Your healthcare provider still needs to evaluate you in order to properly rule out the cause.
Many women complain of nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy. It is not common for a woman to vomit at least once or twice a day as her body adjusts to the changes of pregnancy. However, if your vomiting has gone beyond the 12th week of pregnancy, or if you notice that you vomit more frequently, you need to report these to your doctor. Excessive vomiting affects your hydration and nutritional status, and it depletes the supply available to the fetus. Your doctor may check whether you have hyperemesis gravidarum or the severe form of morning sickness during pregnancy.
It is also important to look out for a sudden fluid escape from the vagina. This may mean that your membranes have ruptured. Although this may be the first signs of labor, this puts both mother and child in danger. This is because of the risk of infection, and the possibility of the umbilical cord to prolapse. After rupture, the baby moves downward into the pelvis, and it may put pressure on the cord. This results to a diminished oxygen and blood supply to the baby. This is an emergency, and your doctor needs to be notified quickly.
Abdominal pain as well as chest pain during pregnancy should also be taken seriously. Severe pelvic or abdominal pain may be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. This occurs because the fertilized ovum has attached somewhere else, instead of the uterus. It may also indicate a separation of the placenta, or preterm labor. Chest pain is also not expected during pregnancy. If you have a chest pain, it is important to seek consultation, to rule out any complications of thrombophlebitis, such as a pulmonary embolus.
Edema that can be found in the ankles during pregnancy is normal, especially if the woman has been standing for a long period of time. However, if you suddenly notice that your rings have suddenly become too tight, because of swollen hands. Or if you have difficulty opening your eyes due to edema of the eyelids, you need to seek consultation right away. This is a sign that you may have pregnancy induced hypertension or PIH. Aside from edema, its classic symptoms also include high blood pressure and proteinuria. Severe headache, skin flushing and vomiting may be a good indicator for an increase in blood pressure. Other signs of PIH include, a decrease in urine output, blurring of vision, severe continuous headache, and flashes of light or dots before the eyes. A rapid weight gain of over 2 lbs a week in the second trimester, and 1 lb a week after the third trimester, is also not normal. Contact your doctor if you feel that you have these symptoms.
Pregnant women should also watch out for other signs of infection like fever and chills. Intrauterine infection is never good for both mother and child. Any unusual increase or decrease in fetal movement should also be reported, because it may suggest the baby’s response, to the need for oxygen. Pregnancy entails that a woman should take good care of herself, from the moment of conception, and even after delivery of the baby. A partnership is formed between an expectant mother and her health care provider, to promote optimal health all throughout the pregnancy. Do your part in order to avoid the complications.