Pregnancy can bring about a number of emotions. The thought of welcoming a new life into the world is exciting and awe-inspiring, but actually carrying the baby comes with its fair share of worries. Pregnant women are notorious for worrying about anything and everything when it comes to their unborn baby — and rightfully so. But that amount of worry isn’t healthy or necessary. Being aware of pregnancy red flags is important. But once you’re aware of the “warning signs,” spending time obsessing over them will only take away the excitement from your pregnancy.
If you do notice one of these red flags at anytime during your pregnancy, you shouldn’t hesitate to call your OB. Many of these symptoms are hard to diagnose, and can happen with varying degrees of severity. But it’s best to be safe when it comes to yourself and your unborn baby. Some women are more prone to certain conditions than others, so discussing your medical history with your OB at the beginning of your pregnancy will give the both of you a better idea of what to expect moving forward.
So if you experience any of these symptoms, or anything else that sends your worry into overdrive, get on the phone with your doctor as soon as possible.
1. You Suffer Severe Abdominal Pain Or Unusual Back Pain
Although, the American Pregnancy Association noted that a certain degree of sharp abdominal pain is normal during pregnancy, there are times when it can be cause for alarm. Cramping, bloating, constipation, and round ligament pain are all normal causes of sharp pains, and you needn’t be concerned if you experience them. However, if your pain is accompanied by fever, vomiting, chills, bleeding, or heavy vaginal discharge, and doesn’t let up when you rest, you should see your OB. These are potential signs of miscarriage and shouldn’t be ignored.
2. Your Baby’s Movement Has Decreased Significantly
Your baby’s movements may be all over the board, especially during the second trimester, when they have plenty of room to move around. But if you notice a definite decrease in your baby’s normal movement, there may be a problem. What To Expect noted that you should do kick counts regularly because it trains you to notice what is “normal” movement for your baby and what isn’t. According to the U.K.’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if the mother notices decreased fetal movement after 28 weeks, it’s a good idea to go into your OB. They’ll simply monitor your baby and check their vitals to make sure everything is ok. More often than not, resting and drinking some cold water will rouse your little one, but it doesn’t hurt to go in.
3. You Have Headaches Or Blurred Vision
Vision changes are normal during pregnancy, but there a few instances that may be indicative of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, according to What To Expect. Similarly, if you notice blurriness, dimming vision, spots, or double vision that won’t go away or persists for longer than two hours, call your OB right away.
4. You Run A High Fever
A fever is usually just a normal symptom of being sick, but running a high fever that won’t go away could be dangerous to both you and your baby. Healthline noted that if pregnant women have a fever of 102 degrees or higher, see your OB.
5. You Experience Vaginal Bleeding
Baby Center recommends that pregnant mothers go into their OB for bleeding, regardless of how heavy it may be. Although you may notice spotting after sex or randomly, it can also be a sign that something is wrong, and an early sign of miscarriage. Sometimes it’s nothing to worry about, but making sure will ease your mind and rule out any complications.
6. You Notice Sudden Swelling
Slight swelling is totally normal (and to be expected,) but if you experience sudden swelling in your hands, face, or legs, the APA noted that swelling could be a sign of preeclampsia and you should see your OB.
7. You Have Acute Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath, again, is quite normal in pregnancy. But if you notice shortness of breath accompanied by any respiratory sickness, see your OB immediately as sicknesses like pneumonia can be more dangerous when you’re pregnant. Similarly, shortness of breath along with rapid breathing, chest pain, paleness or blue-tinged lips, or a persistent cough may be a sign of something more serious, according to Baby Center.
8. You Vomit On The Reg
Vomiting is normal during pregnancy. But severe vomiting isn’t. The APA noted that recurring vomiting is a sign of hyperemesis gravidarum, and you should see your OB right away.
9. Your Whole Body Is Itchy AF
As odd as it may sound, full-body itching can be a dangerous sign. Dry, itchy skin, along with the stretching of pregnancy means a degree of itchiness is to be expected. But Baby Center noted that severe itchiness all over your body could be a symptom of obstetric cholestasis, a rare liver disease, according The Telegraph.